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Hiring a Kick Ass Wedding Photographer

The Ultimate Guide for Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer

Are you currently planning your dream wedding and searching for the perfect photographer to capture those special moments? This guide will provide you with all the information and resources you need to hire a professional wedding photographer who will exceed your expectations.

Photo Of Bride &Amp; Father By Proffesional Wedding Photographer Charles Moll Photography

One thing I often tell couples I work with is besides your partner your wedding photographs are the only thing you get to take with you from your wedding day.

These images not only reflect the moments on one of the biggest days of your life, but also capture all your loved ones together in one place.

In this guide, we will walk you through the process of hiring a professional wedding photographer step by step. From determining your photography style and budget to conducting interviews and reviewing portfolios, we will ensure that you have all the tools to make an informed decision.

Importance of hiring a professional wedding photographer

As I said before your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. Many times the only time all these people come together are for weddings and funerals. Not to get to morbid, but your wedding day may be the last time you see some of these folks.

Weddings are definitely different from your standard photography session. There are a lot of moving parts, difficult lighting situations, and moments that happen in a split seconds. With weddings if the photographs turn out poorly you don’t get a do over!

On top of this a photographer will help you through out your wedding planning process, and in many situations acts like a suedo day of coordinator. They help keep things moving and help you build a stress free schedule for the wedding day.

Hiring family and friends to be your wedding photographer

One of the major regrets I see from couples hiring a a friend or family member to photograph the wedding. While your friend or family member may have a nice camera and a good eye for photography, hiring a professional wedding photographer is crucial. A professional photographer brings expertise, experience, and a trained eye to capture the wedding day.

Even if your they are a professionals or have extensive experience photographing weddings, I highly recommend looking elsewhere. Sometimes couples will hire a friend because they are a friend even if they don’t like their style of photography.

I have seen this on multiple occasions where the couple asks the friend to change their style to fit what they actually want, just so their friend can be involved in the day.

On top of this, I have seen friendships soured by the photography friend providing poor-quality images or losing files. Getting a deal is not worth losing a friend.

How to find a professional wedding photographer

Finding the perfect wedding photographer can be overwhelming. There are so many options and how do you know who will provide an excellent experience and fit the vibe you are looking for.

First off start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or other vendors involved in your wedding planning. Their firsthand experiences can provide valuable insights and narrow down your search. It is always good to ask a wedding vendor who their favorites are. Since they experience so many different photography companies they will be able to help point you in a good direction.

Online platforms and directories specifically catered to wedding photography are also great resources. You can browse through portfolios, read reviews, and compare different photographers. Pay attention to the style and quality of their work, as well as their consistency in capturing emotions and moments.

If I am being honest this is one of the most important things to look for. A lot of times photographers will only share portraits and details in their portfolio. While this is great, it does not reflect the intricacies of a wedding day. Many times these images are from staged wedding shoots rather than actual wedding days .

Another effective approach is attending bridal shows or visiting wedding expos. These events often showcase a variety of wedding photographers and provide an opportunity to meet them in person. This allows you to see their work up close and have a conversation to determine if their style and personality align with your vision.

Understanding different photography styles

Wedding photography encompasses a range of styles, and understanding these styles will help you choose a photographer who can capture your vision. Here are some common photography styles to consider:

  1. Traditional: Traditional wedding photography focuses on posed, formal portraits. The photographer will guide you and your wedding party to create classic shots that often include family members and the bridal party.
  2. Fine Art: Fine art wedding photography takes a more artistic approach, often incorporating creative compositions, unique angles, and dramatic lighting. The resulting images have an artistic and romantic quality.
  3. Editorial: Editorial wedding photography is inspired by fashion magazines and editorial spreads. The photographer will direct and pose the couple and their wedding party to create visually striking and stylish images.
  4. Vintage: Vintage wedding photography aims to recreate the look and feel of past eras. This style often incorporates soft colors, vintage props, and post-processing techniques to give the images a nostalgic and timeless quality.

A Different Approach – What we do

Too often, couples feel awkward and forced into a generic wedding mold. They dedicate so much of their special day to taking photos only to end up with images that look the same as every other wedding photo plastered on Instagram.

The couples. The poses. The “authentic” moments that look anything but real.

We firmly believe you deserve better. This is why we focus on candid creative storytelling that celebrates life’s natural beauty. Tap the button below to see what I mean

Enjoy your wedding day fully immersed in all its joy and beauty.

Questions to ask before hiring a wedding photographer

Now that you’ve got your list of potential candidates, it’s essential to ask the right questions to ensure they are the right fit for your big day. Start by discussing their availability and confirming if they are available on your wedding date. This is crucial, as you don’t want to fall in love with a photographer’s work only to find out they are not available.

Next you need to pay attention to how they respond to you. Do they seem on top of it? Do you connect with them? Do they seem like they want to work with you. If a photographer does not get back to you within 1-2 business days, I highly recommend looking elsewhere. Bad communication from the get go is a bad sign!

Inquire about their photography style and approach. Every photographer has a unique style, ranging from traditional and classic to photojournalistic and artistic. Understanding their style will help you determine if it aligns with your vision for your wedding photos.

