Michael C. Fina

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Choosing Your Photographer: Part 1

Choosing Your Photographer with Photomuse and Michael C. Fina

Tips from Photomuse to Help You Choose Your Wedding Photographer

You said “yes,” but before you say “I do,” check out these tips on getting the most out of your wedding photography from Photomuse.  I will be breaking down the tips over a series of posts, so be sure to check back often to catch them all.  And as always, we’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions on what you would like to know from the photographic perspective of your wedding day.

 

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer:

I will begin by saying that you can search the Internet and find loads of pages about what questions to ask a potential photographer.  I’m writing you as a wedding photographer who has been shooting weddings for over fifteen years.  I’d like to share a bit of what I know, and I hope it helps guide your decision making process.

 

Before the search begins -  Once you start looking, you will discover the choices in photography are overwhelming.  The more decisions made ahead of time, the easier it will be to focus and save some time. Here are a few things to consider:

 

1. Is your decision based on price or quality?  I typically tell my couples that sure, today you can probably hire a photographer at a low rate and get “documented” photos of your day IF the day goes perfectly without anything unanticipated happening.  Are you a gambler?  Here are some examples of the types of things that an experienced professional is capable of handling:

  • Bad weather. Rain, snow, humidity, bad lighting: these all affect the way a photographer shoots.  An experienced professional not only knows how to handle it, they know how to work it to their advantage creatively and to provide you with unique images.
  • Equipment malfunctions. In addition to backup equipment, a professional also has a network of resources to call upon if necessary.  Yes, that also includes fellow professionals who can come to the rescue in case of an emergency.
  • Timing.  Yes, weddings typically always run later than anticipated.  Don’t stress.  A pro knows how to go with the flow and won’t add further stress to your day.  Additionally, no matter how unique the wedding may be, there are certain aspects that remain the same.  A professional is guaranteed to know when important moments are about to occur and be ready to capture it.
  • Other Vendors. The professional knows how to play nice and get along with your other vendors, and in many cases, already has established working relationships with these vendors.  All of these things help provide better access and a smoother day for everyone involved.  Collaboration is a key element.

 

Essentially, that extra money in your budget for photography won’t just be for the creative talent, but additionally for the therapeutic effect this person can provide to your whole outlook on the day!

 

2. Style. I often hear from couples who tell me that they don’t look good when they pose for photos.  Don’t let that be the motivating factor of your style choice.  The candid and photojournalistic images are enjoyed so much because the subjects are being themselves. What if you found that photographer who could pose you while allowing you to feel comfortable enough in being yourself?  Would that make a difference in your choice?  The right photographer will know how to help you feel relaxed and how to get the best shot of you in all circumstances.  What is more important to consider is what images move you the most.  What can you see yourself looking at ten years down the road when you open your wedding album?  How much interaction from the photographer do you want?

 

I’ll go more in depth on styles in another post, so be sure to check back!  The important thing here is to find what moves you the most.

 

3. Personality.

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen.

The photographer is one vendor that you will be spending almost the entire day with.  The photographer’s attitude will make a big difference to your day.  I can’t tell you how many times I hear about photographers that are rude or bossy.  Years after the day, that is the impression that some carry with them long after they have viewed their wedding photos. When I receive compliments from my couples on their images, I always tell them that it was a collaboration.  My personality is reflected back to me when the couples are comfortable enough to be candid and to trust in what I am doing.  This always shows in the final image.

Make a point to talk on the phone or better yet, to meet the potential photographers in person. Find out if you click!  (Yeah, bad pun intended!)

 

4. Questions, questions. Lastly, I recommend doing a search on all of those other guides on the internet about choosing a wedding photographer.  It is important to know what you are getting for your money, and what to expect.  There are definitely some solid questions to ask, that’s simply being an educated consumer.  If you want to know your photographer a little better though, try to break him/her out of the “wedding interview script.”  Find out what he/she likes about shooting weddings.  What part of the day is their favorite to photograph?  What got them into wedding photography?  Do they continue to educate themselves?  Do they photograph for personal enjoyment outside of weddings as well?  Do they listen to you and allow you to talk as well?  Are they taking an interest in your life also?

 

Wedding photography is not just about the images that remain, it’s also about the experience that will remain in your heart.

A huge thank you to our friend Kristin Reimer at Photomuse!  Want some more wedding photography advice?  Check out her other posts on our blog and continue to check back for more!