How to choose your Wedding Photographer

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Now that you are engaged and have selected a venue and date, hiring vendors comes next and choosing your wedding photographer is a BIG decision. Here are some things to consider and remember when making this decision.

Have a Connection
You have spent months and maybe years waiting for the BIG day and you want to make sure you are surrounded by people you love. You will spend more time with your wedding photographer than you will with your husband on the day of your wedding. Sound weird? It’s true! The photographer is IN THE ROOM when you are in your underwear! Really, they are. They are in your face from start to finish on wedding day, well before your hubby and your guests even get to see you.

When you are searching for your wedding photographer you want to take the time to get to know them and get a feel for their personality to make sure it is a good fit.  Ask to meet them personally and review what your vision is for the day and ask about their ideas.  This will give you some time to get to know the photographer and determine if you enjoy being around them.  Just like people, photographers have a personality and a creativeness that is unique to each of us.  

Another way to see if the photographer is a good fit for you is to have them do your engagement photos.  This will give you time with them and be able to evaluate if they understand your vision and you can review their product. Plus, can they make your fiance laugh in the way that captures his smile perfectly?

Portfolio
So, you connect with the photographer, but do they take good pictures?  Do not be afraid to ask about reviewing their portfolio!! Make sure you ask to review multiple wedding portfolios and make sure that some are of a similar surrounding as what your venue will be. 

For example, if you are having a wine country wedding, make sure you see photos that have that kind of background.  You want those vines looking fabulous in the background with vibrant colors.  Afterall, if this is the kind of venue you have chosen, you want all the vibrant colors of the vines and trees as well as the gorgeous sunset to follow as the evening progressesYou want to make sure that the photographer will have the proper lenses to handle this kind of background. 

If you are having church wedding obviously the background and surrounding are different and you want to make sure the photographer is catching the glow of the church.   Do you have an animal that will be part of your day?  Make sure your photographer likes animals and can photograph them well.  There is an art to taking pictures with animals and the photographer must connect with animals to get that perfect picture of your fur baby. 

Contract
Always have a signed contract.  Make sure the contract includes details that you can refer to, so all parties know the expectations.  Contract should include but limited to:  date, start and end time, locations (including travel if applicable), services, products (photo album for example), time frame for review of photos, and of course fee for services.   Be sure to ask about overtime in case you run longer for any reason that is out of your control.

Planning the Day 
Be involved in the creation of your timeline with your coordinator so you can convey what you want to happen.  Of course, you want to make sure you review this with your photographer and make sure they agree with your thoughts.

When creating a wedding photography timeline consider the following:  

Do you want photos of the bridal party and bride getting ready? 

Will there be a first look?  

Will there be any travel from one location to another?  

Any special props that need to be organized?  

Are they any animals involved? 

What time is the sunset?

Is there a time of day that your venue looks best and you don’t want to miss it? 

THE BIG DAY
Have fun and be happy. When you take your time to choose the right photographer, they will capture the joy and you have nothing else to worry about.

About the author: Milestone Events Group is Northern California’s most experienced Wine Country Wedding Experts & largest event management company providing site selection services to multiple locations throughout Sonoma County. Over the past 6 years Milestone has helped hundreds of couples simplify the venue selection process by providing clarity, predictability and ultimately confidence for clients who work with them to evaluate wineries, ranches, and other locations for their private events.

After the venue selection process is complete, Milestone is also available to help produce events in a stress reduced and highly professional manner. www.MilestoneEventsGroup.com

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