Chealsea glides down the stairs of the mansion, her gown flowing with the way she walks. She picks up the card on the windowsill that her fiance wrote to her. As she reads it her eyes shimmer with tears and her whole being radiates with a smile. I stand across from her capturing the moment and trying not to cry.
Every wedding I photograph always reminds me of my husband and I. The strong love that we have that began on our own special day. Every mother and son dance reminds me of my son and how someday (many years from now) he will find the love of his life and I will be the mother dancing with her son.
I never thought in college that I would be a wedding photographer but since the first time a friend asked me to photograph their’s I realized how much I enjoyed it. Fast forward 5 years later, over 20 weddings a year and I still enjoy it.
I know wedding planning can be stressful after being a bride myself and I also know how hard it is to find the right photographer. I’ve come up with some key things to look for that I’ve learned over the years working in the industry.
Chemistry – It is so important that you feel at ease with your photographer. This person is going to be with you throughout the whole day so you want to make sure you find a comfortable fit. A good photographer with make you feel calm, they will be professional but also helpful. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve held umbrellas over brides, bustled dresses, and fastened boutonnieres.) An engagement session is also good way to get to know your photographer and especially if you are shy or not used to getting your photo taken. It can help ease any jitters of taking photos at the wedding.
Shot list– When you sit down with your photographer and are going over the time line its a good time to go over shot lists. Most photographers will already have a general list in their head, but if there is something special that is important to you now would be the time to discuss it. (example, photo with grandparent, or photo with a special heirloom.)
Technical Stuff – Ask your photographer if they have insurance, most should. Do they have a back up camera and equipment that they will have on hand? Do they back up their raw files or negatives of the wedding? If so for how long? Basically If you get married and 5 years later need a new copy of images are they going to be able to produce your images again?
Reviews – Ask for reviews from past clients and professionals. If they have any negative reviews, look at how they responded to them. Do they remain professional and is there a positive conclusion?
Overall, remember that this person is not only capturing the most special moments for you, but they are sharing them with you. You should not only feel like you are being treated as a client but also as a close friend.
Photo credit of the picture of me taking a photo – by my husband John Vorwald.