A lot of people ask me what I think is most important when hiring your photographer. There are definitely some key things that you MUST have….
- You need to genuinely like your photographer. You don’t need to be best friends, but you need to be comfortable with them. Also, if you are comfortable with them, it probably means that your fiancé, family, and friends will be too. This is more important than you might think. Speaking personally, it took me a long time to get to a point where I knew how to “get it out” of my subjects. The reality is, you are not a pro. You can however hire someone that will make you feel and LOOK like one.
- A lot of folks have been asking me if it is OK to hire a novice to shoot their wedding. Sure it is. BUT, you will get what you pay for here. I’m sorry, but it’s true. Even with my natural talent, artistic abilities, and warm personality, when I look at shoots from the first couple of years of my career, they are NO WHERE NEAR, where I am now as a shooter. If you needed surgery, would you prefer a new resident, or a seasoned doctor? That may sound dramatic, but my clients expect a lot. As they should!!! When else will you throw a party like this again with every person you love in the world in one place? Much less, wearing a seriously expensive gown? You don’t want someone cutting their teeth on your big day. Period. Cut money from somewhere else. The photos are what you will have for a lifetime.
- Some people ask me if they should give their photographer a list. I’m sorry, but if you hired someone that needs a list, see if you can un-hire them. If you are thinking of hiring someone that hands you a checklist of shots that you want….run. Fast. Many apologies if my tone here sounds haughty, but it’s just ridiculous. They have an eye, or they don’t. All a checklist does is make them miss any organic activity that is actually occurring. No list. A list is only needed for formal family pictures after the ceremony. And this is just to keep it as fast as possible, because I promise you that it will be your least favorite part of your day.
- In the digital age that we are in, it can be expected to hire someone that shoots digitally in some capacity. Personally, I shoot half and half. I would, however be very cautious of someone that is new to the game, and doesn’t even own a film camera. I call these people image makers. They really aren’t photographers. There’s my piece on that. One thing to be cautious of is someone that distorts all of their images!!! These images can look REALLY cool; crazy colors, blurs, and distortions. But, when you look at someone’s body of work, and EVERYTHING looks this way, it is a BIG red flag: you have an image maker on your hand that may not be capable of actually taking a real timeless photo. Another thing to consider, these effects are “cool” and “in” right now. In the eighties shoulder pads, 20 lbs of lace work, and head bands with yards of toul were in. Stay away from trends with your wedding. Let timeless be your matra.
- A lot of people ask me if they should hire a videographer. I have worked with some great ones, that edit in, and create some really tight work. I have worked with more, that get in the way, and kill any chance of ambience with a massive flood light. Just look at a sample of work, and you’ll be able to see the difference. And ask your photographer. They have a better idea than you do. I have a short list of videographers that I prefer to work with, and they are really fantastic. If you are in the Southeast, Evolution Video Inc does great work, and are fabulously cool to work with.