Monday, December 8, 2014

Ask Primpy: How Do I Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer?

This is another question we are often asked by couples--with the vast array of talented wedding photographers out there (especially if you live in or near a big city), how do you choose the one that's right for you? For this Q&A, we chatted with the super talented Connecticut photographer Joanna Fisher of Joanna Fisher Photography!  Joanna's work has recently been featured in Style Me Pretty and she gives some excellent tips below on finding the perfect wedding photographer for your big day.

All photos by Joanna Fisher Photography.

How early in the wedding planning process should a couple start looking for a wedding photographer? 

If you have your heart set on working with a particular photographer, give them as much notice as possible! A great time to start searching for your photographer if you don’t have a particular one in mind is right after you book your venue. This allows your potential photographer to check their availability against your wedding date so they can hold it for you.  

Alternatively, if you don't have a specific date in mind, you can work alongside your potential photographer and venue to ensure that both are available on the same day!  

What’s the best way to figure out if a photographer is the right fit for you? 

There are so many amazing photographers in the industry and it can be a daunting and difficult task to decide who might be the best one to capture your wedding day. It’s been my experience that the best way to get the most out of your photographer is to make sure that your personalities really click. Beautiful photographs that you love and fit your style are important - but your photographer’s personality can make or break your experience! 

Your photographer is going to be with you for the better part of your day. You want to be sure that you get along, that you trust them completely...and a sense of humor never hurts!  After all the planning you put in to your wedding day, it often happens that the wedding day timeline simply doesn’t happen the way you’d planned.  You want to be sure your photographer can roll with the punches, adapt to the situation and laugh about it with you! 

What if I’m shy/not photogenic/hate having my picture taken, etc?  What advice do you have for people who are uncomfortable in front of the camera? 

A great way to make sure you’re going to be comfortable in front of the camera on your wedding day is to take advantage of an engagement session beforehand - this is something that many photographers are now including as part of a complete wedding package.  Not only is this a cute way to create Save the Date cards and a fun way to spend a few hours with your love, but it’s the perfect practice run before the big day! Your photographer’s personality should shine here.  Wedding day portraits can sometimes feel rushed, but during an engagement session you get to slow everything down and focus on just the two of you - which will in turn allow you to relax and get used to the camera being pointed at you all day! 

 What should a couple do when they’ve found their dream photographer, but find out they are totally out of their budget? 

This can be such a tough spot to be in - especially if you’ve found a photographer that you click with and who’s work you love.  My advice would be to see if the photographer has a “basic” package.  For my brides who want the quality of my work, but don’t have an unlimited budget (because who does, really?), I offer a completely “a la carte” Wedding Collection.   This is for coverage only, but allows the couple to add on things that are most important to them - whether that be digital files, an album, or anything else.  

Deferring the cost of those products until after the wedding (and after the couple has received any monetary wedding gifts!) can also allow the couple to get exactly what they’re looking for in their photographer without compromising their immediate budget.

How long does it typically take to receive your wedding photos? 

Every photographer is differrent, so this is an important question to ask your photographer during any initial consults.  I promise a turnaround of 6-8 weeks in my contract, though it’s often much sooner - my average is about 2-3 weeks.

Start your search early for your photographer to ensure availability and if photography is one of the top priorities for your wedding day, splurge a bit on the one you love (and cut the budget elsewhere on things that don't matter to you as much).  Happy hunting!


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