How is one supposed to know which wedding photographer will be the best one for their special day. There are some amazing photographers in the San Francisco area. But just because someone is a great photographer doesn't mean they are a great wedding photographer. And just because someone is a great wedding photographer, that doesn't mean they are the right one for you and your special day. You may find a very talented photographer out there that has the personality of a rock or a grizzly bear. On the other hand, sometimes the nicest people in the world aren't the ones you would want shooting your wedding either. We are here to help you find someone who possesses both a gregarious personality and the top notch skills and talents of a great wedding photographer.
Your first task is to talk with your friends, family, coworkers and just about anyone that has ever attended a wedding in the last year or two. Once you have accumulated names of candidates, you mission will be to call each one and ask if they have your wedding date available on their calendar. If your date is open, ask them when you can sit down for a one on one interview. During your interview, you will want to ask specific questions that will help you make an informed decision.
The first subject you want to talk about is how much experience they have. How long have they been a photographer? But more importantly, how long have they been doing wedding photography? You want to find out about the number of weddings that they have done. Talk about style, different types of photographers like to fancy themselves as having unique styles. Read up on photographic styles ahead of time so you can talk with them in an educated way. Ask what makes them different from other photographers? Look at recent wedding work in their portfolio, this will give you a sense of what they are capable of and whether you can see them shooting your wedding. Make sure you ask for references and call each one to talk about their experience with the photographer and if they saw any potential red flags.
Talk about how the candidate likes to work when they are roaming about at a wedding venue. Are they willing to work you if you would like to add specific shots to the list that they develop. What happens if they get sick or can't make it for some reason. Do they have a backup plan or a backup photographer? Some photographers are very touch about other people, even your guests, taking pictures while they are trying to get the perfect shot. It is best to ask them this right now and clarify so you can decide if you need to talk to your guests. How many hours of shooting will they do? If you have other locations you will be visiting during the day, you will want to find out if the photographer will join you and if this costs extra. Professional wedding photographers are used to this kind of operation and should be willing to go wherever you go.
Most professional photographers will offer you wedding packages that cover a certain number of hours and types of shots as well as finished product.. You will want to analyze each package and see which one comes the closest to what you would like to order. Talk with the candidate about what extras they will provide and how much they cost. This includes a second photographer. An assistant can sometimes catch angles and moments that one lone photographer would not be able to. Retouching photographs is something that a lot of people want because they want to look amazing in every way on this special day. Find out how long it will take to get your proofs. What is the process for ordering prints? When you decide on the one that you feel rises above the rest, make sure you get everything you want in contract form and sit down and go over every little detail with the photographer. You don't want to leave any stone unturned here, make sure you both understand exactly what you are signing. If they try and tell you they do not work off of a contract, move on to the next candidate. Whoever you end up going with, make sure they treat you respectfully and that they are genuinely interested in providing you with the memories of your special day that you deserve.-Back to Wedding Guide-