With how much money you’re likely to spend on your pictures (and video) it’s no wonder there are so many people in the photography/videography business. Unfortunately, more is not always better and it can be hard to find a good photographer (or videographer). Lucky for you, here are some tips on how to find a good wedding photographer and/or wedding videographer.
First of all, you’ll want to talk to people and get some references. Did any of your friends or relatives get married recently? Ask them if they were pleased with the service they got. Another good source of referrals are your local wedding vendors. People in the wedding business are often intertwined with each other and so it is likely that even your caterer will have an idea of who is good and who isn’t. However, beware of commission referrals- since these wedding people have connections, they know you’re going to ask for referrals; hence, they will pay the referral-er to tell you who to use. You can simply ask the person who is referring you to someone if they get paid a commission- they should be honest about it. If they do get a commission, you can still check out that company, but be careful since the referral was biased.
The second best way to find a photographer or videographer is to look up companies in directories or phone books and contact them directly. You can get a price quote, or schedule an in-person meeting to discuss their work. Many times, couples can tell just by talking to a company on the phone if they will want to work with them or not. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be very relaxed around your photographer/videographer, so if you have even the slightest problem with them, you should keep looking.
Once you have narrowed down a list of photographers/videographers to meet in person, you’ll want to schedule those meetings all within one or two weeks so that you have a fresh mind for comparison. When you go in to meet them, make sure you view some of their work. Make sure you look at a couple different examples so that you get a better perspective of their style and ability. If all of the samples that you see are not the type of style that you want, keep looking because it means that they are not skilled in that style, or specialize in other photo styles.
When you finally choose the company you will be working with, make sure you read the contract really well. There are two main clauses that you should watch out for: 1) exclusive right to photography/videography (none of your guests can take pictures) and 2) random staff selection (you may not get the person you’ve been talking to/dealing with). Unless you are completely okay with these clauses, you’ll either want to renegotiate the contract or find a different company to work with.
When all is said and done, you should have a great photographer/videographer that you will be happy to work with on your wedding day.