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How to Hire a Wedding Photographer

Answers by CanvasPop is a weekly blog series featuring responses to your printing, photography or art questions. Check back on Fridays for more content! Have a question? Let us know at answers@canvaspop.com.

Your wedding day may very well be one of the biggest occasions in your lifetime! It’s a day you’re going to want to remember forever — so when planning it out, choosing your photographer will likely be one of your toughest decisions. You’ll be trusting this person with your most precious moments and memories, so here are some tips we found via Onewed to help you make the right decision:

GET RECOMMENDATIONS AND REFERRALS
This may sound familiar, and with good reason, no matter what the vendor, this is really the number one tip … Your wedding reception site and other vendors will all have photographers to recommend, so will your friends. Similarly, your photographer probably attends 40 or more weddings a year, they’ll definitely have caterers, florists, and bands to recommend. If your photographer of choice is out of your price range, or booked, don’t be embarrassed to ask for recommendations of other photographers, either. It’s also a good idea to ask the photographer to give you one or two references from other brides and grooms. Take the time to talk to these people and get a sense of how happy they were or weren’t with the photographer and the final product.

MEET IN PERSON
Hiring a photographer is a very personal decision. This person is going to spend a lot of time with you on your wedding day, you need to like each other. No matter how talented the photographer, or how many recommendations they have, if you don’t like them, they’re not a good fit. Meeting in person also gives you a chance to see the photographer’s work in print.

UNDERSTAND YOUR BUDGET AND THE PACKAGE
Depending on where you live, and what’s included a photographer can cost anywhere from $500 to $20,000. Now $500 may sound good, but what if you spend $500 to hire the photographer only to discover that you can’t afford any prints or an album? … Make sure to ask the photographer about things like travel and parking charges, and how many people will be working your wedding. One thing you don’t have to worry about, photographers are not usually tipped the day of the wedding.

MAKE SURE THE PHOTOGRAPHER IS AN EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL
Obviously, everyone has to start somewhere, but do you want that somewhere to be your wedding? An experienced wedding photographer can help you solve issues from difficult family members to no-show ministers. Ask about the photographer’s back up plan in case he or she has an emergency and can’t make it, ask if they bring backup equipment. We recommend even asking what they might wear to the wedding, not that there’s a right or wrong answer, but just to get a sense of their understanding of wedding protocol.

One thing they leave out is the importance of doing some on-line research before you hire. In this day and age, most photographers should have their own website. Check it out, make sure you like their style of photography and range of photographs. You may even be lucky enough to find reviews from some of their previous clients.

If you’re looking to print weddings photos after the big event, don’t forget to check us out!

Photo credit: Austin and Dara Photography