Some tips for picking a passionate, artistic and reliable professional photographer:
Tip 1: Look Past the Initial Portfolio
Ask to see a recent wedding the photographer shot in its entirety. Any photographer can show 20 great images across their entire career. It’s easy to capture beautiful images when shooting outside in beautiful late afternoon sunlight. Ask to see entire weddings and ask yourself if they consistently captures the essence of every wedding, throughout the entire day.
Tip 2: Look for Someone You Like
Working with a photographer that you get along with will keep you at ease throughout your big day. If you’re comfortable with him or her you’ll get more natural and flattering images.
Tip 3: Independent Research
Pick a random wedding from their portfolio and ask to speak to the bride and groom as a reference. Also check your photographer out independently by Googling their name.
Tip 4: Equipment
Does the photographer use professional grade equipment? Do they always carry a backup camera (preferably two)? Without a backup camera a single slip, spill, or bump and they (and you) will be out of luck. Do they consider an off-site backup of the digital images to be a serious responsibility?
Tip 5: Know Who You’re Hiring
Some wedding photographers sign the contract themselves but then send someone else to shoot your wedding. Make sure you’re clear on who you are actually going to have at your wedding and ask for a strong financial guarantee that photographer will be at the wedding.
Tip 6: Trust Your Gut
Can you trust them on your big day? Do they seem enthusiastic about your wedding or is this “just another” wedding to them. I limit the number of weddings I shoot and wake up excited the morning of every wedding I shoot, looking forward to capturing the fleeting moments throughout the day that make up the essence of that wedding.