As someone who is most likely new to wedding photography it may be hard to see the difference in all the different portfolios you’re looking at. After a while everything starts to look similar and you can become overwhelmed. The best way to attack this situation is to look at as many sites as you can in a two-day period and narrow down to your top five choices. Now comes the important part. With today’s technology, almost anyone can have a professional portfolio site put together in about a week. They may have only shot a handful of weddings but they can put together a decent portfolio. So how do you the bride or groom, discern between the seasoned pro and the fledgling amateur?
1.) Look through their portfolio and make sure you see ten to twenty different brides not just the same few repeated over and over.
2.) Read their blog! You should see enough weddings to make you comfortable that they not only have shot enough weddings but also that they have a consistent style and technical ability in all their weddings.
3.) Ask to see at least three full weddings! Looking at 600-800 images at a wedding will really tell you if they have the skills to shoot your entire wedding. Anyone can shoot a few good shots for their blog in perfect light. You need to make sure they can shoot in all the challenging situations that arise during a wedding. Especially check the reception shots, as the spaces can vary so much and each one presents difficult challenges. Make sure your photographer can handle them to your satisfaction.
4.) If you see their work published in magazines or on popular wedding blogs a lot that’s a good sign that other people like them too.
5.) Get recommendations from friends! If your friend loved them and you trust their taste then it’s a good bet. Ask to see their wedding pictures and also ask them if there was anything they didn’t like. It maybe something that didn’t matter to them but may matter A LOT to you.
The Real 411: If you have seen multiple great weddings, full galleries, published work, letters of recommendation, then it’s a good possibility that you have found the right photographer. The last and possibly most important item is that you have to like their personality! A phone call, Skype or in-person meeting will help you determine whether you click with the photographer. They will be there on one of the most important days of your life so make sure they are a good fit for you. Personality can make or break your day so make sure you are truly comfortable with the photographer you hire.