Phoenix Wedding Photographers

How to Choose a Great Wedding Photographer

Step 1: Define What You Want

A. Quantity

Most couples want photojournalistic, behind-the-scenes shots when the bridal party is getting ready and having fun.  There are some amazing moments that beg to be recorded like when the bridesmaids are lacing up the back of the dress or the bride looks at herself in the mirror for the first time or the bride’s mother puts a necklace around her daughter’s neck and gives her a hug.

Most couples want family portraits.  After all, there are few times when everyone is together and looking this good.  It is now that family members who haven’t seen each other in years can be photographed together.  It is now that three, four and five generations can be in the same photo.

Most couples want the entire ceremony photographed from entrances to declarations, to vows and rings, to unity candles and the first kiss as husband and wife.

Most couples want the highlights of the reception including the entrance, first dances, the details of the cake, the toasts, the bouquet toss and the cake cutting.

B. Quality

Some couples are fine with Uncle Bob or Cousin Amy taking snapshots.  Most couples prefer quality photography delivered by a professional wedding photographer with professional equipment and a professional demeanor.

1. Quality of Pictures

Most couples want some pictures worthy of framing.  They want a large picture like a 16 x 20 for their new home.  They want smaller framed pictures like 5 x 7’s for their desk.

To be worthy of framing, the pictures need to say something special.  You should feel the love and joy and fun and excitement.

Snapshots record a moment.  Photographs convey the power of the feelings in that moment.  Photographs blend lighting, architectural elements, angles, expressions, colors, contrasts and compositions together in balance to create mood and environment and feeling.  It takes a photographer to be able to guide the subjects of a picture into this realm to create art. 

2. Quality of Experience

Probably the biggest differentiator among wedding photographers is attitude.  Does this wedding photographer have the experience, the poise, the grace, the calm to reduce the stress of the day, make photography fun, make you feel like a movie star, and get the right shots? 

You could hire a photographer who does not show up, shows up late, or shows up and acts like he or she doesn’t want to be there.

Hire a photographer who will give you great pictures and quality of experience.


Step 2: Decide a Budget

As I say on my website, you dream about your wedding for years, you plan for months, you spend a significant amount of money and it is over in hours.  Your photos are the most eloquent and beautiful reminders of the magic.  Is photography really the place to cut corners?

There are plenty of photographers advertising five hours for $895.  These are attention-getters and not serious offers.  Sure, you look at the package but almost everyone buys a higher priced package that actually contains more of what they want.

Wedding photographers will create a custom package based on your budget and what is most important to you.


Step 3: Shop Online

Any serious wedding photographer has a portfolio of great photographs online.  Some do more with Photoshop and filters and others focus on feelings and emotions.  The important thing is that the pictures selected for a portfolio say volumes about the photographer and what he or she likes.

Some of the most treasured photos I have delivered to a couple are ones I nearly threw away because of some light issue or shadow.  The couple loved it because it captured Grandma’s smile just perfect.

Find a photographer with photos you like and prices in line or close to your budget.


Step 4: Meet with at Least Three

Again, anyone with professional equipment and some experience is going to take high-quality photographs.  What makes the difference is attitude.  Is the photographer reliable and dependable?  Is he calm and stress reducing?  Is she too good to be there and makes everyone feel tense?  Is he fun and gets people in the mood to celebrate?  Is she able to make guests feel comfortable?  Is he sensitive to people and what they are feeling?  Is she able to do all the processing and developing and get the pictures to you in a timely fashion?


Step 5: Hire the Photographer You Trust

In the end, you need to hire the photographer you like.  You will spend more time that day with your photographer than any other vendor.

Call or email today to check availability and set up your fun, informative, free consultation.