Everyone has something that is very important to them at their wedding. For us, photographs were the most important part because they are going to be the most lasting aspect. A wedding picture will always hang on a wall here or at our parents. This post is about how what we learned selecting a photographer.
We chose April Ziegler Photography for a variety of reason (which I will get to). After watching friends get married, I learned everyone has a different desired style for their wedding pictures, so I’m not going into her style but how we selected her. Below are eight pictures from the day (and here is April’s slideshow), I could have posted 1000 but wanted you give a nice overview.
Greg and I were working within a set budget and did not have much wiggle room. We spent hours researching and looking at photographers sites to find one who had the style we preferred. We used WeddingWire and google to identify photographers. For Google, we searched for wedding pictures at Villanova to see how the photographer staged pictures at our venue.
Once we found a photographer, we had a list of questions to ask:
- Can I see a full suite from a wedding you shot? Not the 30 sanitized pictures but the 1000+ from the day. We wanted to see all of the pictures– the hits and the misses. We wanted to see the poses they favored and how they caught in the moment pictures. We loved one photographer pictures but hated her staged family portraits. We understood the importance of family portraits and needed a photographer who did them well. If a photographer is not willing to share a full wedding suite with you, walk away.
- Who took this picture? You might meet with one photographer from a studio that offers three. When going through their pictures ask who took them. We met with a photographer and realized all the pictures we liked were taken by her partner who would not be at the wedding.
- Do we get all our images? We wanted our pictures on DVD and did not want to have to order all our prints/albums through the photographer (sorry April). Our images were not included as part of our package but they were an “a la carte” option. Ask your photographer what their options are for images.
- Can we work within my budget? If your photographer is within your budget, ignore this question. If not ask, you might find they are willing to do less hours or compromise somewhere along the line to help you achieve the wedding of your dreams.
- Do you offer an engagement shoot? We never thought about an engagement shoot but it was part of our package. After having it, I will suggest everyone has one. April went through the typical poses and we got a feel for her/she got a feel for us. You also get a preview of how she will photograph you. If you get them back and hate them, you still have time to find a new photographer. Yes, it will cost you more than you planned but it’s better than having pictures you hate.
- Do you feel comfortable with the photographer? You will be spending more time with the photographer than anyone else (other than your new spouse), make sure you like them and feel comfortable with them. I went to a wedding where the photographer spent most of his time bossing people around/kind of yelling.
- Do you shoot in black and white? We love the black and white style of pictures and mentioned it during our first meeting with April. She remembered it and gave us all our images in black & white and color.
- Do you bring extra lighting? Not all venues are created the same in regards to their lighting. Ask about how they handle the rooms environment.
- Do you mind if other people take pictures at the same time? Some photographers hate this because the couple will focus on the other person. Others are completely fine with it. Ask if you know Aunt Betty loves to take pictures and will follow you around. As the bride and groom, be aware of what is happening. You just paid the photographer a boatload of money for their expertise, focus on them and not Aunt Betty.
- If we realize day of we want you stay longer, will you? A few days before the wedding, we added an extra hour on because we realized we wanted more time with April. Sometimes things are just running behind and you want the photographer there for the cake cutting but it’s past the time you hired them for. We brought it up during our meeting with April and she told us how it’s handled. Ask your photographer how they handle it.
Hopefully these questions will help you select a photographer!