Your wedding day is a whirlwind of activity and emotion. When you hire a photographer, you're trusting his watchful eye will beautifully capture all the moments of your experience.
But talent is only part of the picture. It's just as important to have someone who is focused on your best interests and who can work right alongside you and keep stress to a minimum.
Here are some things I think are important:
- Keep the negatives. Always, no exceptions, and at no extra cost.
- Don't be forced into a package. Every wedding is unique and no one knows what you want better than you.
- Find out who will be there. I shoot your wedding-not my assistant-start to finish.
- I can travel to where you want to have your wedding-nationally.
- Genuinely like the photographer. Nice is as important as talented when you're spending 8-plus hours with somebody.
- Make sure he's available after the wedding, too. The photographer can be a great help when you're looking at proofs.
- Don't pay more for black & white. The difference between it and color film is only about a dollar per role.
- Don't hire by the hour. If you set no time limit, the slower he goes the more he makes. If you do, you'll be rushing to get your pictures taken.
- Get a complete list of costs up front. Weddings are expensive enough‹this is no time for surprises.
- Don't feel pressure to buy an album. You're hiring the photographer for his skills, not his merchandise.
- Don't pay extra for travel within reason.
- Ask about equipment. The best photographers use a variety.
- Beware of square proofs. It's an indication that a photographer's equipment is out of date.
- Ask for references. Word of mouth is the best advertising.
- In fact, ask any question at all. No matter how small. Questions are important. You haven't done this before, so no question can be too small or stupid.