Seattle is home to many notable wedding photographers. Choosing the right one for your big day can be complicated and overwhelming.
Every couple’s dream is to find the perfect, creative photographer who understands and meets their needs.
To help you on this quest, here is a list of six things to consider before booking a wedding photographer:
Understand Their Terms
Professional wedding photographers should provide their clients with a contract outlining the services, rights, and limitations for both parties.
This includes, but is not limited to, terms such as:
- Refund Policies
- The amount due up front
- Copyright ownership/rights
- Allowance for reprinting photos in promotional materials
- Agreement about photo-release
Inquire about the payment terms and the charges incurred for the entire day. You can negotiate with your wedding photographers for service charges that are within your budget.
Ask your potential photographers for clarification on anything you don’t understand.
Know what they’ll provide and what they expect from you before signing any contracts. Be bold and ask for changes if something seems wrong.
Know the Timeline
You probably have a rough idea of how your wedding day will play out, and so should your photographer. Discuss with them about your plans beforehand to save yourself unnecessary stress occasioned by last-minute decisions.
When discussing timelines with your photographer, be realistic and set achievable deadlines. A professional should work within your timeline. But understand that there are no guarantees that everything will turn out exactly as planned.
Most Seattle wedding photographers work on a 7- to 8-hour time frame. If you’re looking for coverage longer than this, discuss it with your photographer ahead of time.
Ask for the Photographer’s Portfolio/Galleries
Checking your photographer’s past work will give you a better sense of their skills and experience levels. It allows you to see if their style is aligned with what you prefer for your wedding.
You can check most photographers’ portfolios online through their websites or social media accounts. Narrow down your choices, and compare two or three different portfolios side-by-side. See which styles resonate more with you and use that information when deciding what works best for your wedding.
Choose a photographer whose portfolio matches the photos and videos that you expect for your wedding.
See if They Offer an Engagement Session
An engagement session is an excellent way to become acquainted with your photographer before the main event.
The session allows you to practice posing while capturing those moments that are uniquely yours. It gives you a sneak peek of the quality of their work.
Schedule your session at least a month or so in advance. Try out with different photographers and compare their results.
While not every Seattle wedding photographer offers engagement sessions, those who do often include it as part of the package. Inquire about your photographer’s availability and what they have to find the best deal.
Ask About Their Philosophy
When planning one of the most important days of your life, you’ll want it to reflect who you are as a couple. That means finding a photographer whose style, beliefs, and level of service suit your needs.
You want someone you can trust, rely on, and enjoy being around. Take some time interviewing your photographer to know if they’re a good fit. Find out about their philosophy and how they see themselves fitting into your big day.
Ask questions like:
- What inspires them?
- How would they define their style?
- What’s their favorite thing about weddings?
Be specific about your expectations, so you and your photographer are on the same page.
Verify That Your Photographer Is Licensed and Insured
Hiring insured and licensed professionals usually means that their equipment is up-to-date, they adhere to strict safety regulations, and they use quality products.
Insurance protects you in the event of damages and increases your chances of getting your money back should the need arise.
Request proof of your potential photographer’s license and insurance. If you’re still unsure, visit the Washington State Department of Revenue website for a list of licensed Seattle wedding photographers.
Work With Professional Wedding Photographers
A wedding can be exhausting and expensive if not planned well. Early contact with potential wedding photographers is a great way to get a sense of what you’re looking for in terms of price, style, and overall experience.