Take a second and think about it. Besides your spouse-to-be, you’ll be spending the most time during your wedding next to your photographer. Your florist gets to deliver flowers and the DJ takes over during the reception, but the photographer is there all the way from capturing your teary-eyed mom as she helps you lace your dress through the champagne toast and the tunnel of friends leading you to the getaway car. Your photographer is not just hired help. Choosing your Seattle wedding photographer is choosing the person that is going to be very involved in your once-in-a-lifetime special day, capturing those intimate moments that you will remember forever. So here are a few tips from a collection of experts about ways to pick the photographer that is right for you.
- This one is obvious, but find a photographer whose work you actually like. A photographer is not a good value if their package is cheap, they include everything and the kitchen sink, but you don’t like their work. Statistically, the #1 things couples regret after the wedding is trying to cut corners on photography. (A close second is drinking too much before the ceremony, and third is not having a day-of wedding coordinator.)
- Do your research. Look around and find a few different choices. Photography is not a commodity. Everyone has their own style, and finding someone with a style you like is really important. Even if two photographer’s prices look the same, their products and levels of service won’t be. When you first start looking, regardless of price, keep the ones that make work you like, ditch the ones you don’t. Remember, these memories will last a lifetime.
- If relatives or friends who are photo enthusiasts suggest that they want to save you some cash and shoot your wedding, tell them politely that you prefer them to be true guests and just enjoy themselves. We love our fellow shutterbugs, but your wedding only happens once. You deserve the care, attention, and expertise of a seasoned professional.
- Meet with photographers in person. Getting to know them, as well as letting them get to know you will result in better service. If not only for the fact that you will feel more comfortable in front of the camera, you will also be getting better value and better service with someone who knows you, what you want, and what your needs really are.
- Find someone with good communication skills. Are they quick to reply to any questions you have? Do they answer your questions with thoughtful answers or vague form letters? A good photographer is going to work with you during the time leading up to the wedding so everything is perfect. If they sign the contract and don’t talk with you again until the day before, they are doing you a huge disservice.
- If you like a photographer but feel you need to do more homework, say so. Ask the photographer to let you think about it. You should never feel pressured to sign the contract. You should feel confident in who and what you are getting. Once you feel comfortable with them, make your decision quickly though, or your date may get booked up.
- When you find the photographer you like, call to book them right away! There’s no sense in waiting if you’ve made up your mind. If you wait too long, they could get booked, then you have to start over at step one. Photographers shouldn’t force you to make up your mind about the collection on the spot, but the retainer will hold your date and ensure you are in good hands on your wedding day.
You are going to remember your wedding day through the vision, passion and skill of your photographer. Think about what you want to look at for the next 50 years, and find the photographer that will make you truly happy. I know the search for the perfect photographer can be overwhelming. Once you get to the in-person meeting, you’re not sure what to ask. If you need some help, check out Questions to Ask Your Photographer in my FAQ.