How to Choose the Right Photographer- By Leslie Bost (One Happenings Events)

January 24, 2012

I was going to write a blog on this topic, but found that Leslie, one of our favorite wedding coordinators, was already on top of it- as always. Thank you One Happenings Events!

“A picture says a million words right? I have always wanted to take good pictures and though I would love to think otherwise, I’m a pretty bad photographer. However, us Mexicans LOVE to take pictures, so I always have a camera in my bag. My husband thinks I am crazy but you never know what moment you need to capture forever! When it came to my wedding, my priority was finding the person who would capture my dream day. It is the best money I spent on the whole wedding. Thank you Lunaphoto!

That said, having the best pictures the day of your wedding should be a priority for every bride. So when it comes to choosing vendors for your wedding, the single most important vendor to choose and book ASAP is your photographer (besides a wedding planner & stylist of course ☺) . Photographers get booked months, even a year or more in advance. The photographer you choose will display your wedding day in memories that you will cherish always.

I interviewed some photographer friends (some that do it for the LOVE of photography and some that went to the best schools and have learned the best techniques) and based on my planning experience here are the key elements you should look for when choosing your wedding photographer. Enjoy!

Personality: Have a conversation with the photographer to make sure your personalities match, because you are going to be with this person even more (in some cases) than with your fiancé on the day of. This person will set the mood in a lot of ways so you must connect. You must trust your photographer to do a great job such that you can relinquish control to them. His or her personality will allow you to feel comfortable with yourself, especially if you don’t enjoy being the center of attention and there’s nothing worse than an indecisive wedding photographer who doesn’t know how to direct a crowd, a wedding party and your mother-in-law.

Equipment: You are not a camera expert, neither am I. But at least make sure they have back up cameras and an extensive amount of lenses. This will allow for different type of shots, angles and quality. At the very least, make sure they know their equipment!

Do they have a second shooter? Shooting a wedding is hard work – it’s a long day of what can be very physical labor. This is particularly important for a wedding of more than 50 people. This will allow pictures and moments to be taken from different angles and perspectives. Make sure you find out whothe second shooter is and how long they have worked together.

Post production:  What is the back-end? Do they give you a CD? Blog publication with your pictures? Sneak peek? A website with pictures for your friends and family to view and purchase? What is their delivery time frame?

Do your R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H!! Brides have access to wedding photography like never before through blogs and websites. You can educate yourself going into a wedding now, because you can actually compare styles, prices, talent and more. Back in the day when my parents got married the Internet was not available so there was no way to compare styles. Use these tools and get inspired.

The full picture (no pun intended): Make sure you ask to see a whole wedding. One thing is seeing 10 great shots of one wedding and the other is seeing it start to finish.

Location is irrelevant…for a photographer: If the photographer is from New York coming to Mexico for your destination wedding, it does not matter if they have never been to where you will marry. The important thing is that all of the above elements are set in stone and you love their style and approach. A good photographer can get amazing pictures anywhere. Obviously look for options in the city that you choose. Cabo has some amazing photographers and this will be helpful to your overall budget.

Photojournalist? What is that?  I can’t stand how now a days every photographer is a ‘photojournalist’. This is such a catch phrase and great for marketing, but some photographers do not seem to really know what it means, at least not through their work. The idea of photojournalism is to create images in order to tell a story. When it is done right it is amazing. No one wants the traditional posed picture anymore (not for the full event anyway). But remember that it is important to have some portrait shots for picture frames. You want a family picture!. Ideally you want a combination of both (candid and portraits) and if you go for a full photojournalism type of photographer, be certain that their work really speaks the word.

Price: Yes, this is important for your budget. But I assure you, if you love their work, every penny will be worth it.

Please, Sign a contract! Make sure the contract states expected services, time frame or schedule, fees, cancellation policy, and all aspects of your package (album, prints, website, etc) written in detail.


Ask questions: Questions like What is you your approach to photographing weddings? What does your work offer that is unique and personal to me? Will you be helping me in the selection of the final pictures? How long will you be with us on the day of the wedding? Do you like to use color photos, black and whites or a mixture? Do you have a digital camera and retouch the photos to make them black and white, or do you use film?

Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with your photographer as well as confident in their ability to capture your key moments. You’re going to remember the wedding day through their eyes, heart and talent.

Special thanks to Amy Bennett,  Sara Richardson & Megan Sharp for their wisdom and experience in the matter.

Some of my favorite photographer worldwide: LunaphotoScott AndrewMetrophoto. For Cabo suggestions, send me an email and I will match one to your style.”


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