Choosing the right photographer is a crucial part of planning any wedding. After all, this is a once in a lifetime event! The right photographer will make sure you end up with incredible images so you can remember your wedding day for the rest of your lives.
There’s a ton of advice out there for choosing the right wedding photographer, but there are still a few pitfalls that can catch a couple unaware.
To help you plan the perfect day, here are some common mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding photographer:
1. Choosing friends or family members
It’s tempting, I know, but resist the urge to hire friends or family members to shoot your wedding day!
First, you want your friends and family to feel welcome at your wedding and be able to relax and enjoy your day with you! If you ask a friend or close family member to work on your wedding day rather than help you celebrate, it doesn’t send a very good message. Second, hiring an outside photographer will ensure that if an issue does come up, it can be handled professionally with no hurt feelings.
Even if your cousin or childhood best friend is the best photographer in 200 miles, hiring an impartial photographer is going to be much simpler and better for everyone.
2. Not hiring a professional photographer
You only get one chance to take wedding pictures. Don’t leave this to chance! Hiring a dedicated, experienced photographer is going to ensure you have an outstanding experience and get amazing photos.
Professional photographers have spent years honing their craft. They have the equipment, backup, instinct, and expertise to help the day go smoothly and ensure success without hiccups. Professionals know the flow of a wedding by heart and have the skill to take pictures efficiently so everyone can get back to having fun. (Nobody likes standing around for an hour while a rookie photographer figures out how to pose your extended family!)
A hobbyist or someone just starting out is not going to have the knowledge, tools, or years of experience to do it right and capture truly phenomenal photographs that you'll treasure forever.
3. Basing photographer just off their website
An impressive website is a great start but always meet with your photographer in person, or have a detailed phone consultation, before making a final decision.
I suggest this because hiring a photographer is an intensely personal choice. After all, you’re inviting someone new to into your most intimate and important life moments. You want to make sure it’s a good match and you're on the same wavelength in terms of what you want to capture on your big day. It will also help you select a Photographer that makes you feel comfortable and brings out your true emotions, which will create images you will connect more with and cherish forever.
I always recommend starting your journey with a phone call or a friendly chat over coffee. When you take the time to sit down with a person, you can express all the thoughts and things you have in mind better than with a series of emails. It’s organic, it’s personal, it builds trust, and it helps you know that the person you’re selecting really is the right fit for you.
4. Not doing research on reviews and competitors
Even if you think you've found an amazing photographer, stop a second and look up some reviews. Just like you’d check out a new restaurant or home repair professional online, take a peek at what other couples have to say about their experience.
Wedding photos are made by people, and you want to make sure that the person you invite to your big day is professional, punctual, easy to work with, and well-prepared. If you find someone has habitually poor marks, keep looking.
As with everything, reviews are a good guide, not a guarantee. If you see something out of line with an