When it comes to wedding decisions, choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions that you are likely to make for your wedding, although I suppose choosing who you are going to marry is slightly higher on the list!
Long after the favors have been forgotten and the wedding cake devoured- all that remains are your happy memories which hopefully will be enriched by your wedding photographs and possibly your wedding video.
Unlike the product of your other wedding vendors (DJ, florist, cake, planner, etc), your photographs aren't something you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don't really know what you're getting until after the fact. That means careful research regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you'll want shooting your wedding.
Many larger photo studios have more than one photographer on staff, and unless you specify it in your contract, the lead photographer may not be the one shooting your day. Since every photographer has a different style, technique and personality, you need to make sure the one you interview will be the same one who works your wedding.
The venue referral list is great place to start! Venues will do vetting for you because it can be really difficult to get on a venue’s preferred list! You can almost guarantee that any business on a preferred vendor list will have a good amount of experience working at that particular venue as well. One common misconception is that vendors pay to be on these lists, but I don’t know one venue that does this.
Simple enough! You can find out a lot about a company from googling them. The reasons are simply this: legitimate active businesses with consistent contact information and a descent web presence will show up well on a google search!
Make sure to always take these review sites with a grain of salt because websites such as Yelp do their fair share of “online bullying” by filtering out real reviews. BUT, with that said, you will still get a good feel for a companies reputation by checking out review sites such as Yelp. You can also learn a lot if the company has very few or no reviews. This usually occurs when the business is relatively new or they are working only part time.
Would you want to meet your heart surgeon at Starbucks or their house? I wouldn’t! I would want to meet them at their nice office in a respectable area! A brick and mortar location says “I have been in business for a while and must be doing alright.” At this meeting, consider their dress, attitude and overall rapport. I feel that general rapport between you and vendor is the most important!