The one thing that will live on from your wedding besides your memories are your photographs. So, you want to make sure you get your choice of wedding photographer correct. Don't just give this a few minutes, really put some thought into it and get it right. The Grand Rapids area has some really great photographers that will make you proud, but there are also some real amateurs out there who disguise themselves as professionals. That is why you need to follow a plan that will get you to where you want to go. You want to be sure you are still happy years down the road. Because this can be a real mine field, we are going to give you some advice on how to find the wedding photographer that you deserve and on how to work with them to get the most out of the final product.
Start by doing some homework. That way you can be prepared to talk to only the ones you are interested in. You can browse websites, blogs, and even talk to people you know that have recently been married to get some names. Take a look at their portfolios, but keep in mind that these are the best of the best from the shoot. We suggest asking to see an entire wedding shoot from any photographer you are interested in. This will show you their style. When reviewing these samples, keep in mind your vision so you get a sense on whether the candidate seems to think like you do.
When you have a few names that you really gravitate to, setup a face to face meeting. Treat this like a job interview. Get to know the person a bit. We cannot stress enough that you will want to have a comfort level with your photographer, you will be working closely together on your wedding day and you don't want any kind of friction or irritating behavior to upset your special day.
When it comes down to talking money, ask about any packages they offer. You want to be clear about what each package includes. Things like the number of hours the photographer will shoot should be spelled out. Also, ask about a second shooter. If it doesn't cost a lot more, this can be a really great option because while one photographer concentrates on certain types of images, a second one can give you a totally different perspective. In addition, you will want to have a shot list made up. Let the photographer make suggestions and then make sure you have input that they listen to. You want to make sure the moments that are very important to you are recorded.
It can really help to check a candidate's references. Also, read any reviews you can find online or through the Better Business Bureau. You want to know if anyone has had any problems with the person you are considering. If everything checks out in terms of their references and you are happy with everything else, you can ask to have a written contract setup. Make sure you go over this with a fine tooth comb to ensure everything you want is covered. Sign on the dotted line and you are ready to have your memories preserved.