Found this on another photographers site Great article!… So true! Great article written by Grant & Deb. Thanks for such a real article. Miguel
So you’re meeting your prospective wedding photographer for the first time. You found them on a Google search, and their site seems nice enough. But how do you really know they are the best for you?
The easiest answer is also the most ridiculous; in 30 initial minutes you can’t. BUT … there are a few things you can look for to become more comfortable with your decision.
1. Relationship – Relationship – Relationship
The absolute most important aspect to you reaping the results you desire from your final wedding photography is that you fall in LOVE with your wedding photographer(s). And by LOVE I don’t mean you’d ebay your rings, cancel your date and marry them – but I do mean you feel so comfortable that you’d be able to brag about them to your closest friends or have them over for dinner at your house.
A wedding photographer worth hiring doesn’t take pictures, and that sounds totally weird, I know. A great wedding photographer isn’t really a photographer at all but an artist who uses a camera and lens to paint and CAPTURE MOMENTS in digital files filled with emotion and passion. Their images – each and every one – CAPTURE a narrative or story that with one glance creates an emotion from the viewer; namely you. ANYBODY can take a picture, especially with the advances in today’s geeky low-priced digital cameras. But only true wedding photography ARTISTS can capture your story with passion and emotion.
Someone who is bestowed such a precious and significant task as being your ONLY wedding photographer must be someone you absolutely love and admire. In fact, a true wedding photography artist will almost always be easy to be comfortable with because they themselves are depending on building a strong relationship with you so they may better understand what is important to your final outcome.
Ask your prospective wedding photographer if they take their cameras with them to family birthday parties or if they shoot pictures of their niece’s soccer games. Only someone passionate about their craft integrates that passion into their lives – and a great wedding photography artist always integrates their passion into their lives.
When you’re sitting across the table from them, how do they make you feel? Are you getting excited about your day as they talk about their involvement? When they talk about their product, do they exhibit a kind of giddiness or are they just selling? What adjective comes to your mind to describe them if you were asked 5 minutes after you’ve left the appointment?
Passion HAS to at least be a likely adjective you could choose. If not? Run – do not walk – to the next photographer.
You see – any great wedding photography artist is in the “game” for more than just the coin. They are always – and I mean always – looking to become your wedding photographer because they are passionate about painting your special story with the lenses of their camera that tell the story through fine art photography. In fact, a passionate wedding photography artist will always be a remarkable artist.
3. No new stress – please!
The wedding photographer sitting across the table from you has no idea what your plans are for your upcoming fairy-tale day. In fact, just because they’ve taken pictures for hundreds of brides before you, there are no other weddings even close in style or substance as yours, period.
If your prospective wedding photographer isn’t asking the right questions of you, questions pertaining to your day, how YOU plan it to unfold, how many bridesmaids, groomsmen, the venue, is there going to be dancing, will your dad walk you down the aisle, who your maid-of-honor is and who she is to you …
If they are insisting on showing you their previous work, and how awesome they are, and who they’ve photographed before ever asking about how YOU envision your day? RUN – do not walk – to the next prospective photographer.
The most counter-productive and stressful situation is to have your wedding photographer not clearly understand your time line. And the best scenario in this situation is to have a needy, whiney, and question ridden person running around taking pictures creating more stress. The worst scenario? They don’t ask and subsequently don’t GET the pictures you envisioned. In either scenario? Stress and disaster.
Actually, the absolute BEST scenario is a wedding photographer who sits across the table and interviews YOU. That’s right, you’ve invited them to the table to choose them – but what you really want is someone who wants to work with you because you both click. Someone who asks you a bunch of questions, and diligently writes down YOUR answers about YOUR day as they interview YOU. Why? Because when they truly understand YOUR day, and how it will unfold, you have found someone who doesn’t need to create stress on your day (or before), you’ve found someone capable of discovering and understanding what you want prior to your day. Someone who can click with you (and hopefully – FOR you – wink).
4. Show me your stuff
More than likely, you’ve seen a lot of your prospective wedding photographer’s work (and probably their best work) from their web site. And having a look at an album or prints or canvas or … is a good thing too. But understand this, nothing they show you across the table is going to be what you get – ever. You are seeing a compilation of work from perhaps their best work, which is understandable. But even on a perfect day, no two weddings are the same, nor are any two wedding albums, or prints, or … the same.
Obviously your wedding photographer needs to be able to nail their focus, and exposures, and all of those technical photography details in order to even be considered. But, going back to the number one “must” – other bride’s relationships with your photographer have got to be great.
Ask your potential wedding photographer to give you a couple of brides you can contact. And when they provide those names, call those brides and ask one question; “What do you remember most about Photographer xx?” That’s it! You’ll get the whole story from that one question. And the best part? You’ll also get your answer overall from that question.
5. It’s gotta be fun
Ask the wedding photographer this question; “So what do you do for fun?” Not that you need to care WHAT they do for fun – but you do care if they do anything that IS FUN.
Just because your wedding photographer will be working as a “vendor” on your awesome day does NOT mean they have to portray it as work. They have to have fun at it – and you’ve got to have fun at it – and that does NOT mean it’s up to you to make it fun. THEY have to make it fun – the whole day. It may be 98 degrees in the shade or 2 below zero – but THEY have to be able to roll with the punches or change direction at any given time and still make it fun and stress-free for your entire party.
And there is really no way to know if that person you just met is that person other than to know they know how to have fun on their own, hence “So what do you do for fun?”
Fun = happy. Stress = ugly. Which do you choose?
My best friend Deb and I specialize in being a husband and wife Wedding Photography Artist team. You can view more of our work and our galleries at our Wedding Photography Artist Site at GrantDeb.com or you can stay up to date with us on our BLOG at blog.GrantDeb.com.
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