Frankly, I might not be the right photographer for you. And that's totally OK. I truly believe that if you don't like my work, there is someone else out there who offers something that aligns with and affirms your vision. If you do you like my work, then we can work together to create something incredibly intimate, beautiful and unique that fits you perfectly. I can't offer everything for everybody. But I can be exceptional for a few.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, how do you know who the perfect photographer is for you? ...Especially if you don't know a whole lot about photography?
First, consider these five things as you narrow your search: style, mood, personality, light and experience.
OK, let's break these down.
The first thing to do is to look through your Instagram or Pinterest… Are you drawn to bright, airy, romantic images or do moody, darker pictures resonate better with you? This is seriously the easiest screening tool… If an entire portfolio is dark and moody and you want light and airy this is not the right photographer! Move on! There are so many options within each grouping.
Then ask yourself, do I want more traditional, posed pictures? Or do I want someone who will take a more photojournalistic approach to documenting my wedding day and will just capture moments as they come? This is actually a great thing to ask your photographer if you aren't sure. And kind of like when you go to get a haircut…It's a good idea to bring along examples that you really love from social media or magazines. That way if you don't know what it is you like about an image you can just show it and say, "I like this…Is this similar to what you do?"
Is your photographer a natural light photographer or does she prefer to use flash and artificial lighting for most the shoot? Some photographers bill themselves as only natural light photographers while others prefer to emulate the type of image you might see from a studio or magazine. Natural light is beautiful and soft, but can also be really challenging if you are getting married in a dark church, for instance, or a great urban restaurant in the evening. Even if someone is mostly natural light, make sure they have a solid grasp of flash as well… And ask to see some reception pictures… Most receptions happen in the evening with little natural light available and seeing these will give you a good idea if they can handle dark spaces.
If you are an adventurous bride who wants to hike to the top of a mountain for an elopement, make sure your photographer is on board and super excited about that too. She is going to be spending a lot of time with you on your special day and a good personality fit is essential! Have a meeting with her for coffee or tea before the big day. If possible, do an engagement session to try her out in a working environment. If that's not possible at least talk to her on the phone or Skype. If something about her doesn't click with you, it's OK to move on and find someone who does. Just let her know you've decided to move on :-). No one likes being ghosted.
How experienced is your photographer? It's totally OK to ask her how long she's been in the business. Experience brings both expertise and usually cost. If you're on a tight budget, then you likely can trade experience for a deal on your wedding photography. However, inexperience also comes with the risk that the photographer doesn't know what she is doing! So know what you're getting into and what the trade-offs are. Fundamentally, though, hire a professional, even a young professional. After the party is over and the cake is eaten, photographs are what you have for the rest of your life!
That's all for now folks! Next I'm going to be blogging an amazing in-home engagement/maternity session. I can't WAIT to share it with you! Check in next week on Monday!