How to choose the perfect wedding photographer

Choosing the perfect wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding.

When your wedding day passes, no matter how great the day was, in a couple of years you will have mostly forgotten about all the little details but your wedding photos and wedding album will serve as opportunity to turn back the hands of time. This is a place you cannot afford to make a mistake.

In this article, we will go through 5 steps to securing the perfect photographer for your wedding:

  1. Make a list of your local photographers. A good place to start is on Instagram using the #ottawaweddingphotographer or your local area plus hashtag “wedding photographer”. Instagram is the go to place for photographers and artists alike because Instagram helps keep your posted images at their highest resolutions and there you can browse their portfolio. There many types of photographers out there. You want to look for one that specializes in Wedding photography.

A photographer who will know how to plan for family and couple photos around an action packed day. That knows how to maneuver the day and captures those candid images of mom and dad getting teary eyed. To help you captures stories and details you may have not been there to witness personally.

2. Explore their portfolio. All of it. Photographers have distinct styles and the images you see on their portfolio today is the look and feel they will they deliver after your wedding day.

Get to know them. You want to make sure that when you choose a photographer for your wedding day that you vibe with. They will be spending your whole day with you. From the getting ready moments in the morning, to the ceremony, to the reception to the dinner and the evening festivities. They will be following you around all day like you’re a paparazzi. You want to ensure that you mesh from a personality standpoint. A great time and place to get to know your photographer is during your engagement shoot. You will get to meet them before your wedding and build a relationship before the big day. This will also give you an opportunity to opt out if there is no chemistry and you don’t mesh.

3. Do your research. A social media portfolios or hand selected images are a selective body of work. To get a better idea of what will be delivered to you, you should ask to see a complete set of image.

On a typical full-day wedding, a photographer may deliver anywhere from 500-800 professionally edited images. Those images are usually delivered via an online gallery to the couples and those galleries usually stay online for many months or years.

It will not cost you or the photographer any expense to gain access to those complete galleries. Ask and you shall receive.

4. Consider value when comparing quotes. Remember the old cliché is ever true: You get what you pay for.

The best and most experience photographers are also the most expensive ones. The same is true the cheap photographers are also the ones who will leave you the most disappointed. Finding the middle ground is key to getting excellent value.

You want to compare packages between photographers, look at what is included. Pay for what you want and need and remove things you don’t need. Although most photographers have 2-3 packages that will fill most brides and grooms needs, they can create a custom package to cover exactly what you want. Again Ask and you shall receive.

5. Demand a written agreement or contract. A contract at booking is one of the most important thing you should ask of your photographer. It will ensure that they deliver on their promise by having a summary of what they will deliver. It will outline the terms in the event of a cancellation and a clear path to a refund policy.

It will have the Copyright Ownership and Transfer of Use Rights outlined. At the bare minimum, a photography contract will provide you with standard of expectations.   

In summary, hiring a wedding photographer can be a taunting task with an endless number choices and pitfalls. But with the right strategy you can nail the most important aspect of planning your wedding.

As Vince Lombardy once said, “proper preparation prevents poor performance”.

Below you will find a link to a comprehensive guide for choosing a wedding photographer.

Published by Samatar David

Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Photographer

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