Updated: Dec 15, 2021
If someone isn’t there to snap the picture, then did it really happen? A wedding photographer is as essential as the floral arrangement, the venue and the bridesmaids’ dresses. How else would these memories be captured?
But like everything else in a wedding, you better make sure who you hire and spend your money on will be worth every moment and shiny penny.
Better yet, when you hire your wedding photographer, you’ll be hiring your wedding planner’s best friend. For one, the best wedding planners in Southern California know the best photographers in the area, so chances are, these two may know each other well, and secondly, your Los Angeles wedding planner is going to need someone to capture proof of their work, so it’s win win!
However, before you hire that talented someone you’ve had your eye on for some time now, consider the following questions:
May I see your full wedding portfolio?
This one is a no brainer, and I’m sure you’ve had your eye on them because you’ve seen their work, right? Duh. But still. This is a chance to see exactly what the photographer has to offer before you decide to hire them. This way, you won’t be just looking over images on their website or social media, but examining each and every photo taken at one of the weddings they photographed. Make sure it’s a recent one too!
2. How long have you been a wedding photographer, and how many have you done?
Experience is everything, and the more skilled the photographer, the better. Since there’s no directing or do-overs, the photographer needs to be experienced in capturing split second moments right as they happen.
3. What is your photo editing style?
You may think wedding photography may not require touch-ups, but these are lifelong memories. There should be an option for color correction and even black and white images. Also, you might want to ask how the photographer will adjust shooting in different lighting situations throughout the day.
4. Can we customize a package for our own wedding?
You may want to bend the rules for the sake of your wedding. Hey, it’s your big day, right? If you and your groom want to have more flexibility in what you’re paying for, it is always good to check with the photographer.
5. Have you ever photographed at our ceremony and/or reception venues?
By asking this, you’ll get even more of an idea of how experienced your photographer is. If they’ve worked at the ceremony venue, reception spot, or both, then they will know where to stand or not. They may also know the venue managers, which is even better!
6. Do you offer a photo booth?
Want some fun at your wedding? A photo booth is one the most popular additions to the reception, and some photographers include them in their package. If not, you might want to ask your wedding planner to rent one, since they’ll likely know where to get one.
7. Do you have liability insurance for yourself and your assistants? A wedding photographer really should have liability insurance in case one of their equipment gets damaged or someone trips on, say, a tripod and gets hurt. If any of this happens, there could be delays in getting your photos back at the date you are working with. Which leads to our next question…
8. When can we expect to receive the images?
You may want that wedding album in your hands right away, but patience is a virtue! If you’ve requested specific editing, you’ll need to give the photographer time to do that. Also, don’t forget your photographer may have other weddings to work with in between yours.
9. Will we have the rights to the photos?
Federal copyright laws say the photographer alone has the right to copy and distribute images of your wedding. If you don’t like that, then ask if that can be added to the contract so you won’t lose control of your wedding day photos.
10. Have you ever worked with our wedding planner? As mentioned, the wedding planner and the photographer are going to be best buddies during your wedding. The best wedding planners in Los Angeles will know how to communicate with the photography team, and will even know how to direct them during the day. If those two have worked together in the past and hit it off, you’ve just lucked up on a power package!
As you can see, choosing a wedding photographer comes with a plethora of inquiries, research, and careful decision making. Of course, this is not the kind of event where you can choose a photographer at random; it takes time, commitment and attention to very specific details. The worst regret is realizing after the fact that you chose the wrong person to capture your wedding. Use this article as a preventative measure and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to correspond with your wedding planner. At Cherished Moments,we can work alongside your chosen photographer so that you’ll get those specific memories captured just as you live them. Remember, every aspect of your wedding is the stitching of your vision. If it’s not in alignment with what your highest desires, then we don’t want it! This is your day and everyone in your camp should treat it as such-- especially your wedding photographer.