5 things you need to know when hiring a wedding photographer

I thought instead of being narcissistic all the time, I'd post some helpful tips for wedding planning. I've been in the planning process for about a year now. Like most brides-to-be, I spent a lot of time contemplating various details, and also figuring out what questions I need to ask various vendors.

One of the most important vendors you will be working with is your photographer. My way of thinking is that you’re not just paying for some pictures, but you’re buying memories. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth. You may look back at your shoes and remember how pretty you felt, but you’d probably also remember how uncomfortable they were.

Here are some things to look for in a photographer:
  1. What style are you going for? My fiance and I are casual people. We aren’t super cheesy people who stop and pose for pictures. When we researched photographers, we looked for portfolios that had candid, more journalistic shots. However, being Chinese, I also needed to satisfy my family with some portraits. So we also had to make sure the photographer we chose was comfortable in taking huge family portraits.
  2. Cost: This is a biggie. Ask your friends who got married recently and find out how much they spent. You can also check wedding forums and get feedback from other brides if you are the first to bite the bullet. Create a budget and stick to it. As much as I believe in buying your memories, you also don’t want to be broke.
  3. Packages: When you request a quote from the photographer, they are going to give you prices on various packages. The packages will include things such as hours of photography, number of photographers, and goodies such as number of retouched photos. When you are comparing prices, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. One package may seem cheaper, but may not include as many deliverables such as albums or printed photos. You need to be sure your overall spend (including prints, and albums) is within your budget.
  4. Interview: If you’re in the same city as your photographer, SET UP A MEETING! You need to be sure your personalities fit. This is a great opportunity to ask questions, and also look at a larger portfolio. Most photographers have part of their portfolio on their website, but those online are only the tip of the iceberg. You may not like a photographer’s website, but you like his prices. It doesn’t hurt to set up a meeting. You may be surprised by what you find.
  5. Sign the Contract!! If you like what you see, chances are, another bride getting married on the same day will like him too. Once you sign the contract, you can move on and plan other aspects of your wedding! (In my case, I’m contemplating my table settings)
After thinking about all these things, I got a few quotes from photographers from Vancouver, and also in the Okanagan area. I quickly eliminated a lot of them based on cost. As much as I believe that you shouldn't skimp on photography, I also couldn't justify spending half my budget on it. I was so happy to find Justin from Three Sixty Photography. I discovered him at Vancity Bride's blog! Justin has a great portfolio, and great pricing. He really listens to what you're looking for, and will do whatever he can to accommodate. What I like about him is that he's done journalistic style shoots, as well as the formal portraits. Him being Chinese is a plus, since he already knows how to handle the demanding aunties! Haha!

We will be doing our engagement shoot soon. I'll be sure to share some of the pictures once they're available!

I hope these quick tips will help you in finding the perfect photographer for your special day!

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