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How to Find Your Photographer or Filmmaker

1. First Things First.

Choosing your photographer and filmmaker can be a daunting task. For as many as there are to choose from, there are as many personalities, styles, collections, and products to consider. There is so much more than just having someone with a nice camera to document what is going on, and it's arguably the most important jobs of the day, aside from that of the officiant who marries the happy couple. Our goal here is to provide tips and advice for some of the details to pay attention to while shopping, meeting, and talking with photographers and cinematographers, to help prevent you from hiring the wrong one.

2. Personality

A good wedding photographer or filmmaker has good interpersonal skills, is charismatic, professional, and honest. Chemistry is key- You and your family and friends will be spending the full day with them across all the moments, including the intimate ones and the crazy ones. It's essential to meet and talk with the photographer and cinematographer to check out how they would interact with you and your guests, and to see if they have a personality that will match yours. If you don't like your photographer or cinematographer, you may not enjoy some aspects of your wedding day or imagery.

3. Skill and Creativity

Their technical knowledge of the camera and gear should be second nature, allowing for the ability to accurately document the events, including any time constraints and many varying lighting situations . At the same time, you also need them to have a lot of creativity, which will give your images and cinematic films their unique and artistic quality.

4. Experience

Your wedding photographers and cinematography also should have experience, in addition to a good personality, creativity, and a solid skills set. Things to consider are, how long have they been shooting weddings? Are they full-time professional, or are they a part-timer/weekend warrior? Have they been the lead shooter, or have they only been an assistant or second shooter? That is not to say that there aren't talented newbies who have a good personality out there, but it's important to not to discount what a seasoned, lead shooter can do compared to one who is not.

4. The Complete Portfolio

If you find a photographer or filmmaker whose style you like, be sure to ask to see an entire collection of films or images from each wedding they've shot. Even beginners can get some lucky shots or footage for a website, so be sure that what you see is consistent and makes sense. Look for everything you'll need: candids, portraits, emotional moments, and creativity, all while telling the story.

6. Think Long Term

The wedding photographer and cinematographer have a unique role for your wedding. Not only are you working with them well before your wedding for your Engagement Session and your timeline planning, but also after your wedding, for the delivery of your films, image gallery, your print orders, and album design process. No other vendor participates more or longer in your wedding, so it comes down to being sure they have your best interest at heart. Are they responsive to your questions? Are they flexible, and do they listen to what you need and want for your day? Do you find them approachable and easy to talk to? Are they clear in what they offer? Check out their reviews- how many do they have, and are they consistently positive? Your relationship with your photographer is not just for a few hours of your wedding day, it's a trusted partnership that grows over time.

7. Quality

It's hard to know what you'll want after your wedding, and the differences in products (albums, parent albums, prints, etc.) in what photographers offer can be dizzying. Keep your focus on the quality of the imagery and service provided, and remember that you can always purchase an album or prints later when your budget changes after the wedding. When you have the quality photography, you can cut out the prints and album if you need to make it more affordable, getting those items at a later time, but if you choose a cheaper photographer to get more stuff, the quality may not be there for such prints and albums anyway.

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