How to choose your wedding photographer
Your wedding is a unique once-in-a-lifetime event. We completely understand how important it is to you to have photographs that will fully capture and convey all of the magical emotions you felt on that day. We also understand that the decision can be difficult one and that the selection of the right photographer will make all the difference. You have many photographers to select from here in Charleston, so the decision becomes even more crucial to your long-term happiness and satisfaction.
With your concerns in mind, here are some important points to consider as you reach your decision about the right photographer for your very special event:
PORTFOLIO Be careful. Any photographer can produce a collection of their very best work to showcase in an album or on their website. Even the least talented person with a camera taking thousands of photos will have a few good ones. Remember that even a broken clock is correct two times in every 24-hour period!
Ask to see photo collections from numerous events of the kind that you are seeking – wedding, engagement or special events – from a variety of different couples and in a variety of settings. In this way you will get a true and complete impression of the photographer’s skill and experience in creating the kind of results you seek.
COST OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY High quality photographs are seldom inexpensive and never cheap. As with most things in life, “you get what you pay for.” While you don’t want to overpay, you also don’t want to be anxious about the photographer’s skills and ability to produce the best possible results for you. You want someone who will be reliable and steady in the work with proven results to guarantee his ability to create the best possible memories of your day.
There is no “dress rehearsal” for your wedding photographer and the results must be worth your investment. Therefore, confidence in the photographer and the high quality of the work they produce is key in guaranteeing success for you and your event.
RETAINER Depending on the nature of the event a 20 to 40% retainer paid prior to the photo session is the best and most customary plan to have in working with your photographer. If the photographer is confident in the product to be produced, he will be happy to receive the balance of his fee when you have been able to examine the photographs produced and made your final selections.
CONTRACT “Get it in writing” is the customary manner in which a professional photographer operates. A contractual relationship is the mark of the professional photographer and separates him and his work from the amateurs you’ll find here and there. A quality photographer will also be open to negotiating the price and terms within reasonable parameters. If you find it difficult to reach agreement with the photographer it might be wise to seek another professional photographer instead.
PRINTS AND ALBUMS Each of our custom photo packages includes extra prints and albums and makes more available to you as your situation may require. A quality professional photographer understands your needs and will work with you to be sure you have what will make you and your family happy.
Wedding albums are timeless and will be the object of review again and again through the years. Imagine yourself thirty years from now looking through your wedding album with your first grandchildren! Telling and retelling the family story frequently begins with the Wedding Album. Be sure your photographer understands this and is prepared to work with you.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S PERSONALITY You are going to be with the photographer for a good deal of time on your wedding day. You want to be sure that you’ll be happy working with the photographer and that together, you and the photographer “click.” When you ask how long your first meeting with the photographer will be and the replies are “fifteen minutes or so,” or “as much time as you want,” there may already be a potential problem in the making.
On average, the professional photographer will suggest that 1 to 2 hours may be appropriate for the first meeting so that you can become well acquainted and he can get a clear notion of your goals and desires for your wedding photography. In turn, it’s important for the photographer to have sufficient time to provide you important information about himself, his work methods, sample photography as well as provide you with good information about his general price and terms for the work you want him to perform.
A professional photographer will know how to manage your time together to produce the best results as you get to know one another. It’s very important to have a clear relationship established before the photo shoot or event so that both you and the photographer have a clear set of expectations and plans in mind before you begin creating memories together.
OUR HOPE We trust that our advice in these matters will help you choose the perfect photographer for your wedding or event. Thanks for taking the time to review these ideas!