Last night Anne and I were having an email conversation about picking photographers…she’s currently in the process of finding hers, and I’ve already picked mine. It got me thinking about how I went through the steps, and I thought I’d share them here for those of you still looking.
First, I did my research. I checked wedding boards, The Knot, anywhere I could think of that had vendor reviews and pictures of photographers work. From there, I clicked on any and all pictures that caught my eye…any photographers that made the grade ended up on a spreadsheet I started. This way I could easily compare the ones I loved and in the process, create a pro/con list. Here’s my criteria:
Format – film/digital/or both.
Hours – how many hours will be included in the cost? 8-10 is pretty standard.
Rolls - if using film, how many rolls with they be using? digital is usually around 1000 images.
Negatives – do I get them? or are they the photographers property?
DVD – do I get a DVD of my images? (this is a lot easier for emailing photos to relatives)
Proofs – how my proofs coming back to me…box? album?
Website – will my images be posted on a website for guests to see and purchase?
Albums – are they included in the cost or extra? what do they look like? (if you get your images on DVD, you can make the album yourself for a lot cheaper on iBook!)
Assistant – will there be an assistant, or is the photographer flying solo?
Cost – how much is this costing me?
Tax – is tax included in the cost or is it extra? this could be an unwelcome surprise when you get the bill if you’re not prepared.
I ended up with a list of 5-6 photographers to work from in the end. From there, I set up appointments with my top 3…it happened that they were all in one day. Leave an hour and a half for each meeting, just in case. We met, had coffee, chitchatted and got to see their portfolios in person, and after our second appointment, we had our photographer. Don’t forget to always ask to see a full wedding album!
Making a decision on your photographer is probably the biggest and most important decision you’re going to make since these are the images you’ll have of your day forever….so do your homework, trust your gut, and go with whom you feel most comfortable with.
[image from Mel Barlow Photography]