5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Hiring a Wedding Photographer

1. Not looking through an entire wedding gallery

This is one of the most common mistakes we see couples making that they’ll come to regret later on. There are so many photographers emerging who may have an impressive portfolio of natural light photos, but how will they handle your darkly lit reception room?

When you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding day, you need to think about every part of your day (not just portraits) and ask questions accordingly. Is your ceremony in a dimly lit church? Is your reception room full of tons of dark wood? You’ll want to make sure that whoever you are hiring, that they have experience with these types of situations and request to see examples.

Viewing a FULL wedding gallery that they have delivered to a client is the absolute best way to know what you are getting by hiring them! Look for how they handle difficult lighting, extreme weather, family photos, candids, and emotional moments.

 

2. Skipping the Engagement Session

So many couples decide to opt out of an engagement session for one reason or another. Whether you’ve already had one or simply don’t think it’s necessary to do one, you’ll want to reconsider. Engagement sessions are the perfect opportunity to “test drive” what it will be like working with your photographer on your wedding day. You get to see what it is like to be in front of the camera while also learning about the type of direction or cues that will be given to you for various poses.

We’ve heard stories of couples discovering that they actually don’t work well with their photographer during their engagement session. Figuring that out then rather than on your big day gives you time to either talk through what went wrong and correct it or to find someone else. The other huge benefit to engagement sessions is that it gives your photographer a more relaxed time frame to get creative and explore! You are in a much more relaxed environment than your wedding day will be, usually wearing more casual clothes and just being you. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know each other better!

 

3. Hiring without meeting

Whether via FaceTime, phone, or at a coffee shop, meet the actual person who will be shooting your day. There are lots of large photography studios out there where you’re shown a pile of portfolios and are told to choose your favorite. The downside to this method is that you usually do not meet the photographer until they show up on your day.

Considering that your pictures are one of the only things that you get to keep from this amazing day in your life, it does make a difference when you get to personally interact with your photographer before the day of. Talking through your schedule, family photo lists, likes + dislikes, and what is most important to you throughout the day is so important and will ensure that you receive the final result that you are hoping for.

 

4. Only looking at price tags

This has got to be one of the biggest hurdles for most couples. Good photography is expensive and everyone is working on a budget. Did you know that photography/videography should actually be the 2nd highest investment for your day right after your reception? That’s ranking above your dress, flowers, dj, ceremony, etc. It may seem like a lot up front, but think about it in perspective of your whole life ahead of you – what you are getting in return is truly priceless.

 

 5. Not taking the whole experience into consideration

So many couples get completely caught up in just looking for a good deal and forget to take the whole experience into consideration. Yes, “so and so” might be $1000 cheaper, but what are you actually missing out on at that price? What will your experience be like leading up to the wedding and on your actual wedding day? Prices and cost are determined by the value of what you are receiving.

If someone is priced significantly higher and they seem to have similar work to someone less expensive, don’t assume you will actually be getting the same quality of service and/or product from the cheaper option. Ask each photographer you are considering about their client experience. What is it like to work with them? What are the benefits of choosing them over someone who is “cheaper”?

 

More than anything, make sure you choose someone you’re excited about!

All the best,

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