• Melissa Carter

10 things to know: "When Hiring a Wedding Photographer..."

Updated: Jan 13

Choosing who will photograph your wedding is its own style decision -- just like picking your colors or venue. Learn what your options are to help you decide what you want. 1. Do your Research! Become familiar with the different styles of Wedding Photography. No two photographers would come out with the same images. Wedding Photography essentially breaks down to three types, Traditional/Classic/Modern, Artistic or Fine-Art , and Photo-journalistic. A Traditional photographer is someone who is pretty involved in the day and would produce more "posed classic" portraits & angles also documenting the day, people, and details. The editing process is more of a "natural" look. An Artistic Photographer spends a little more time "creating", "moving" details and people to create unique compositions & light to tell your story. The editing style has more advanced techniques to create a more artistic flare. Wedding Photo-Journalism photographer allows all of the moments to unfold around them while they just naturally use their creative eye to capture and interpret those moments through their photography. This is a more documentary coverage of your wedding. Each Photographer is different and some have a blend or combination of two or more. Make sure to ask what style they lean towards. 2. At least have a general idea of your budget. Knowing your budget and stating that helps you to not feel like you are being taken advantage of, or wasting your time if you cannot afford that photographer. Whatever you do, DO NOT sacrifice QUALITY over quantity. You will most likely find a package that works! 3. Now you have lots of knowledge but how do you find the right person? The first place to start is friends. They have already gone down this road and they might recommend their photographer or give you the name of the person they should have hired. If you do a search on the internet PLEASE go past the first page and check out more photographers. You can also ask local vendors which photographers have taken pictures at that location before and are familiar with the surrounding areas. ​Go local if you can!

4. Too many websites?! Narrow your choices down from the different websites but remember you are not hiring a web designer so do not go with someone just because you love their website. Book a few Consultations to get to know them in person...Don't forget, they are nervous too! Also look for the stories behind the images...what story are they telling? 5. Make sure they are not just a “weekend warrior”! Friends are nice, but they do not know what it takes or the pressure of a Full Wedding day. You want a Professional Photographer, someone who is doing this as their sole living and know the ins and outs of what needs to go into the day and post production. You need someone who is dedicated to keeping themselves informed of the latest equipment, lighting, and technology to create the best product and services. 6. References are important and it is not a bad idea to call them but be warned most photographers are only providing the good ones. It's okay to ask the photographer what things/events they have experienced that went wrong and how they handled it too. You can even have a laugh together! I know I do!

7. Do you shoot film or digital? Color , Black & White or both? What kind of photos can we expect from our wedding day and do we get to choose? If it's important to you do receive any black and white or a mix of them, be sure to mention that in the Consultation. It's good to let your photographer know that is something you will be wanting or looking for. 8. Ask to view samples of complete weddings and ask questions about that wedding. You want a Photographer who not only can create a wonderful “glamour” shot of the bride, one that is ready for a magazine but the rest of the wedding is of good quality too, like dancing, speeches, candid, action, etc... Just because one is a good photographer does not make one a good wedding photographer. 9. What is in the Wedding packages? You want no surprises, and you want to confirm that the packages are equal when comparing from one photographer to another. Also ask if you receive non-watermarked Prints and/or Digital images? And how many in each Package? Don't Forget to ask: How many hours of coverage, if you are having a large wedding you may need two photographers, how many proofs do you receive, will all the images be given to me and how, on a DVD, flashcard, downloadable, how long until I receive the images? Make sure you understand this clearly before hiring! 10. And finally, we have talked about the packages, quality, and price now what is most important is the relationship you feel with the photographer. **SOO IMPORTANT!! Even the most low-key photographer still has a significant presence at your wedding; make sure that person is a guest you would invite! I hope this has been helpful and gives you the confidence going into an interview with future photographers for your Wedding day! If you have any further questions don't hesitate to ask! My contact info is below! Thank you!

Melissa Carter | Bozeman, MT  Lifestyle Portrait & Wedding Photographer | 406.551.3718

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