Your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life, if not the biggest day of all. This should be a happy occasion that marks the beginning of the union between you and your love, and in fact the intersection of your two families. As such, you’ll want someone to capture the magical moments of the festivities. While everyone might have their smartphones with them and snapping pictures, your best images will come in the hands of a professional. When it comes time to pick one out, remember the following 10 things to watch out for before hiring a specific wedding photographer:
1) Someone unfamiliar with your venue: If they’ve been around, they’ve seen all the normal venues and are already familiar with shooting yours.
2) A wedding photographer that double-books: Make sure you are the only gig that photographer has that day, so that they don’t show up late or disappear on you early.
3) Online reviews: Very few professionals are going to have 5-star averages, but anyone with more than a few dozen ratings and is holding an average of 4 or higher is worth a look.
4) Unresolved complaints: In addition to online reviews, check the Better Business Bureau. Seeing complaints is not a reason to avoid someone in itself, but seeing no communication or attempt to correct things is.
5) Friends or family: If someone is likely going to be a guest, don’t ruin things for them by asking them to do double duty. Your expectations of them would likely be unrealistic.
6) No sample albums: Any wedding photographer should let their work sell itself. Someone without anything to show you has nothing to give you.
7) Someone with less than three years of experience: In any industry, it can honestly take that long to figure everything out and have seen it all at least once.
8) Too long to return photos: Getting your edited and printed photos back immediately is unrealistic, as there’s work to be done, but it is nice to have them back when you get back from your honeymoon, not later.
9) No website: No serious professional goes without a website to promote their work and provide contact and package information. A wedding photographer is just as likely these days to have a website as a business card, which honestly should have the URL on it.
10) Not sure how they will dress on the big day: Most wedding photographers have a certain set of ensembles or outfits they rotate through when going to weddings. They might not be able to fit a certain theme or highly specific dress code you might establish, but they should still be able to convince you they’ll fit in and look professional and well-dressed that day. They likely even have a few photos of themselves in those outfits.
Now that you know these 10 things to watch out for when hiring a wedding photographer, you dramatically boost your chances of finding just the right person for your magical day.