Hiring your wedding vendors can be stressful, and hiring a wedding photographer is no exception. There’s a lot riding hiring the perfect photographer, because there’s nothing worse than poor wedding photos. Not only do you want to be able to look back on your wedding day many years from now, but wedding photos are the best way to include family and friends who couldn’t make it to your big day.
Below are some tips on hiring a wedding photographer. Like hiring a wedding DJ, it can be a confusing process. If you live in or around Phoenix, Arizona, I’ve also included a list of some of my favorite photographers in the area.
Tips for Hiring a Wedding Photographer
- Do your homework
There are a lot of photographers out there, and to be honest, some of them are hobbyists at best. The best way to tell the difference between a professional and an amateur is by reading reviews and checking out their websites. Client feedback is important, and an active website or social media handles is usually a good sign. Photography is a visual business, so any photographer that doesn’t share their photos should be considered carefully.
- Understand your rights
Before hiring a wedding photographer, always ask about your rights in regards to photo usage. Many contracts give the photographer all rights to the photos—meaning they could use your wedding photos is promotional materials (websites, blogs, and ads). This also means that you may not be able share these photos without a watermark. You also may have to pay an extra fee to buy back the photos if you want to print them. Make sure to ask first!
- View wedding albums in full
Don’t just rely on the photos the photographer has chosen to highlight. A photographer will show prospective clients their best photos in a portfolio. To get a better idea of their work, ask to see a couple of wedding albums in full. This will also give you a better feel for their style. If it seems like all of the photos could easily have been in the portfolio, then choosing that photographer is probably a good bet.
- Let them know what you’re looking for
If you have a certain photography style in mind for your wedding, let a prospective photographer know. Ask if they have experience shooting in this style, and if you can see wedding albums that most align with what you’re looking for. By narrowing down what you want, it’s easier to narrow down that long list of potential photographers.
- Compare wedding packages
Just about anything to do with a wedding can be expensive, and photography packages are no exception. I’ve seen them go for up to $13,000 and more. If budget is an issue for you, as it is with most people, finding the best wedding photography package for the least amount of money is a must. When interviewing potential photographers, be sure to ask how their pricing works, and what is included in the quoted price. Don’t forget to ask how much extras may cost!
Photographer Recommendations for the Phoenix Area
Below are some of my favorite photographers in the Phoenix area. I’ve worked as a wedding DJ and MC for many years, and can guarantee that these wedding photographers consistently deliver amazing photos every time!
SJA Studios specializes in modern, elegant, and timeless photos. They do engagement sessions, and wedding packages start from $1599.
Harley Bonham Photographic Artist
With Harley Bonham Photographic Artist, you’ll be able to sit down and hammer out the details, so that nothing is overlooked. This will give your photos the perfect personal touch!
Jenn Wagner Photography
Jenn Wagner Photography treats its clients like gold and takes to time to sit down and speak with them. They specialize in classic and elegant wedding and engagement photos.
Drew Brashler Photography
The photographers at Drew Brashler Photography believe that “love conquers all” and will do anything to ensure you get the perfect wedding photos. They want to you to be able to look back on your wedding and “…remember exactly how it felt to live and love that day.”
I know that planning your wedding can be one of the most stressful things you ever do. Finding your vendors should alieve some of that stress, so I hope this list helps you narrow down your wedding photographer search!
Know any great photographers in the Phoenix area? Have some of your own tips when it comes to hiring a wedding photographer? Comment below!
Looking for a Wedding DJ & MC? Check out DMR Wedding Entertainment!
Header Image Photo Credit: Katie_photographer at flikr.com