When to hire a wedding photographer

To all the engaged couples out there; we can not put enough emphasis on how important it is for you to hire your photographer ASAP. This is your wedding, people… do you really want to risk settling for someone you don’t like or don’t know, because you waited until the last minute? People often think they can wait until a month or 2 before their wedding, but by then, it may be next to impossible to find someone who is available. Some photographers schedule a year or more in advance, but most ask for at least 3-6 months. That’s not saying that they never have availability sooner, but as a rule of thumb, you’re better off if you don’t procrastinate. 

At DLPS, we ask for a minimum of 3 months, but we prefer at least 5-6. This gives us a chance to meet with you a couple of times and make sure we have everything set. It also gives you time to pay for your photography in payments, rather than having to come up with the whole amount at once. Go ahead and send us an email inquiry. We will set up a consultation time to meet, either in person if you’re local, or by Skype if you’re not, and talk about all things wedding. We will ask you a ton of questions, you can ask us just as many. We want to hear all about your wedding and what you have planned. We also want to talk to you about our services and what we can do for you to make sure that your wedding is documented accurately and beautifully. 

We would love to talk to you about your wedding photography needs, so please contact us and schedule a consultation. 

Looking for a wedding photographer? Read this first!

Researching wedding photographers can be time consuming and frustrating. Here are a few questions to ask to help narrow your search and match you up with the perfect photographer for your wedding day. 

What does the photographer charge: 
This is a broad question, and you will probably need to give more information before they
can give you a more exact answer, but initially, find out what their price
range is. If your budget is only $1000 for a photographer, it would be a waste
of time to talk to photographers whose smallest package is $2000

Where is the photographer located: 
This is important to know, because if it’s someone who is out of town, there will
probably be some type of travel expenses charged. You want to know this
upfront, not be blindsided with it the day before the wedding.

Does the photographer have a website/online portfolio that you can view

Look at samples of his or her work. Do you like the pictures? Do the pictures look like something you would want in your wedding album. Again, not everyone fits with every photographer. We all
have different styles and ways of doing things. Ask about an actual website, not just a Facebook  or Instagram page.

What are the payment arrangements/is there a deposit required: 

Again, this will vary by photographer but you need to know up front so you know when
things have to be paid. Unless you have unlimited funds, you probably do not
want to have to pay for everything at the last minute or even all at once.

Does the photographer have a 2nd shooter &/or backup equipment: 

This is getting a bit more technical, and any photographer worth their salt has one or the other, if not both. But, ask just in case. You don’t want your photographer to show up, only to have their 1 camera break in the getting ready stage and then you have no pictures of your wedding except those that Aunt Mildred took with her 2-pixel camera from the back row.

What’s the turn around time on your pictures

Ask how long it usually takes the photographer to get the pictures ready for you to see. Will it be 2 weeks, 2 months or a year? This will probably be an estimated time, as things do come up, but they should be able to give you a pretty good idea of how long you will be waiting.

Why do they do wedding photography: 

If the 1st thing out of their mouth is about money, run away. You want someone who does it because they love weddings. The portraits will be better if the photographer is excited about your wedding.

Do they have reviews you can read: 

Look at what other people are saying, and make sure that they are truly past clients and not only family or friends. Look for key words like on time, easy to work with, fun, creative, flexible, and calm.

Do they have insurance: 

Insurance is a must for all professionals. It covers not only the
photographer and their equipment, but you and your guests. Professional,
registered businesses should have insurance.

How long have they been doing photography: 

Some people are naturals and do well from the beginning. Most people need to practice. You don’t want them practicing during your wedding. Ask if they have ever worked as a 2nd shooter.
Also, how many other weddings have they done?

What is their photography style: 

Make sure that their photography style matches what you want. Have them show you samples of their work, as well as some of their favorite images. If you like light, airy photos, you may not want
a photographer that shoots with a lot of shadows and dark colors.

Do they belong to any photography organizations

There are a lot of photography organizations out there that are wonderful for education and keeping up with the trends. Does the person you’re considering belong to any of them? If not, why not?

Are they professional photographers or is this a hobby: 

Some hobbyist’s take really nice photos. Many do not. Verify with samples of work.

