What to Consider When Selecting a Wedding Photographer


When planning your wedding, there are a lot of details that need your attention to make your day perfect! From the various flower arrangements, to the cake and finger foods, every detail needs to be thought of and carefully executed to ensure that your day is everything you’ve ever hoped and dreamed it would be! Careful consideration is given to the flavor and presentation of your cake. Scheduled tastings can help narrow your selection and help you find the right vendor for your wedding. But how do you find the right wedding photographer to ensure that you will have high-quality, beautiful images that fully capture the magic and details of the day? Unlike other wedding vendors, you can’t take your photographer for a trial “taste test” prior to the big day. Below are eight steps to consider when choosing your photographer.

1. Determine Style

Do you have more of an edgy style? Do you prefer images to be captured as they happen? Perhaps you prefer more classic portraits that are posed in front of various backgrounds. Your personal style will play a role in determining what style of photographer you’ll want to capture your special day. Many photographers can do a blend of candid and posed pictures, in a mixture of color and black and white. If there is a style that you love, or want to see your wedding captured in, be sure to find a photographer who specializes in that style.

2. Do Your Research

Before you contact any photographers, do your research! Find recent reviews that were left by newlyweds, and check local listings to get a feel for what previous clients thought about their experience. Be sure to check the photographer’s website and blog to see other weddings that they have shot to get an idea of their style and what you can expect.

3. Ask to See a Few Complete Wedding Albums

It is easy for a photographer to place their best pictures on their website, and highlight the images that they want prospective clients to see. When you schedule your interview, ask to see complete wedding albums, so that you can see what the whole day looked like and not just the few moments that were highlighted on the website. Also, it is a good idea to see a couple of different weddings so that you can see how the photographer works in different settings, different lighting, and different venues. Be sure to ask to see weddings that were held in similar venues and lighting as yours will be.

4. Review Pictures Critically

When reviewing an album, be sure to go through the pictures with a critical eye. Be especially mindful of moments that are important to you, for your photographer to capture. Are the images crisp and fully capturing emotions? Is the lighting good, or do the faces look washed out? Be sure to take note of the various individuals that are captured in the images. Are they relaxed and enjoying themselves, or do they look caught off guard? You’ll want to find a photographer that is able to encapsulate the real emotions that are being experienced throughout the day by your guest.

5. Compare Packages

When interviewing potential photographers, ask about what their packages include, and get an idea for how much their different packages cost. Are you wanting your photographer to be available for the whole day, or perhaps the entire wedding weekend? Be sure to ask how much they charge per hour outside of their standard hours, and any other rates for extras that are not included in their packages. Most photographers will include between 6-12 hours in their packages, this includes pre-ceremony events (getting ready and first looks) to when you make your grand exit from the reception. If there is a possibility that you’ll go over on time, and will require your photographer to stick around longer, be sure to book those extra hours as soon as possible.  Compare the different packages that are going to deliver what you want/need from your wedding photographer and be sure you are getting the best deal.

6. Ask Who Owns the Copyrights

Most photographers will elect to keep the copyrights to all the photos from your wedding, including the ones of you. This allows the photographer to use the photos on the website, and for promotional and advertising needs. For some photographers, this also means that you can only post and share photos that have their watermarks on them, giving them the credit. Be sure you find out if you’ll be able to order different sized prints yourself, or if you’ll have to pay extra to purchase the rights in order to do so.

7. Get the Postproduction Details

Depending on your photographer and how busy they are, it can take an additional six to eight weeks after your wedding before you get your pictures back. This is because most photographers spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding. Before signing a contract with a photographer, be sure to ask what the general postproduction time line is. How many images will you be getting? Will the images be high or low resolution? Who will be getting the prints made? Ask any other questions that you can think of that pertain to getting your images printed and returned to you long after the wedding has happened and your guest have returned home.

At MS Photo & Video, we are the premier wedding photographer in San Jose. We know what you are looking for when selecting a photographer to capture all those important moments from your special day. Check out our gallery today and see the care and attention we give to every detail, to ensure that your special day is forever frozen in time!