For many couples their wedding will be the first time that they've had to hire a photographer of any kind and even if you have dealt with a photographer in the past (maybe for a family portrait session) hiring a wedding photographer is different and can sometimes come across as a bit of a minefield.
After being bombarded with information from different photographers you are probably not quite sure which way to turn. However, there are a few mistakes that couples make when hiring a wedding photographer and before hiring yours you should ask whether you are making these mistakes as well.
1) Choosing price over style
The old adage of "you get what you pay for" is usually true when it comes to wedding photography. Of course, there are wedding photographers out there who don't charge very much but their photos are absolutely stunning but you should always look at the photographers portfolio first, decide if you like the images, and then look at the price. That's why the link to my porfolio is on my home page and not the link to my prices.
Once you have decided that you like that photographers particular style you can then decide whether they are in your budget or not. If they are not can you move around some of your overal wedding budget to compensate? Remember, in 40 years time it'll be the style that sticks with you as you won't even be able to remember what you paid for the photography.
2) Not meeting the photographer first
You've got to meet your wedding photographer before they photography your wedding. Their photos maybe great or their prices are within your budget but as you're going to be working so closely with them over the next year or so you want to make sure that your personalities don't clash.
You want to see if you get on with your photographer and develop a rapport. This way they'll be able to get the most out of you during your portrait sessions and engagement shoot and you'll also know if they'll get on with your guests as well, as you want your guests to feel at ease with a photographer wondering around.
That's why I always have a free, no obligation meeting before a couple even books me to make sure that I'm the right fit and also recommend an engagement shoot so that you feel as comfortable as possible on your wedding day.
3) Waiting until the last minute to book your wedding photographer
Popular wedding photographers get booked up 12, 18, maybe even 24 months in advance. So, booking your wedding photographer should be one of the first things that you do. Also, booking your photographer months in advance means that they can help you with the planning and timings of your wedding as well as work closely with your wedding planner to make sure that your day runs smoothly. This brings me onto my next point, which is:
4) Not building enough time for photos into your wedding day
You want your wedding to be as relaxed as possible and with so much going on during the day you don't want to put unnecessary pressure on yourselves by cutting the timings too short. When the bride is getting ready it will take longer than 20 minutes to capture all of the photos for example and also the group shots will need at least 5 minutes for each set of photos. A good bit of advice is to build some extra time into each section of the day, just in case the photos overrun.
This advice isn't just for your wedding photos though, it should be applied to every aspect of the day. I have yet to attend a wedding that has run perfectly to schedule so it's always best to build that little bit of space into the day.
5) Not seeing wedding photography as an investment
I know that I've said this in a number of places on my site but your wedding photos are an investment. Wedding photography pays you back over your life time, but not if you see it as an expense. I always recommend that my couples should invest in a wedding album, as a quality album will stand the test of time and still beautifully display your wedding photos in 50 years time.
If you just rely on a USB and digital downloads anything could happen. What if USB's go the way of floppy disks or the online gallery host that your photographer uses goes out of business or your computer crashes so you can't retrieve your data. Digital images are a good way of having your images delivered but it shouldn't be your only way.
Sorry if the above 5 points sound preachy (I didn't mean it to come across that way) but I really want my couples, any couples for that matter, to get the most out of their wedding photographer and have the best experience possible.
*Image courtesy of Pexels.com