Here is my advice on hiring a wedding photographer, some of you may want it, some will be shocked I am saying it and some of you will not get it until you have gone the cheap route and wished you hadn't. When you decide to hire a photographer for your wedding be sure they have the skills AND equipment for your type of ceremony. Here is the scoop about our price ranges...Anyone who is charging less than $2000 as a base price is still building their portfolio. No that does not mean they are not good at what they do. It simply means that they are not necessarily sure they are good enough to charge you $2,000. I cannot say that is true for all of them but I can definitely tell you that for myself and some of my friends who shoot this is the the case. Remember when you are choosing a photographer you need to meet with the face to face, research their work, look at their website and see if they have images that look like what you want. It is possible to get someone in my price range that is amazing! No doubt about it but for your wedding you need to be positive you will walk away with the pictures you want!
If you do not know where you are having your wedding yet then you do not know what type of photographer you need. It isn't just about if they have pretty pics on their website it is more about have they done a wedding in a setting like you plan to use. For example I am pretty good at doing weddings.....OUTSIDE. I can do outside and well lit wedding all day long and get you wonderful images. However I am a full time Art teacher not a full time photographer. So I have not ,nor will I probably do so in the near future, invested the money in the lighting needed for indoor darker settings. Just the professional flash is over $300. That is not including any floor lighting or stand lights. Some people are amazing at flash photography....I am not one of them. I get by, but is that what you want for your wedding?
What in the world are you getting for that $2000? What could a photographer possible do that they think they deserve that much money in one day? Well a lot! I personally just spent over 15 hours editing photos from a wedding in an aquarium that was absolutely stunning. Now someone else with more flash experience probably would not have needed anywhere near that amount of time but they still have expensive equipment that they have to buy, rent or maintain depending on where they are in their careers. I pulled it off by the Grace of God and a relatively cheap set of flashes and a lot of time in Photoshop and Lightroom. However it was enough for me to be inspired to write this post. If your wedding is going to be in a darker setting ask your potential photographer to show you pics they have done in similar lighting and if they don't have any....keep looking for someone who does.
Photographs are artwork that happen in a flash (all pun intended) but artwork all the same. Now adays everyone has a "good" camera and can take "good" pics but you want someone to do your wedding that understands composition, lighting, manual settings, bouncing light, white balance, best angles to shoot from for more flattering images, These are not just things you can learn from a 10 min video on youtube (though that is a good place to start). These things take practice LOTS AND LOTS OF PRACTICE. I have at this point shot about 6 weddings...I get better each time...though I am not sure how many more I will do as I prefer newborns and family sessions. Anyway take my advice or leave it. Those of us building our portfolios certainly appreciate being given the chance to do so!