Finding a the right wedding photographer for your big day should be a fun and exciting experience. It will help if you’re armed with some insight on photography and common questions to ask. As a professional wedding photographer with over 15 years of experience, I’ve met with many potential wedding clients. While everyone’s taste varies, the goal is always the same, getting the best photographer for you and your budget.
Now that most photographer’s portfolio’s are available online, a good portion of your work is already done. With a click of the mouse, you can view work from as many photographers as you can stand. A good way to save time in your search is to think about other weddings you’ve attend and photos you viewed in the past. Did you like the photographer’s style? Was it studio, candid, photojournalism or a mixture? Most good professionals have experience in various fields of photography but specialize in a certain style.
Studio photography usually encompasses traditional poses with lights and backdrops. A good portion of these shots are pre-determined and take place in a controlled situation. You’ll still get a fair share of candid shots too but the focus here is on portraiture. Does the photographer have good command of the lighting? Look for harsh shadows under the eyes or on the walls or backdrop. Are the posed images stuffy or casual and fun? Taking these tips into account will help you find the right studio photographer. Having a photojournalist cover your wedding day will give your images a more spontaneous feel.
While a photojournalist will have you pose for some of the traditional portraits, the more creative ones will be environmental portraits. The key to a good environmental portrait is the location, lighting and background. When you view a photographers portfolio, pay special attention to the location portraits. Did the photographer choose an interesting location and composition? What’s going on in the background? Do the bride and groom stand out? Available light can make a portrait special too so take note of light, shadows and the photographers ability to mix various light sources. Also, look for candid moments and emotions. Do the images look staged or real?
Now that you’ve decided on the style that’s right for you, it’s time to meet with the photographer. The most important question should be, who’s shooting my wedding? If you viewed a certain portfolio, you’ll want that photographer to show up the day of your wedding. Outline what’s included in your wedding contract, date, time, cost, and additional services. How much is the deposit and will it hold the date? Does the photographer double book dates? Do you get a copy of the images on CD and the right to print them? What is the refund policy?
You’ll undoubtedly have questions of your own and you’ll gain some experience if you meet with several of the wedding photographers Chicago has to choose from. Bring your future spouse and don’t be afraid to have a family member or friend tag along too. This is a big decision and you want to make the right one.