I am a curious monkey. Ahem, err, ok, let me rephrase it. In order for me to be content with any situation or information, I need to get the 'w' ducks in a row(why, when, what, where). Growing up, my sister used to hate me for this, and got tired of answering my questions. So now, when we talk about something, she automatically (and cordially) hands me my 'w' ducks.
This habit, of being curious, has a good side and a not-so-good side.
Let's talk about the good part first. As a photographer, it is so important for me to know the details of my couple, and be able to offer help on any issues or concerns. Now, I don't outright start barraging them with questions since I like to let the relationship develop, and I then move on from there. Sidenote: Being curious and aware is not the same as being nosy...an important distinction to remember!
And, one of the things I always wanted to know and understand was what brides did when hiring a photographer. Did they know clearly what they wanted or were they confused? So I did a little research to get a general sense on the market. I perused and interacted on bridal/wedding forums, read/answered concerns and questions, and finally came up with the conclusion that brides (and grooms) are infact very unclear in what they should be looking for when hiring a wedding photographer.
My dear lovely brides and grooms, to take one thing off your busy planning plate, I created these simple tips to consider when looking for a wedding photographer. Here goes.
STYLE AND AESTHETIC: As soon as you land on a photographer's website, their photos have to melt your heart right away. Because, that's when you know if you will be happy with the kind of photos they take. So, pay close attention to their style and aesthetic. Do they shoot mostly black/white or very light/whimsical or dark/edgy photographs. Once you gather that information through their website and portfolio albums (always ask to see full galleries of weddings), and you are perfectly ok with that style, then you should just trust them that they will do an awesome job at your wedding. [Psst...telling a photographer to copy a shot from Pinterest is like taking away a piece of their creativity and killing it slowly. Why don't we allow them to create such photographs that others would want to pin. How about that?]
PROXIMITY AND LOCATION: If you are the kind who likes meeting people face to face, then you need to start your search locally. But, if you like to take advantage of Skype, Google Hangouts or any other online meeting apps, then most definitely widen your search to other cities to look for your ideal wedding photographer. Location these days is not a deterring factor at all since most of the photographers are available to photograph destination weddings, and will travel with you. So, if you find a photographer, whose work you absolutely love, and they are in Chicago while you are in Portland, go ahead and contact them.
COMMUNICATION AND RESPONSIVENESS: How easy is it to communicate with the photographer? Do they respond in a timely fashion? And, how professional is their communication? All these are clues to how your dealings will be with the photographer going forward. If they are open, prompt, courteous and super responsive, then you know you are in good hands. If not, then you may need to start the search again.
COMPATIBILITY AND LIKEABILITY: When you finally meet up with the photographer, do you get the good juju or a blah! feeling? Do you feel they complement your style or always try to take you in the opposite direction? Observe these emotions, then follow your gut and proceed with hiring the photographer or not. It is so important to feel connected to the person who will photograph the most precious day of your life. You really do want to be friends with them.
VALUE AND PRICING: Wedding photography is truly an investment. Its like a gift to yourself that keeps on giving for many many many years to come. When you have scanned a photographers website and their awesome portfolio, then please know that the pricing for their services is in line with what they have to offer. Its not just about coming to the wedding, taking photos and going back home. There is so much more to it. There is cultivating that relationship with you that involves large chunks of time, travel, standing on feet for 10 hours at a stretch, spending insane number of hours culling and editing the photos, and then putting all the love and passion in presenting you the final product - something that will last you a lifetime. So, please know that photography is priced to ensure that gorgeous memories keep getting made, and that you get the best possible service. Win win!
Hopefully, these factors will help you get a step closer in finding your perfect wedding photographer.
Ok, so let's talk about the 'not-so-good' side of being curious now.
There is none. Aha!