Every year for the past few years, I've shot about 2-3 weddings per summer. At the beginning, it was a way for me to make a bit of money that I could reinvest in photography gear. It was also a way to gain experience by getting out of my comfort zone and shooting in a genre that didn't come naturally for me. I had a great time doing it, and have met a lot of great people along the way.
While the experience has been incredibly fun and rewarding, I've decided to take a break from wedding photography – at least for the foreseeable future — to focus on other things.
Since I won't be shooting any weddings for the next little while, I thought I would share some tips on choosing a photographer for your wedding. Here are my top tips:
1. Look at the photographer's portfolio
I feel like I'm stating the obvious here, but you have to make sure you love the photographer's style before you consider hiring her/him. Believe it or not, I've had couples inquiring about wedding photography that had not even taken a minute to see my wedding work! I suggest you not only look at the photographer's wedding portfolio, but ask them to provide you with a full gallery of a recent wedding. This way, you can get a much better idea of the results you can expect.
I can't speak for every photographer, but I can say that for me, it's a pet peeve of mine when people contact me without even having looked at my work. If you really care about your wedding photos, you should find someone that has a style you love.
2. Ask for references
You may like a photographer's work, but it doesn't mean that this photographer's former clients had a good experience with this person. Check for references! When considering hiring a photographer for your wedding, ask her/him to provide references from other couples she/he has worked with. Look for reviews or ask for recommendations. And don't forget, word of mouth is a very reliable source!
3. Meet the photographer in person
75% of what makes wedding photos great is the rapport between the photographer and the couple. Meet the photographer in person before signing any contract. If the vibe between you and the photographer is weird, it's most likely going to show in the photos... so back out and find another photographer! You need to really follow your gut feeling on this one, and find a photographer whose personality matches yours!
3. Don't let the price turn you off right away
Don't get me wrong, I understand everyone has a budget to play with. I'm not here to tell you to spend a fortune on wedding photography... because I sure wouldn't! However, if you find the price to be a little steep, don't let that turn you off too quickly. Just take a moment to think a bit about your priorities. Perhaps it's not a bad idea to cut down a tiny bit on your food/drink budget, and invest a little more in photography. As I always say, Food will always turn into shit, but your wedding photos don't have to!
Also, while we're on the topic of finding a good price, here's a bonus piece of advice: Just because someone owns a nice camera, doesn't mean they are good at photographing weddings! Asking your friend with a "good camera" may be the cheap way to go, but you will most likely not love the photos that much. You only get married once (hopefully), so make it count and hire a professional!
I've really enjoyed my time shooting weddings over the past years, so even though I'm no longer offering wedding photography services, I am happy to share some of my best wedding work. Feel free to browse through!
Also, if you're looking for more tips on choosing a photographer for your wedding, and if you would like me to recommend reliable and talented wedding photographers in the Greater Moncton area, I would be more than happy to help you! Just shoot me an email and I'll do my best to answer your questions!