Ask to see 3 galleries from recent weddings. This will give you a good idea of their work and show you how they capture different parts of the day. If there is something about these galleries you don’t like, chances are they won’t change for your wedding day

Discuss the packages they offer and what is included. Clarify how many hours of coverage you will receive, the number of edited photos you can expect, and if they provide any additional services such as engagement shoots or albums. It’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you will receive for the investment you are making.

32. Wedding Photographer Charles Moll Photography Portfolio - Father Daughter Dance

List of questions to ask your wedding photographer

  • Are you available?
  • Can we meet over video call or in person? ( I highly recommend meeting before booking)
  • What do you do for image backup?
  • Do we get the digital files?
  • Do you provide printed artwork?
  • What is your style?
  • How many images can we expect?
  • What is the deposit/payment structure?
  • What happens in the event you are unable to make it to our wedding?

Factors to consider when choosing a wedding photographer

When choosing a wedding photographer, there are several factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice. First and foremost, it’s essential to determine if you connect with the photographer on a personal level. They will be with you throughout your wedding day, so feeling comfortable in their presence is crucial.

Communication is another crucial factor. A good photographer should be responsive, attentive, and open to your ideas and suggestions. They should also be able to provide guidance and advice based on their experience.

Experience and professionalism should also be taken into account. Look for a photographer who has a solid portfolio showcasing their work and a track record of delivering high-quality images. They should also have backup equipment and a plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Additionally, consider the photographer’s editing style. Some photographers prefer a more natural and timeless editing approach, while others may lean towards a certain thrend. I highly recommend avoiding trendy images, as these will look dated and tacky very quickly.

Lastly take the time to read reviews. Look at both the good and bad reviews. Even if they have bad reviews take the time to see how they respond to them. Every business will get a bad review eventually, but a professional will be accommodating and own up to their failures. Also note that sometimes competitors may bomb another professional with bad reviews. Pretty uncool right!

The cost of hiring a professional wedding photographer

The cost of hiring a professional wedding photographer varies depending on various factors such as their experience, location, package inclusions, and the length of coverage. On average, professional wedding photography will start around $2500. Any less than this and you are in the danger zone. I talk more about this in this blog post

When determining your budget for wedding photography, consider the importance of the memories you want to capture. Your wedding photos will be treasured for a lifetime, so it’s worth investing in a professional who can deliver the quality and style you desire.

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what is included in the photographer’s packages. Some photographers may make it look like a steal on the front end and then charge you on the back end to get access to edited images or digital files.

Keep in mind that wedding photography is not just about the day of the wedding. If you are hiring a pro they will put in hours leading up to the big day making sure the wedding will go off without a hitch. It also includes post-production work such as editing and retouching. A professional photographer spends hours perfecting your images, ensuring they reflect the beauty and emotions of your wedding day.

Tips for working with a wedding photographer

Building a good rapport with your wedding photographer is essential for a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips for working effectively with your chosen photographer:

  1. Schedule a pre-wedding consultation to discuss your vision, timeline, and any specific shots or moments you want captured. This will help your photographer plan and prepare accordingly.
  2. Let your photographer know which images are priorities for you and your family.
  3. Trust your photographer’s expertise. They have the experience and knowledge to capture beautiful images. Allow them to guide you during posed shots and trust their creative judgment.
  4. Communicate openly and honestly. If you have any concerns or specific requests, discuss them with your photographer ahead of time. Clear communication will ensure everyone is on the same page.
  5. Assign a point of contact on the wedding day who knows your family and who needs to be there for formalities. This person will help your photographer get everyone there on time and help the formals go quickly! I don’t know who Uncle John is and it will take me a lot of time to find the family. Usually, I recommend having this person be your loudest bossiest friend or family member. ( I mean this in the most endearing way)

Wedding photography checklist

A lot of sites will recommend having a check list. However, if you are hiring a pro they will know which shots to get. More so I recommend letting them know things you value outside of the norm and which images are important to you. Below I have listed what “standard coverage would include

  1. Getting ready: Capture the moments of you and your partner getting ready separately, including hair and makeup, putting on your dress or suit, and any pre-ceremony rituals.
  2. Ceremony: Capture the processional, exchange of vows, ring exchange, and first kiss.
  3. Portraits: Schedule time for portraits of you and your partner, as well as with your wedding party and immediate family.
  4. Reception: Capture the details of the reception, including the decor, centerpieces, cake, and any special touches you’ve incorporated. Also, document the speeches, first dance, and other key moments of the evening.
  5. Couple’s exit: If you have a grand exit planned, whether it’s sparklers, confetti, or a vintage car, make sure your photographer is ready to capture this memorable moment.

How to make the most of your wedding photos

Don’t let your images end up in the digital abyss! This is a big day which is why every couple we work with gets an album of their wedding day. It will be your first heirloom together as a family and will give you something to look back on. It also allows future generations see who their parents and grandparents were.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and hiring a professional wedding photographer will ensure that every moment is captured beautifully. By understanding the importance of hiring a professional, finding the right photographer, asking the right questions, and considering different photography styles, you can make an informed decision.

I would be honored to be considered as your wedding photographer. We are all about eliminating stress and freeing you up to be fully present with your loved ones. In short we do photography for people who don’t like having their pictures taken.

Wedding Photographer By Charles Moll Photography

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