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Your significant other has popped the question. You have your venue. You have your florist. You have your caterer. Now you just need to select your wedding photographer! Picking the right photographer is crucial to make sure that your big day is documented for you to look back on and cherish for years to come. Our guide on how to pick a Memphis wedding photographer will help you to select the best fit for your special day.
You should always interview a potential wedding photographer. Not only that, but you should interview numerous photographers. It’s important to make sure that you not only like their style, but you like their personality. You are going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer, especially if you include engagement pictures, a bridal shoot, and other additional services in your package. The more you feel at ease with your photographer, the better your pictures will turn out.
Here is a list of potential questions to ask a potential wedding photographer.
Is our wedding date available?
How many weddings do you do in a single weekend? In a single day?
Will you be my dedicated photographer on the day of our wedding?
How many assistants will be with you?
What is your backup plan for if something happens to you on the day of our wedding?
Have you ever shot at my venue? Can we see some galleries of weddings you have shot there?
Do you shoot digitally?
What is your photography style?
Can we see the full galleries of weddings you have recently done?
Do you have a shot list? Can we give you a list of shots we would like you to take?
If we have a videographer, how will you coordinate with them?
What is the turnaround time to get our photos back?
Do you offer different tiers of packages?
Can I customize a photography package to fit all of our needs?
How many hours are included in each package, and what exactly is included in each?
Do you include corrective services, such as color correction, retouching, etc?
Do you charge a travel fee, and if so, for what distance?
Do you offer any prints or albums?
Can we order any prints or an album directly from you?
How do you deliver the photos, and will we have full rights to the images?
How do we book you? How much is the deposit, and when is the remaining balance due?
What is your cancellation policy? Do you give refunds if we have to cancel?
Once you have selected which amazing wedding photographer you want to shoot your big day, you have to select which photography package is best for you and your budget. Most wedding photographers will offer several different packages, from the bare bones to extensive packages with numerous add ons. The hard part is figuring out which package includes everything you need but still fits in your budget.
Figure Out How Many Hours You Actually Need
Most packages will have a set number of hours that the photographer will be there for. Keep in mind this includes down time between things. This typically is 6, 8, or more hours. If you are having a casual brunch wedding, you might not need 8 or more hours. However, if you want pictures for getting ready, the first look, the send off, and everything in between, you might need one of the larger packages. Some photographers even offer unlimited hours in their larger packages.
Another thing to consider is that if you run over on time, your photographer might charge a per-hour price. This can be quite hefty, so it’s best to figure out how many hours you will actually need based on your wedding day schedule, then compare that to the hours offered in the different packages.
Ask What Exactly is Included in Each Package
Especially if you are interviewing numerous photographers, you need to know what is included in each package so that you can properly compare them. You will want to check to see if they include any extras, such as prints, photo albums, engagement shoots, and more. If the photographer you want doesn’t offer specific extras that are must-haves, just know that it can significantly add to the final cost of your wedding photography package if you have to pay for them separately.
Compare the Costs of the Different Packages
Not all wedding photography packages are created equal. The less expensive ones will likely be more bare bones- meaning that it will just include the shooting and editing time. The higher tier packages will be more enticing, including extras such as engagement pictures, photo booths, prints, albums, more time, and more. While one of the lower tier packages might be more appealing to your pocketbook, figure out how much extra you will have to pay to get some of the additional things that a higher tier package might include. In the end, it might be less expensive to go with a higher tier package to avoid additional fees. At the end of the day, you want a package that includes everything on your must-have list and also fits in your budget.
Choose a Package With a Print Release
If your wedding photographer doesn’t offer a print release, that means that you will have to order all of your wedding photos through them or their partner. While this can sometimes be more convenient, it is almost always more expensive. By choosing a package with a print release, you will be able to order wedding photos through whatever company you want.
They say that when you know, you know. In all seriousness, you are looking for a photographer that you just click with. You want someone that makes you feel at ease and doesn’t make you feel awkward or uncomfortable. This person is going to literally be beside you for most of your wedding day, in addition to before your wedding day if you choose to do engagement pictures or a bridal session. If you are uncomfortable around your wedding photographer, regardless of how great his or her pictures are, that can show up in your wedding photos. If you feel comfortable and at ease, that will translate to your pictures. Long story short, pick someone that you like, you love their pictures, the package includes everything you absolutely need, and it fits within your budget.