Candace Snowdon Photography
Selecting your wedding photographer can be a daunting task, especially if you are unfamiliar with photography and not sure what questions to ask. So I am going to give you some tips and advice to help make that process a bit easier and help ensure you hire the best photographer for you.
First, check out a few websites and get a few quotes so you have an idea of the cost of photography and can set your budget accordingly. You definitely don't want to fall in love with a photographer who is out of your price range as you will then set yourself up for disappointment as you compare all other photographers to the one you that's beyond your reach. Regardless of how talented they are they won't photograph with the same style as your preferred out-of-budget dream photographer.
Once you have that budget set, really start looking at as many examples of your favourite photographers to make sure their style matches your own. If you love dark and moody images don't hire a photographer with a website full of light and airy work. I promise they won't deliver dark and moody just because that's what you prefer. Make sure you also see a full wedding day gallery as most like to post favourite images from each wedding and that may not always be a true representation of the full scope of their talent or lack of.
Ok so now you have two or three photographers that you love and have reached the most important part of selecting one for your big day. Make sure they have the experience to capture those precious memories for you to relive for many years to come.
How do you do that? I'm about to give you a few important questions you should ask and the answers you should receive!
1. Ask about their gear and equipment. I know you more than likely won't understand all of the technical gear descriptions but what you are looking for are a few key things. Make sure they have back up gear and it's within arms reach all day. Gear failure doesn't happen very often but you definitely don't want it to be during your walk down the isle, exchange of rings or that kiss if your photographer only carries one camera on their body all day. I have a dual camera system that allows me to carry two cameras all day hands free. In the event of gear failure I always have a second camera I can quickly grab that is set up and ready to go. Back up gear also includes multiple camera lenses as they too can have mechanical issues and suddenly stop working. Lastly ensure they are prepared for any lighting conditions you may have during your day. If your venue is going to be candle lit your photographer will have to add in some light with off camera lighting and not blind you with the built in flash on their camera.
2. Experience is another area that you don't want to put to chance for your wedding day. I have been photographing weddings for seven years and trust me there isn't much that will take me by surprise these days. I am prepared for bad weather, bad lighting and timeline schedules being thrown off track to name a few off of a very long list. There are so many little things that can cause really big problems and leaving that to chance can be a big gamble that may not pay off. Hiring a photographer with years of experience will definitely help keep your day as smooth as possible.
3. Make sure that you are comfortable with the photographer you decide to hire as you will be with them most of the day. The last thing you want is to be with someone all day who you are not comfortable with or doesn't fit your personality. If you are quiet you don't want a chatty photographer, if you are bubbly hire someone who compliments that side of your personality. Keep in mind the top two tips I have already mentioned above though, just because you made a new friend over coffee discussing your wedding don't sacrifice experience and ability over personality.
4. After the wedding! Your wedding day is over and most of your vendors are finished, except your photographer who still has lots to do before the job is over. This is as important a period of time as the wedding day was, as things can still go wrong and your precious photographs can still be lost to you. Many photographers have their own routine for this but most should be fairly similar to how I proceed from here. Going back to my gear, all of my cameras have dual memory cards. What does that mean? Well as soon as I take an image I have an instant back up to a second memory card, this eliminates card failure issues. One set of cards is used to upload your images to my computer and the second set go into fire proof storage and are not used again until I deliver your wedding images. Yes, I have that many memory cards and consider them one of the most important purchases I make. Your wedding images will remain on those cards unused until I deliver your images. The last step is an upload to an online storage system, which gives me 3 points of image recovery for your day.
I hope this helps give you some direction on making a very important decision for your wedding day. To me your photographer is the most important wedding decision you will make as they are the only vendor that will give you tangible memories to look back on to relive that amazing day.
Happy Wedding Planning!