How do you pick a wedding photographer? It’s not easy, and in my opinion it isn’t as simple as price and appealing sample photos. There are plenty of blogs that go in depth with this question, so I will only highlight a few things I find essential. Most people shop by the visual samples on a photographer’s website, Facebook page, or portfolio. But, I warn shoppers to look for some non-visual elements to the photography package…
1. Backup Gear: I am shocked at how many people I know that are photographing weddings with one camera and a few lenses. This is very common with low-budget photographers. The reality is that cameras can, and eventually will, malfunction and fail. What happens if this occurs in the middle of your wedding? What if the photographer accidentally drops their one lens? When hiring a wedding photographer, always make sure they have backup equipment – or risk the potential of not getting any photos.
2. Insurance: If the photographer doesn’t have backup equipment, it is unlikely they have insurance. If the worst happens, who’s going to pay for it? Accidents happen, and unfortunately accidents can be very expensive. If the photographer is liable, how will you recoup the loss or expenses? You can try litigation, but most likely a budget photographer won’t have many assets to pay for damages.
3. Off-Camera Flash: This may not always apply, and there are many photographers that specialize in beautiful natural light photography. However, I have been to a few weddings with very dark receptions, and been surprised when I have seen a photographer trying to get photos without a flash. For receptions with a lot of light, this may not apply. But if you think your reception or ceremony might be on the dark side, it’s worth asking the potential photographer how they can deal with that.
These are just a few things to consider when shopping for a wedding photographer. In general, be cautious with low-budget photographers – you tend to get what you pay for.
Quinn Burke Photography is based in Salem, Oregon and specializes in wedding photography. Quinn primarily serves Oregon and Washington (Portland, Salem, Eugene, Ashland, Bend, Lincoln City and Seattle), but can travel to nearly any destination. Contact Quinn to see if he is available for your wedding day!