Here is a great blog from guest blogger Raul Salazar. Enjoy!
How do you share your wedding memories?
Just upload them onto facebook or print them out with friends and family. Honestly, your wedding day will be a blur. It will be likely that you will want to try to remember details about that day or who went or what was your cousin wearing? This is one of the reasons that having a good photographer that can record those memories will be priceless.
Many couples skimp out on the budget for the photographer, some try to get it for free. Well, its like they say “You get what you paid for”. But how can you resist that low price from your cousin who loves to take pictures or from your fiancées friend who is starting out in photography and will do it for free, so he/she can get some experience shooting a wedding. Well, I did it.
As the hired photographer, we are there to work for you. You’re our boss that day. Professional photographers are not there to mingle and socialize with your guests. In my case, I am always looking for the action, for those moments that you DO NOT see, but that you will SEE them later when you view your pictures. Your photographer will need to be attentive to what is going on in the wedding. A friend or family member photographer, might not be able to look at what is going on since they might be socializing or not paying enough attention.
In choosing a photographer, a referral will help a lot. But what if nobody refers a photographer to you? Easy. Google it! You will find hundreds of photographers. How do you start? Many will start going to the photographers website.
Now keep in mind that now a days, anybody can become a “professional photographer”.
So who do you trust, how do you choose? A lot of them are out there to make a quick buck, then they crash and burn and then you see them on tv news because they did not held their end.
What to look for in a photographer:
1. A legit photographer will most likely have a website.
They will invest in having a nice and professional looking website and their own domain name. Like www.raulsalazaphoto.com not www.wix.com/memories4ever
2. Facebook is not a wedding photography website.
Is that where they have their portfolio?
3. Can you communicate with them through email.
Awesome! Is their email:firstname.lastname@example.org There are a lot of easy websites that can give them their own email address like for example: email@example.com A legit photographer will want to invest and be a professional by having their own email address customized to their website address.
4. Ask a professional photographer about their first wedding.
Then ask him/her when that wedding was, most likely they will answer and give you details. If you just ask how long they have been doing photography, they will have an answer ready for you. I have been asked that question many many times. I can easily have said 10, 15 or 20 years. Anybody can. Several brides have interrogated me about my equipment, if I use film or not, what brand of camera do I have, again I could have said Nikon D23 or Nikon S100 (none of which exist) I have seen these questions in some Bridal Magazines. The question is: Can you deliver the final product? Is the camera an expensive camera? Who cares. A $5,000 camera will not give you better pictures if the monkey behind it does not know how to use it. Does driving a Lamborghini or Ferrari make you a better driver?
5. Go with your instinct.
If you feel comfortable with a photographer that you just met, go with him. I have several times, done contracts through email without ever meeting the bride in person until the day of the wedding. If you communicate with the photographer through email and you have good communication going and he/she is answering all your questions promptly, that is a good sign.
6. A good portfolio is nice. But is that all they can show you?
Ask your potential photographer for samples of their work from a certain place, like an engagement session in Gruene Tx. Or samples of a wedding in a certain venue, like the Granberry Hills so you can see how he /she handled that venue. If the potential photographer can give you access to those galleries, that is also a good sign. Have them show you a complete wedding gallery.
Remember, the music will end at midnight, the food will last for a day, the limo will leave you at your
hotel and you will not see it again, but the pictures that you get will outlast you. This means that wedding photography is best left to those who know how to do it…. well.