Unfortunately these days it's hard to tell a professional from a hobby photographer trying to become a professional. Some photographers even post photos they didn't take on their websites! I have heard SO MANY HORROR STORIES. Couples hiring a “photographer” who never delivered photos, was rude and made the day more stressful, shot with a single memory card that corrupted, or ended up with all blurry, unflattering, awkward, or otherwise unusable photos. It breaks my heart when I hear about how a couple has no usable photos from their wedding day or worse that they never received their photos. Your wedding photos help you remember where you started when things get tough. They remind you exactly how you felt on that day. They’re also for the future generations that came into existence because of that day. VET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER AND INVEST FRIENDS! You get what you pay for. Your friend or uncle may have an awesome camera, but I promise they cannot replace an experienced wedding photographer. Here are some good questions to ask to make sure you get a good one:
1. What's your posing process like?
If they don't know how to answer this question, that's a huge red flag. Awesome photos don't just *happen* 99.7% of the time. Wedding photographers need to know how to set people up for success through coaching, prompting, adjusting, etc.
2. What is your plan for low-light scenarios?
Most photographers are awesome during golden hour and can make bright sun work, but where a lot struggle is once the sun goes down. Make sure they have a camera with awesome low-light sensitivity and an external flash with a remote (direct flash is gross, and bouncing light doesn't always work).
3. What do you do to ensure my photos won't be lost?
Look for a photographer who uses a camera with dual memory card slots and triple backs up their weddings (in different places) as soon as they get home. Technology fails. Make sure they have backup plans!
4. What happens if you are hospitalized the morning of my wedding or are otherwise incapable of making it?
Make sure your photographer has a backup plan!!! It would be a nightmare to all of the sudden have no photographer for your wedding.
5. What is your involvement in the planning process?
Most photographers are happy to answer questions, but some offer Planning Packets, Family Photo Suggestion Lists, Outfit Guides, create your Timeline for you, and proactively help you think through and nail your wedding day.
6. Don't forget to ask about the logistical things:
What is included in my package and what do I pay for separately? What is the deposit? Date I'll get my photos by? How many photos? Do I get printing/social media rights?
Good luck finding the perfect photographer for you!! And if you think that might be me, CLICK HERE :)