So you are getting married and there are so many things to do. You have the hall, your dress, flowers, invitations and now it comes time to hire your photographer.
After doing some research on the web and "hanging out" on different wedding sites I have found that most brides are looking for more or less the same things. What follows is sort of a wish list of things couples want from their wedding photographer.
10. Negatives / Digital Files – One thing that couples want these days is the opportunity to purchase or have included in their package the option to buy the negatives or (in the case of digital) the digital files. Many couples feel that they should be able to make as many re-prints as they would like, whenever they want. While many photographers do offer their negatives, many do not and feel that the labs that they use will be able to give a higher quality print rather than just taking a negative to the local drug store for printing. In addition, many photographers will sell their negatives after a certain amount of time, for example a year after your wedding date.
9. Black and White – Everything old is new again. Almost all couples want a mixture of color and black and white. Black and white gives that photojournalistic look to a photograph as well as a fine art look. If your photographer is shooting digital, any photograph can be converted to black and white. If your photographer is shooting film then most likely they will be shooting with B & W and color film separately.
8. Unlimited Time – When hiring a photographer couple like to have the security of someone who will be with them to capture all of the wedding moments. Having unlimited time can give you the peace of mind to know that those moments will be captured.
7. Experience – Does your photographer have the necessary experience to handle the stresses of wedding photography? There are many things going on at once during a wedding. The experienced photographer knows how to bring everything together and in an orderly fashion.
6. Price – This can vary a lot and price was not the main criteria in choosing a photographer. Prices can range from several hundred dollars to over $ 10,000. At the low end are usually people who do wedding photography part time. In wedding photography, you usually get what you pay for. As you go up in price, so does the "art of wedding photography".
5. Professional – Being a professional means many different things to different people. Those photographers who did not respond in a timely manner and / or who were rude (and amazingly, some are) were axed off the potential list immediately. Being professional also meant that couples wanted to know the photographers "style and philosophy". Things that also bothered couple: rudeness, disorganization, insulting comments about other brides or photographers and other unprofessional comments.
4. Flexibility – Brides put high flexibility on their list. To many flexibility is key. They said, packages are nice, but a photographer that refuses to be flexible, is not going to get very far with brides. Brides also commented that photographers get caught up in the OLD way of doing things, and never change with the times. Again, this relates to being flexible.
3. Style / Approach – Today couples are looking for something different – artsy photojournalism, not the same cheesy photos. Brides are drawn to photographers who have developed their own unique (but consistent) artistic style / approach. Details are very important to brides. They appreciate a photographer who focuses on details.
2. Personality – What can you really say about this. It is obvious. When you spend upwards of 10 hours with someone on an important day like your wedding you had better clique. Brides often said that they "just knew" when they met their photographer that they were right for each other.
1. Listen – And the number thing that kept up coming up was that brides wanted from their photographer was that they "LISTEN".
This means that a photographer really heard what a bride said before they stated speaking about the next topic. This is really important because it is the ability to understand what a client wants that will make a photographer really deliver what a bride was expecting.
So there you have the top ten. So, when you go shopping for a photographer see how he / she measures up in each of the categories listed here. Remember, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Take your time, enjoy the process and you will find the perfect photographer for you.