As a freelance photographer (not wedding photographer), I had extremely high expectations for my wedding photos. Here are some tips based on my own search to find someone to capture the moments at my wedding.
My experience is based on an outdoor destination wedding for which in-person interviews were not possible. However, you may still find these tips useful for a non-destination or indoor wedding. Step 0 of course is to look at individual photographers’ websites and blogs to make sure you like their style of photography. Here are 5 questions that you should add to your list of things to ask a photographer when interviewing him/her:
- How many weddings have you done? Do you photograph weddings full-time? For how long? (You want to know how experienced they are.)
- Can you describe your style of photography? (I’m assuming you’ve already seen their work on their website and like the style. You still want to make sure you’re on the same page.)
- How many megapixels does your camera have? (This matters if you want to make large prints like a 24″ x 36″ photo. 20 MP is a nice number. If you don’t care about very large prints or only want canvases, anything over 10 MP on a good sensor will do. You could ask about specific cameras and lenses, but unless you know cameras that probably won’t mean much.)
- What is your style of direction? Are you more hands-off or do you like to direct shots? (I prefer a photographer that gives more direction than less, or at least some feedback during the shoot.)
- How much time do you usually spend processing the RAW images? Are the photos on your blog representative of photos that needed a lot of work, or were you able to get them with your default settings? (How well the images are processed is crucial to how they will look. If the photographer doesn’t spend enough time to get the settings right, or doesn’t have an automated system that works well, you will end up with photos that are washed out or too dark or the wrong tint. I’m assuming that their monitor is reasonably accurate here.)
I’m assuming you’ve already established that he/she has professional photographic gear. In the end, everything is an educated guess and lighting conditions have a big role to play. Regardless of who you pick, as long as you do at least a little bit of homework, you should end up with nice memories of your special day. Good luck!
(Stay tuned for a much more detailed post on my experience and more photos!)