How to Choose the Perfect Photographer for You

Your photographer is the host for all your memories in the future. It is amazing what memories and pictures a photographer can capture. Personally, I love the candid and artistic style of photography. Social media is an excellent tool to find local photographers. You gain a sense of their style. It is also easier to look up their reviews and contact clients about their experiences.

Personally, I experienced an array of styles with photographers. Getting married in India, I definitely met my quota of traditional “posed” photos. Years later, I have grown to love them. My husband and I share funny memories like our remake of the “Titanic” pose.

From this experience, I highly recommend choosing a photographer that you “gel” with. You want someone who doesn’t make you feel self-conscious. Secondly, make sure they communicate with you and understand what part of the event that matters to you. I love photographers who are able to direct you, but also hear out your concerns.

I am relative easy-going as a person, so I pretty much get along with anyone. If you are someone like me who commits to vendors readily, then I think doing the following step is more important than establishing a relationship. Do NOT tread this step lightly. My recommendation is to go over the photographer’s portfolio and use a critical eye. Look at the style of photos, the time of day, the location, and the events.

See if there are night and day photographs and outdoor and indoor events, this will provide the confidence you need that all your photos will be taken appropriately. The next part is to see how many of those photos are worthy to make into an album. If you have 1000 pictures, but only 10-20 work with your style, you may want to check another vendor.

Again, social media only displays the best of the best photos. Understanding the entire portfolio helps you make an educated decision.

Something that you may not keep in mind, especially for wedding photos, is to take traditional posed pictures of your close family. While candid pictures are so beautiful, I have to admit the traditional “posed” photographs are the ones that make it on your walls. I had a recent photo shoot with my parents and in-laws. We did two sets of traditional photography, and the rest were candid. While the candid photos are fantastic for social media, it is not the greatest for a framed picture. (Unless you are like the Kardashians). Also, don’t forget your parents, they love seeing our beautiful faces rather than a side profile.

Once you established a relationship, went over the portfolio, and understand your photo style, there are few other things to go over.

If you are choosing a photographer from a more prominent company, make sure you are getting the same photographer for the event. This happened to my sister at her engagement party. We were expecting the photographer we talked to but got someone else for the event. Our photographer worked his a** off and delivered some fantastic photos. But it is nice to know ahead of time.

Next, determine the post-production timeline. After the event, it is unclear how long photos will take. Not to use my sister's engagement again, but her came in three months later after the engagement. If it will take a while, see if your photographer can provide some “sneak peeks.”

Finally, understand your contract and your photo rights. For your contract, know how much it will cost for a second photographer, additional lighting, and possible travel and hotel charges. Will your photographer throw in engagement photos as part of the package deal? Also, understand what your rights are for the photographs afterward. Can you post them on your social media right away? Can you use a third party vendor to print your photos? How will the images be received?

Personally, my favorite approach for post-production photos is to receive them on a USB or CD. I like having control of what I can do with the images after any event.

Photographers have true and fantastic talent. There are so many to choose from. I hope this post provides some insight and helps make you make an educated decision when you find the right photographer for you!

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