Do they have a contract: 

You need to sign a contract. This will protect you and the photographer.
It will explain what happens if they have an emergency and can’t make your
wedding, important info about their policies and also keep everyone honest
about what was promised and expected. Make sure you get a copy for your records.
It shouldn’t be super long, but does need to lay out all of the details and
expectations on both sides.

How did they learn photography: 

What is their education? Do they hold any certifications related to photography? Are they self-taught or did they go to school?

What is their photography specialty

On their website, is it wedding specific or are there also pictures of dogs, trees, food and a boat? You might want someone who is focused on portraits and weddings, as those go hand in hand. 

10 Tips to Improve Your Wedding Photography Experience

10 Tips to Improve your Wedding Photography Experience.

Here are the first 10 of our top 20 list of things to do to improve your wedding
photography. We hope these are helpful to you...

Tip 1: Research Photographers

Do your research! Remember, you get what you pay for. Cheaper is not always better and a.friend with a camera is going to take photos that look like they were taken by a friend with a.camera. Professional wedding photographers have training and experience in photographing.weddings. At Dark Light Portrait Studios, we are members of both Professional Photographers of.America & are Certified Professional Photographers and have photographed A LOT of weddings. 

Tip 2: Have an Engagement Session

An engagement session will give you a chance to get to know us before your big day. It is very.important that we all get along, as we will be spending a lot of time together..This opportunity gives you the chance to ask questions about your wedding day photography.and explain your photography needs. It is also where you will get beautiful portraits that you can.use at your reception, as well as on your save the date cards.

Tip 3: Make a portrait list

Make a list of the important portraits you want taken before the wedding, during the ceremony.and during the reception. Give it to us before the day of the wedding so we can become familiar.with it. Also, share it with the people involved, email it to your wedding party, your parents, etc.. This will.help those who are in the photos know where they need to be and when.

Tip 4: Location Location Location!

If you have a specific place(s) in mind where you want portraits taken on your wedding day, let us.know ahead of time. This will give us time to scout out the locations and get a feel for them before the wedding.

Tip 5: Photographer Flash Use

Don’t forget to ask your church/wedding venue about the use of flash. Most churches do not.allow flash photography during the wedding ceremony. This information is vital to us as your.photographers. Please be sure to let us know the policies ahead of time.

Tip 6: Timing

Allow adequate time in the wedding day schedule to take your portraits between the ceremony.and reception. Ideally, we would like to have at least an hour, especially if you want group shots.or to go to different locations. The more time you allow for photography the better your portraits.will come out. Also remember that photos taken after dark are going to look different than photos .taken when the sun is still out. 

Tip 7: Traditional, Lifestyle or Photo-journalistic

Hire a photographer that matches your style and the type of portraits you like. If you want.traditional posed shots don’t hire someone that only does photojournalism..Traditional photographers mostly do posed portraits..Lifestyle photographers use a combination of posed and candid portraits..Photo-journalistic photographers use little to no posing on portraits.

Tip 8: Editing

Don’t forget that for us as your photographers, the wedding is not over after your BIG DAY..We still have hours and hours of editing and retouching to do afterwards. This is why.professionals charge more than non-professional photographers. We put in the work to ensure.that you have quality portraits that you will be proud of. With that in mind, please don’t ask us to just “Photoshop it”..Remember adding or removing people or items will greatly increase the price and the length of time it takes to get your portraits.

Tip 9: Don’t make drastic changes in the days close to your wedding

Don’t get a spray tan, haircut, facial or anything else brand new in the last days before the wedding. This..should also apply to your wedding party. Make any changes a week or so ahead of time.. breakouts, hair freak outs 

and the oompa-loompa look on your wedding day are not fun..

Tip 10: Ask your guests to put their cell phones down

Everyone loves photos, and we are sure you have been to a wedding where everyone has their phones out. Often, guests with cell phones can ruin a professional photo. Nothing looks worse than a beautiful photo of you standing at the alter that is ruined because everyone in the audience has their phones up in the air. Many a photo has been ruined or un-shot because a guest with a cell phone got in the way, cut off the photographer or are holding their phone/tablet up above their heads. We are paid to be at your wedding, so ask your guests to enjoy the ceremony in real time and let us handle the photography. 

©DLPS Weddings 2014-2020 DLPS Weddings is a division of Dark Light Portrait Studios
Using Format