You put a lot of care into planning your wedding. You choose just the right venue, the perfect gown, gorgeous flowers and an amazing cake. But when the day is over, your pictures will be the one thing you will have left from your big day. That's why choosing the proper photographer is extremely important. Perhaps you want someone who will capture your day with romance and magic. Maybe you are more interested in someone who will focus on the fun amid all the formality. Chances are you know what you want, but when it comes time to select your photographer, there are also some things that you don't want.
The Family or Friend Photographer
Uncle George and Cousin Karen probably do take really great pictures, but that doesn't mean they are good at wedding photography. Different types of photography take different skill sets. Being able to take pretty pictures of nature isn't the same as taking pictures in a dimly lit reception hall. If you don't like your pictures, you risk ruining a friendship or straining a family bond. It's not worth the risk. Let your family and friends enjoy the day as your guests and hire a wedding photographer to do the work.
The Photography Mill
Some photography studios will make claims such as "We shoot more than 300 weddings a year!" That seems like a good thing, right? After all, if they have so much business, they must be great. But think about it for a minute. Most weddings take place on the weekend. There are only 52 weekends per year. So how many weddings are they squeezing into each weekend? And is that great portfolio you saw even the photographer you're going to get? You don't want someone running from another wedding to yours, or, even worse, leaving your wedding to shoot someone else's. Time and personal attention matter when photographing a wedding. Make sure you aren't hiring someone whose focus is divided.
The Venue Recommendation
It's important to understand that your venue may have preferred vendors, but that some of those vendors may be on the "preferred list" because they pay to be there. Don't take a venue recommendation at face value. Investigate the photographer as you would any other. Examine his/her portfolio, meet him/her in person, have a list of questions prepared. You may find that the recommendation is a good one and the photographer is exactly what you want. But you may also find that he/she is not a good match for your wedding, and you should know that it is perfectly acceptable not to choose a photographer based on your venue's recommendation.
The Personality Mismatch
You are going to spend A LOT of time with your photographer on your big day, so he/she better be someone whose personality clicks with yours. No matter how beautiful a portfolio might be, there is no compensating for a personality mismatch. You will find yourself annoyed and frustrated and if you feel that way, then your wedding party probably will as well. Those are not happy feelings to have at your wedding. Meet with any photographer you are considering. If you find their personality doesn't jive with yours, it's wise to keep looking.
Long after your big day has passed, you will want to look back on it and remember how wonderful it was. You want the very best photos and you need the right photographer (such as James A Stepp Photography) to get them. Knowing what you want and what you don't want are key to finding just the right person to take your wedding photos.