With recent horror story’s of failed wedding photography and bad services in the media it has never been more important to do your research when booking a wedding photographer. The problem is photography is simply so accessible for everyone these days, you buy yourself a fancy looking SLR, you set up a website and there you have it your now a professional photographer. I am however afraid to say that getting professional results is much more difficult than that and by the time many couples find this out its just to late for them. I have even seen evidence of photography websites stealing other photographer’s work and passing it off as their own in order to book unsuspecting wedding clients. So just how do you spot the good from the bad?
While we all love a bargain some things are simply to good to be true. There is a wide range of prices and packages available on the market so finding value is possible but if the price is significantly cheaper than the local market/competitors then they must be cutting costs somewhere down the line. This is often simply due to the lack of skill from the photographer and that they just wouldn’t get any bookings if they charged the same as there professional competition. So when thinking of wedding photography you have to remember that it is an investment. When the dress has been worn, the food has been eaten the one thing that remains for years to come is the wedding photography. Don’t think cheap, think value.
One of the first things you should do when you think you have found a photographer is to ask to meet them in person. This will be your chance to quiz the photographer. A professional photographer will be very much used to any questions you have for them and happy to answer any concerns so don’t be afraid to ask anything.
Questions to ask at this meeting are.
How many weddings has the photographer shot?
What equipment the photographer use? (This may mean nothing to you but take note of how confident the photographer is in their answer. Does it appear they know their gear inside and out?).
Does the photographer have backup if a camera or other piece of equipment was to break?
Does the photographer carry business insurance? (Many venues will not allow a photographer to work in their venue if they do not).
Is the person you are meeting actually your photographer on the day?
Is the work you are seeing their own?
See a whole wedding… or 2.
Seeing a few nice shots from varies weddings is fine but anyone can get lucky and if they shoot 2000 photos and only get 1 nice shot that’s pretty worthless for your wedding day. Ask to see some album examples showing a whole wedding from start to finish. This will also give you a chance to ask some more questions on how they work to see if there style suits you and to make sure the work you see is there own. Look for a consistent standard of work no matter what the situation. You want your photographer to be able to produce a high standard of image in all lighting conditions and under any pressures.
Use Internet reviews
The great thing about the Internet is that the word can be spread very quickly if there is rouge out there. Search not only for the company name but also the name of the photographer, as it is very possible they may have built a bad reputation under a previous name. Finding one bad review may not mean they are all bad but if it’s an on-going pattern then beware.
Recommendations and referrals are the professions best friend. Any company worth considering will aim to always please and asking friends who are already married can give you that piece of mind.
Ok so this may sound a little doom and gloom. Wedding photography is not all bad and most of the photographers you will find and meet will be honest businesses with a passion for photography and a pride in their work. However there are rouges out there and taking simple steps and doing lots of research will help you spot them fast and not become a victim of there low standards and terrible service.