Choosing the right photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding. An experienced photographer will capture everything about your day, from big moments like the cake cutting to the hidden glances and private smiles that you share with your new spouse. Your wedding photos will document your day from start to finish, and will bring those memories to life for years to come.
Determine your style
Every wedding is unique, and so is every wedding photographer. Traditional wedding photography is typically quite formal and requires a lot of poses. Contemporary photography is more relaxed and usually features a number of candid shots that capture more of the day’s spontaneous moments. Artistic photography is highly stylized and plays around with color, background, and texture.
Know your budget
The cost of hiring a photographer for your wedding can range anywhere to $1,000 to a whopping $10,000 and beyond. If you have a small budget, you can oftentimes snag a talented up-and-coming photographer looking to build his or her portfolio at a rock-bottom price. Most full-time experienced wedding photographers charge between $3,000 and $4,500, which would include a predetermined number of hours of wedding day shooting, photo editing, a DVD with all edited photos, and a custom photo album.
Almost all photographers have websites that showcase their wedding portfolios, so be sure to scroll through a number of sites before determining who to meet in person. When you’ve narrowed your selection down to two or three that fit your style and budget, schedule a consultation with each of them. Your wedding photographer is arguably the most important vendor you will hire, and it’s essential for you to be comfortable working with him or her for the entire day.
Get it in writing
The value of a written vendor contract cannot be underestimated. A solid contract lays out the pricing information, services you will receive, start and end times, and other details. It also protects both you and the photographer from any disputes that may arise. If the photographer you have selected does not require you to sign a contract, choose another one who will.