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Type A Images is a portrait and wedding photography company based in Wisconsin but available for any place your little heart desires! If you are interested in booking your event or session, hit me up on email!

Type A Images has been featured on The Rock and Roll Bride blog, The Offbeat Bride Blog, WeddingWire's Brides Choice for 2010 and 2011, and The Knot Best Of Weddings for 2011. Type A also offers a hospice photography program called Kindred Spirits through the Beloit Regional Hospice, which was featured as WPPI's Photolanthropy of the Month for September 2010.


How to Hire a Wedding Photographer. | Milwaukee Wedding Photographer.

This bride remembered one of the first rules of Wedding Photographer procurement: Do they own a pair of fingerless gloves? Answer: YES. This will ensure your photog looks super-awesome on wedding day. Very important. (I'd like to credit the guest who took this photo but I'm not sure who it, photo by: unnamed wedding guest)

I've had a few meetings in the last couple of weeks and realized that there are a LOT of resources out there (Bridal magazines, website, blogs, etc.) giving advice on how to hire the vendors for your big day. It can get overwhelming for brides. It has to be frustrating for a poor bride (and grooms too!) to get bombarded with information, options, and wildly varying price points. So, I thought for this week's wedding related blog post, I would touch on some important things to keep in mind when looking for your wedding photographer.

1. The Early Bride Gets the
You may think "Hey! I've got a year! No biggie"....but photographers book early. I've had many prime dates for 2011 booked for quite some time, and we're just getting into busy season for 2010. People are booking earlier and earlier to make sure their top choices are secured. Don't be afraid to contact your favorite shooter earlier than may feel comfortable. They're used to it.

2. Determine Your Comfy Budget
Now, I told a bride this past week that I'm defnitely biased, but I think wedding photography is just as important an investment as the food or any other higher priced wedding item. It's not something I would feel comfortable "cheaping" on. That being said, budgets are a reality. We all know this. So seek photographers whose work you love (first and foremost) and whose budgets are realistic for you. Don't skimp just because someone is cheap (you'll likely be disappointed)...but if you simply cannot afford someone, don't go into a meeting thinking you can talk them down to a completely different price point. Price points are where they are because there are varying levels of quality...just like anything else. You wouldn't walk into a Mercedes dealership and ask them to sell you a car for the price of a Kia, would you? Same concept.

3. See the Proof
Now, everyone has to start somewhere...and I can tell you, I am eternally grateful to those first few clients who trusted I could cover their wedding based on a pretty skimpy portfolio.

But, it's a bit of roulette.
In most cases, ask to see an entire wedding from your prospective photog. Ask for references. Make sure they are comfortable shooting in all sorts of lighting situations, because that's the name of the game in shooting a wedding. They may be awesome with outside shots....but it's a rarity to have ALL weddings take place outside! And a lot of churches will not allow flash....make sure they are comfortable with this.

And I have to say it: Just because your cousin's wife's doula has an AWESOME DSLR camera doesn't mean they can shoot your wedding. It's a different beast all together than covering Grandma's 80th birthday party.

4. I Would Do Anything For Love.....But I Won't Selectively Color Your Bouquet
Make sure your photographer and your tastes jibe well. Don't hire someone who has a traditional aesthetic and then ask them to pull an Ascough and cover your wedding with a true photojournalistic eye. Again, you're probably not going to be happy with the results, because that's not that person's speciality. It's not a one-size-fits-all really look at someone's work before you hire them.

5. Hi, My Name is Amanda...and I Will Be Your Photographer.
Gaining in popularity is the "photographer mill" kind of approach, where you hire a large company and they "pick" your photographer for you. Many times, you won't meet this person until your wedding day.
Now, if this approach is fine with you, that's great. Many people have good luck with this way of doing things. But, I find your coverage can be much more intimate and special if you really get to KNOW your photographer. This person is going to be with you all better like em!

6. Ask Questions!!
I know some of us can be a bit.....intimidating. We're high-falutin' artistes' afterall (ok...I cannot even convincingly pull that off!) ...but don't be afraid to grill us when you meet us. It's the only way to go into a transaction as an educated consumer. And any photog worth their salt will have no problem answering your questions honestly.
What you want to know:

1. Is this person insured? If you want to get REALLY nosy...are they registered with the state?? You want to work with someone ethical, a true business person. That way, you know they are emotionally and financially invested in their business...and they will be more likely to be professional and invested in you.

2. How long has this person been shooting? How many weddings have they been the primary shooter for.

3. Do they have back up equipment if something goes wrong? What if they are sick or injured? Do they have a backup photographer?

In a word, you want to make sure the person you're working with is legitimate. This protects you as the consumer.

7. It's Not Just One Day
When you hire a caterer or a band, their job is done that day. If they're terrible...that's awful, and sad for the bride and groom...but their terrible job will not continue to crop up. This is not true for photographers. Your wedding photography is something that will follow you forever. Your kids will want to see your album, their kids will want to see it....and so on and so forth. I have my great-grandparents wedding pictures in my albums....

So, remember that DVD's are great but not a long-lasting medium. Get an ALBUM. Something tangible. Something archival.
Remember that the fad styles are really great now...heck, I even like a lot of them...but you want the bulk of your pictures to be stand the test of time.
Remember that this IS truly an investment....photographs appreciate over time. They become heirlooms. You want them to be quality.

8. Be Realistic
We're photographers. Not wizards. Be realistic about your expectations. Some things I am unable to do, despite mad skills:
1. Fly
2. Be in 2 places at once.
3. Read your mind
4. Go 12 hours without eating

Communicate your desires and expectations. And maybe offer your photog a piece of cake. : )

I hope this helps some people in their search for a photog to call their own. There are SO many options out there . It helps to be an educated consumer.

And, if you're still in doubt....just give me a call ; )

3 Peanut Gallery.:

alise said...

i love reading your blog (I think you are multi-talented - you are a good writer!) and I was pumped to see our picture on this one!! thanks! made me smile :) and I believe it was my friend Alex Balderas who took that cute picture. And yeah, fingerless gloves was like #1 on my list when I was checking out photographers. "you wear fingerless gloves? no? oh... ok... ummm, i'll get back to you." True photographer = professional gloves, duh.

Dani Hajewski said...

Good post! I liked the bit about looking for someone whose artistic style matches your own personality. That tactic definitely worked for us, though it was a no-brainer, as I am quite artistic myself. My advice for couples planning their big day is to ask themselves: "Does this photographer's style describe us as a couple?" That should be a priority on everyone's list of criteria for their wedding photographer. Everything else should balance atop that. And I definitely agree couples should start that process early! The good ones go quick ;)

Hannah said...

AHHHH - this is fabulous! SO well written - thank you! :)

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