before you hire a photographer
How do you hire a photographer? It doesn’t have to be hard, and I have some insight to help you!
Let’s talk work: You’re drawn to a certain style.
Maybe you like brighter images with a lot of emotion, and you like when you can tell a moment captured was an authentic moment, and not staged.
Maybe you like more of a classic style with traditional poses and proper smiles.
Maybe you’re drawn to darker images.
Maybe you’re not sure what style you like; you just know a good image when you see one. (That’s okay!)
Tip #1 of 3: When you find a photographer whose work you like, you should reach out to them.
How do you feel when they respond? Do you get a personal response, and do you feel genuinely cared for and listened to?
Is the person easy to communicate with? You’re going to spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than you will you future spouse! You two should get along well, and you should feel comfortable.
Tip #2 of 3: Technicalities matter.
Real quick: let’s talk technical.
In the spirit of honesty (I believe in no other policy!) many photographers struggle with something called “mixed lighting”, and I am no exception!
What is mixed lighting?
Simply put, that’s when the overall ambient light in a room is mixed with some sort of other light… Overhead light, sunlight coming through a window, spotlights… The list goes on, and this is typically the case with an indoor ceremony.
Photographers have to make decisions on how they’ll deal with mixed lighting, and they have to determine what the best solution is.
Overpowering mixed lighting with flash, gelling flashes to “match” mixed lighting, shooting the ambient mixed light without flash… We have a lot of choices, and no one choice fits all situations.
So how will you know what a photographer’s work will look like in these different scenarios? Ask to see a few sample wedding galleries.
Should you care enough to ask for a sample gallery?
Probably. Where will you be saying, “I do”?
Some photographers who excel at “mixed lighting” typically have a harder time mastering natural light- and vice versa. Light is a tricky thing, and it’s touchy for photographers.
If your ceremony is in a dark church, ask to see some wedding galleries with a ceremony in a dark church. Getting married on a beach? Ask to see some galleries with a ceremony on a beach. You get the idea. If they don’t want to share galleries like this with you, talk to them on the phone so they can get a better understanding of why you’re asking to see.
Be open-minded and kind as you go about this venture. Most importantly, find a photographer whose overall work speaks to you, and someone you feel you can trust.
Tip #3 of 3: Get the scoop on how their process works.
From the moment you book, to the day you get your final wedding gallery… What can you expect?
Typically, you’ll get a booking proposal paired with a contract. (Read the contract well, and understand it fully before signing).
After that, some photographers send Welcome Packages and will start planning your engagement session with you. Some photographers will then start working with you to help you draft a wedding day timeline. Finally, they’ll photograph your wedding and you’ll get your digital images and printed products.
Here are some key questions:
- After we become official, what can I expect to happen?
- Do you think I’ll need a second shooter? If so, how does that process work?
- Do you travel for engagement sessions and weddings?
- How long does it take to get images from the engagement session?
- How long does it take to get images from the wedding?
- Can we have our images printed ourselves, or do we have to go through you? (You’ll need a physical print release to print them yourself!)
Did you find this helpful?
I hope so!!
Drop me a line or comment below. Seriously- I’d really love to hear from you and I’d especially love to help answer any more questions you might have lingering!