The Big Meeting and the Final Decision
Welcome back! Here is the third and final guide to Nirvana's Finding a Perfect Wedding Photographer. In this section we'll talk about meeting with potential photographers, asking the right questions, and ultimately making your decision for your special day!
The Big Meeting
As we discussed in Part 2, your correspondence with your photographer should be easy, immediate and you should get the sense of who this person is. The meeting should be set in the photographers office/place of business because it will give you more of a sense of their experience and personality.
A couple of things to look out for:
- Look for large prints of their work. You may recognize certain images that they had on their website. Does the quality change? It's one thing when it's on your laptop, it's another thing when it's printed off the size of your TV!
- Do they have wedding albums for you to look at? Are they good quality? If you know if they have shot in your venue before, do they have photos from that venue?
- Are they dressed professionally? Is their studio clean? Is it bright and comfortable? You can tell a lot about a person by the space they keep. Nothing should be overlooked!
- Are they a good host? Do they make you feel at home? Perhaps offer you a beverage?
- Are they interested in you and your wedding? Do they ask their own questions about how you met? How you got engaged? What your overall vision is about your wedding? If they only seem to want to talk about and promote themselves, that should raise a red flag to you as a potential client.
Questions to ask potential candidates:
- Are you a full time photographer?
- What is your main focus in photography? (Weddings, Babies and Newborns, Portraits)
- What is your preferred style of photography?
- How many weddings have you shot in your career?
- Have you ever shot in my venue before? If not, would you be willing to go on a site visit?
- Do you work from a shot list? Can I request certain images are taken at the wedding?
- How many hours are included in your package?
- How much does an additional hour of coverage cost?
- Do you bring a second shooter/assistant?
- Do you have a backup system in place for all your digital files?
- How many images can I expect to see from my wedding?
- Do you have a limit to the amount of images you will edit?
- How long does it take to see proofs from my wedding? (aka turnaround time)
- What is your policy on editing and retouching?
- Do I receive a disc of images? A USB? A photobook?
- Do I order prints from you? How much are they?
- Will you use my images in your advertising?
- What will you and your second shooter wear?
- What is the protocol if you are ill or unable to shoot my wedding?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- How much is the deposit?
- Do you take a payment plan?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
The Final Countdown
Take the time to fill out these questions every time you met with a potential photographer.
- Do you like them? Do you trust them? Did you feel comfortable around them?
- Were they interested in what you had in mind for your wedding? Did they respond favourably to it?
- If you weren't hiring them for your wedding, would you be friends with this person?
- Was there any part of meeting them that you felt was mis-represented in your previous research into them?
- Were there any deal breakers in your conversation? Any red flags?
After you have met with all of your potential choices, hopefully there will be one who stuck out to you as being amazing, met all of your qualifications and price range, and is the perfect person that you want to photograph your wedding! No need for further discussion, just welcome to the team!
When Things Get Complicated
However, the decision might be a little more complicated than that. So here are some points from the Nirvana Photography Studio team to try and help you make that decision.
- Narrow it down to as few as you can. Get it down to two candidates, at most three.
- First priority: Does their personality compliment and intertwine with yours? One might think that you should go with the one whose photos you like the best...but if you take a risk with someone who has done great photos in the past but doesn't quite mesh with you or what you want? It's better, in our opinion to trust and to work with the photographer who you feel gets you. With that trust and connection between you and them, the happiness that you will experience on the happiest day of your life will translate into their art.
- Second Priority: Quality over Quantity. Say you are struggling choosing between two photographers PhotogA (who you absolutely love) and PhotogB (who you think is good and who you kinda like?). PhotogA is giving you their talents, time, and digital proofs, and all of this was $4000. PhotogB was giving you all of the above, plus they are giving you a book, 3 albums, and a couple of prints to go in the mix- for the same price of $4000. Who do you choose? The one you absolutely love, PhotogA! There is no substitution for great photography that you know you are going to be ecstatic about, even if you don't get the souvenirs that come with it . The photos will last a long enough time for you to save up to get that wedding album that you've always wanted on your tenth wedding anniversary.
- Talk to your partner, see what they think! You've gotta have some trust in them. After all, you're marrying them right?
Did you not like any of the photographers you looked at? Try going through the process again, and dig a little deeper. If you live in Vancouver, try branching out your search and look at White Rock or Port Coquitlam photographers that would be willing to travel. Try going back over the work you've already done and look into other photographers you might have dismissed at first. Maybe a second look will change your mind. You'll find the perfect one for you, don't worry!
It's Worth It - I Promise
And there you have it! You've found the perfect wedding photographer! It's a decision that comes with a lot of responsibility and research, but when you see the photos of the grooms first look, families meeting and coming together and the bouquet toss? It's going to be legendary, and you'll have put your faith in the right person to capture it!
Congratulations and good luck with the rest of the wedding planning!
For more tips and tricks on planning the wedding that's right for you, subscribe to our email list and get weekly visits and reminders from Nirvana Photography Studio