Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions regarding your special day. The right photographer captures the most memorable moments and emotions of your new life as husband and wife. Start the process of finding the perfect photographer early, as the best ones can easily fill their schedule a year in advance.
Good photographers have a reputation of success, so personal references are a great resource. Usually, the venue you choose will have a list of preferred local photographers that know the property, know the great locations on site for the best photos, and usually have great examples of their photography on the venue’s own website. Hiring a local photographer can save you a significant amount of money if you don’t have to also pay for their travel expenses. Asking your other vendors may also provide you with great options, since being in the same industry, they often work events together. So ask your DJ, baker, caterer, florist, etc. Vendors love to refer other vendors. FivePine has a detailed list of photographers in the Central Oregon area that we would be happy to provide.
Once you have a list of photographers, check out their websites for sample photos. Each photographer has their own style so it’s important to match theirs with your vision. Think about the tone you want your photos to express. Are you and your fiancé serious and traditional, or more light-hearted and playful? Try to narrow your choices to no more than 3 photographers, set up appointments to interview them, see sample wedding albums, and talk about what might fit within your budget. Pay attention to the photographer’s ability to capture the emotion of the day; are people comfortable and happy, or do all the photos look staged and stiff. Get to know the quality of the photographer, the overall style, and the ability to adjust to your individual taste.
Often couples will choose to ask a friend to take their photos, usually to save money. But….not all amateur photographers are created equal. Having a professional, seasoned photographer will ensure that you will have quality photographs that will forever remind you of the perfect day. Once you feel you’ve found the right photographer, be sure to review their contract carefully so there are no questions as to what is expected. And feel free to negotiate. Everything is negotiable, including pricing, packages, proofs, etc.
In the end, your decision will be largely a matter of faith. For many, price ends up being the determining factor, but keep in mind, there are no second chances to do this again.
Stay tuned for the next chapter on Weddings….what to have for dinner??