Unsolicited Advice on Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Like most brides and grooms-to-be, choosing a great Albuquerque/Santa Fe wedding photographer is high on your list of priorities. After all, everything else you’ve worked so hard to coordinate will vanish in a day, except for the photographs — which will last forever.  

The photographer who is given the honor of creating those photographs for you will have a big responsibility on their shoulders. They will only have one chance to capture the images that will become your family heirlooms. Finding Albuquerque/Santa Fe wedding photographers with the experience, talent, technical ability required to expertly document every moment of your wedding day may be a bigger challenge than you realize. There is no “wedding photography” degree or certification. Wedding photography can only be mastered through experience – and lots of it.

If you’ve been shopping around, you know there are A LOT of Albuquerque/Santa Fe wedding photographers to choose from.  This can make the process of finding the right Albuquerque/Santa Fe wedding photographer a little overwhelming due to the sheer number of options. The fact is, it’s easy for anyone with a camera and a computer to publish a website and call themselves a photographer.  Few are full-time professionals, most are entry-level part timers.  You may even have a “photographer friend” offering you free wedding photos.  So how do you navigate this sea of Albuquerque/Santa Fe wedding photographers?

As you browse the portfolios of various wedding photographers, start by simply asking yourself: do I like this photographer’s work?  The answer to this question, of course, depends on your personal style and taste. Some Albuquerque wedding photographers (like us) may lean toward a documentary approach, which will result in a lot of candid, storytelling photos. Other wedding photographers in Albuquerque may focus mostly on posed portraits that tend to look more “editorial” or fashion-inspired. By simply looking at an Albuquerque wedding photographer’s online portfolio you should be able to get a solid sense of his or her particular style. Remember, the images showcased on a photographer’s website are their best work. If their best work leaves you unimpressed, they’re not the right photographer for you.

Once you’ve determined that you like the work on a photographer’s website, you should contact them and set up an in-person (or video, if you’re from out of town) consultation. A face-to-face meeting is the best way to get a feel for your prospective photographer’s personality, experience, quality of work, products, and pricing.

Your photographer’s personality is hugely important because they will be a prominent figure at your wedding. They will be interacting with your closest friends and family, and they will be with you during some of the most intimate and emotional moments of your life. If you don’t feel like you “click” with your photographer, or you just don’t feel comfortable around them, this could affect the quality of your photographs dramatically.

The importance of experience can not be understated. Wedding photography is not easy. The physical, mental, and technical challenges can be overwhelming for an inexperienced photographer. If your wedding photos are important to you, look for a photographer several years of experience who can guarantee beautiful results under any circumstances.

The products a photographer offers in his or her packages should be available for you to touch and see. Albums, photo books, and canvas are all popular products that many wedding photographers in Albuquerque offer. Because the quality of these products can vary dramatically, it’s good to know exactly what you will be getting with your package before your hire an Albuquerque wedding photographer.

Lastly, you should consider pricing. However, you should avoid making price your primary concern if possible. Shopping for a wedding photographer isn’t like shopping for an appliance. A great wedding photographer is an artist who is passionate about their work and whose work is uniquely theirs. If you focus too much on price, you may miss this opportunity to hire an artist who will thoughtfully and beautifully document your wedding day.  A wise man once said “the bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.”  When it comes to your wedding memories, this could not be more true.  The relatively small investment you make today will pale in comparison to the value of your wedding photographs in the future.

After you have considered the quality of a photographer’s work, their personality, products, and pricing, you may want to dig a little deeper.