The Do's and Don't's of Hiring a Photographer
As Told By Rachael Houser Photography
If at all possible, DON’T delegate the hiring of your photographer to your sister, your maid of honor, your mom, or your planner (though a planner should certainly be kept in the loop!). Do the research, the inquiring, and as much communicating as you can yourself. Sound harsh? Hear me out – I promise there’s good reason! The ONE person you’ll spend the most time with on your wedding day is your photographer. (More-so than your groom!) I hesitate to think of any other vendor (besides your planner) who you’ll need to cultivate as much of an actual personal relationship with to ensure a solid job-well-done when the big day comes. Choosing a photographer is a PERSONAL decision. One you’ll be happy you made yourself! (P.S. I completely appreciate that situations exist in which this would be difficult. Say, if you live out of state, etc. That’s why I stress “as MUCH communicating as you CAN.) :)
DO reach out during booking season. Most photographers book up between 9-12 months in advance of a bride’s wedding day. While you DON’T want to wait until the last minute to secure your photographer (for a plethora of reasons), you also don’t want to ask too soon. I’m much less able to guess what life will look like two years down the road than one. I’m also much less able to guess where my prices will be come February 2015 than 2016. When I get an inquiry for a date further than a year out, I ask the bride to get back in touch once her wedding is one year away. More than likely, I’ll still have the date open. AND I’ll be able to give her a more accurate estimate.
DO make moves quickly! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to let a bride down by informing her that the date she was interested has been taken off the market in her absence. (Which makes me so sad!!) It can be stressful to hustle but it’s important! Most photographer’s calendars are in a constant state of limbo. Any date can be snatched up at any time and without warning. If you’re positive you want a specific photographer, don’t wait to book them! Waiting a month is much too long. But sometimes, so is a few days. You’ll be happy you hustled!!
DO hire a photographer whose style and approach you are completely excited about! Asking a photographer to curtail their usual style/approach specifically for your wedding day simply doesn’t work. But there is GOOD news! There are so many photographers out there - all with unique tastes! Do your research. Find the one you love. And then love them wholeheartedly!! Giving them your full trust to create beautiful images.
DON’T give your photographer a shot-list with 17 different ideas from Pinterest. Now, I love Pinterest! But remember! You should be hiring your photographer because you love THEIR vision. Instead of duplicating images seen on Pinterest, wouldn’t you rather YOUR pictures be the ones being pinned?! I blogged about this very topic not too long ago. You should check it out!