As your wedding day will be one of the biggest days in your life, you’ll naturally want to have photos that allow you to look back on the day and remember the details that inevitably slip from your mind over time. Hiring a wedding photographer is therefore an important part of the wedding planning process. A look in the phonebook, or a quick search on Google, will show you that finding a wedding photographer isn’t difficult. To find a good one though will require you to invest some time, effort and, of course, money.
Make sure that you specifically ask about their experience in relation to photographing weddings. Just because a photographer may specialize in, say, fashion photography, doesn’t mean that they can deal with the riggers and stress of photographing a wedding. As with any line of work, it takes years of practice to master the art. Also, bear in mind that a photographer can only work on one wedding a day, and with the majority of weddings taking place on a weekend, and only in the spring / summer months, a photographer who says that they have a years worth of experience may have actually only worked at a few weddings before. Therefore, you need to ask them exactly how many weddings they have photographed over the years.
As well as finding out about their experience, you should ask about their qualifications and whether they are affiliated with any photographic organizations. Those who are members of a well-known photographic organization (check out the websites of the name or names that they give you) are usually a safe bet because they’ll have had to pass a test to become a member and will have to adhere to certain guidelines and practices. Photographers with both experience and who are members of reputable organizations can certainly be found, but they’ll have been booked up by other couples well in advance, so you need to make sure that you do the same and not leave things until the last minute.
Whatever you do, you should avoid taking the ‘easy’ option by asking a friend or relative to take the photographs at your wedding. If someone you know is a keen photographer they may well offer their services, but you shouldn’t let sentiment get in the way. Just think how disappointed you would be if you have a great day but only have poor photographs to remember it by. To lessen the pain of saying ‘no’ to someone you like, you could say that you would love them to take some photographs and that you will be very grateful for them, but that you will also be hiring a professional too. Effectively, they would be a supplementary photographer rather than the primary one.
To summarize, as with any type of service, you generally get what you pay for, and wedding photographers are no exception. If you have to cut costs somewhere as part of your wedding plans, try to cut them somewhere other than on the photography.