Top 10 Qualities to Look for in a Wedding Photographer:
Choosing a professional wedding photographer is not something that you do every day.
Before you embark on this part of your wedding planning adventure it’s important to
determine the qualities that help make the difference between a capable wedding
photographer and an amazing wedding photographer. Not only is it important to feel
good about a photographer’s portfolio but it’s also essential to feel comfortable and at
ease with the photographer as a person. Remember, your wedding photographer will be
intimately involved with most aspects of your day, the more at ease you feel as a couple,
the more natural and beautiful moments your photographer will be able to take
throughout your wedding day.
1. Training and Education
While it isn’t necessary to have a Master’s degree in photography, there are numerous
ways that training and education can help develop the skills needed to become a
professional wedding photographer. Look to see what type of background your potential
photographer has in a related field.
Make sure you look for someone who has specific experience in wedding photography.
There is a large learning curve for someone who has only worked as an apprentice or
solely works in a studio under controlled lighting conditions, either way, make sure they
have photographed a handful of weddings on their own.
Working as a wedding photographer means more than capturing great photographs. It
means having the ability to connect with the bride and groom, while capturing the
essence of your day in an unobtrusive and creative way.
Looking at a photographers credentials is another great way to verify their level of
service and expertise. Have they been awarded by other industry professionals such as
The Knot (annual “Preferred Vendor Award”), PPA (Professional Photographers of
America), WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International), American Photo, to
name a few.
Are they part of a professional network such as wedding vendors listing in local
magazines, The Knot, Style Me Pretty Little Black Book of Vendors and/ or other
wedding industry listings?
What are past clients saying about working with them? You can look up reviews on sites
like The Wedding Channel, Yelp, Google, and Wedding Wire. Checking out reviews can
often put your mind at ease when making the investment to hire an exceptional
professional wedding photographer.
Quality photography equipment is expensive and requires detailed knowledge.
Experienced wedding photographers are prepared with backup equipment such as an
extra camera body, multiple lenses, and additional flashes.
Professional wedding photographers will be prepared with the appropriate equipment for
various lighting scenarios. Make sure you ask your potential photographer about their
experience shooting weddings with settings similar to what you are planning.
7. Quality Work Samples
When looking through a photographers portfolio, look for portraits that reflect the
stylistic elements that you love. It’s important that you like their overall style of
photography, and that you can envision yourself in their photos.
Full wedding galleries of previous clients will also help give you a clearer sense of the
Purchasing an engagement session is another great way to have professional photographs
taken of you and your partner while getting to know your photographer’s style of
shooting and warming up in front of the camera.
8. Professional Attributes
Experienced wedding photographers who are reliable and respectful will be easier to
work with and will probably be more interested in your personal needs as a couple.
Would you prefer a photographer who gives a lot of direction, a photographer who is less
obtrusive and more about capturing the day as it happens or would you prefer a little of
both? Remember, your wedding photographer will be intimately involved with most
aspects of your day; it’s important that you love their work and enjoy their personality.
Photography is an art form. Just as painters and sculptors have their own individual styles
and techniques, so do professional photographers. Experienced wedding photographers
have developed preferences and methods for capturing each individual wedding with
their personal artistic style, it’s all a matter of preference. The artistry shines through in
the way they shoot, the locations that the photographer selects and in editing the final
body of work.
You can tell a lot about a person from the attitude that shines through. Is your potential
photographer welcoming and interested in what you have to say? Your wedding planning
will be much easier if you select a professional photographer who carries an attitude that
works with your own personality.
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