Choosing the right photographer for your Tennessee wedding can make all the difference in whether or not you and your groom love your wedding photos. But with so many different photographers throughout Tennessee, finding the right fit can seem like an impossible task. This is why scheduling multiple consultations with potential photographers is so important. Being able to sit down, talk and ask questions can help the bride and groom gauge who is the best fit for them. First, you have to set your budget. But once you know that, you can begin researching photographers in your price range. Then, after you have found several photographers in your budget whose work you really like, it is time to begin scheduling consultations. Because most brides are not photography experts and may be lost at what to ask in a consultation, I spoke with Krisna Goodwin with Tri-cities photography company Jim Goodwin Photography to get an expert’s advice on the most important questions for brides to ask during their wedding photography consultations. Read on for Krisna’s fabulous advice!
1. Do your personalities mesh?
When researching Tennessee photographers, brides are immediately focused on the photographer’s work. Do they like what they see? But, finding the right photographer for you is not just about if you like their work. As Krisna explains, it is important that during consultations brides get a feel for the photographer’s personality. After all, you will almost be spending more time with your photographer on your big day than you will with your groom!
“If you have a bride coming to see you for a consultation, she obviously likes your work or she wouldn’t be coming to see you. But I think the number one thing that brides often overlook is the personality of the photographer. That is one of the things that Jim and I always want to make sure of. We wanted to be sure that they are a fit for our personalities because you are with that bride all day long, and you’re really one of the only vendors that is with the bride the entire day. I think it is really important when the bride comes in and sits in the studio to actually talk to potential photographers that she gets a feel for that photographer’s personality.”
2. How much experience do they have?
If you like the photographer’s work and your personalities seem to mesh well together, you need to ask them about their experience. And, not only is it important to find out about their experience in general, but also brides should inquire specifically about their wedding experience. How many weddings have they shot? Were they indoor or outdoor events? Are they experienced with managing time to make sure they get all the important shots? The more you know about their past work experience, schooling and business accreditation, Krisna says, the better you can judge their prices and if they are a good fit for you and what you’re looking for.
“Don’t make the mistake of hiring an amateur or “Uncle Bob.” You can’t ask an amateur or a friend do it and expect their work to look like the photographer that you really fell in love with but didn’t bother to meet with or you couldn’t afford. You can’t have the expectation that a $500 photographer’s work will look the same as a $3,000 photographer because it probably will not. So, you need to ask about the experience they have. Also, make sure they are a legitimate business. Do they pay taxes? Do they have a business license? How long have they been established? What kind of education did they have? Do they do continuing education? Are they a member of any associations? I think that those are really good and important questions to ask. ”
3. What work do they do post-production?
Brides often forget the post-production work that goes into making their wedding photos flawless. Krisna advises brides to talk with potential photographers about this process. Brides should be informed on what the photographer plans to do to create the look and feel the bride has requested. Especially if you have found specific photos you like, you need to discuss the photographer whether or not that same feel can be created naturally or if it is something the photographer can do in post-production.
“I think that it is important to know and ask questions about post-production. How will things be handled after the wedding? Most of the time, this is their first time hiring a professional photographer. So, they don’t really know what questions to ask, and all they see is what is on Pinterest or the website. And quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who is not going to post their best work online. I often see where brides do not realize that maybe there was a picture that was taken here and another that was taken there, and they could have easily been photoshopped together. I could be looking at a picture from another photographer’s work that a bride wants to recreate, but I don’t know what the conditions were like outside or what kind of camera or lens they were shooting with. All of those things go into play. So, one of the things we tell brides is that we want to create beautiful images for them, and we want to look at their Pinterest boards to see what their inspiration is so that we can create moments that are specific to them. If you are just recreating something that someone else has done, you are not creating something special for that person. But, post-production can help give them that specific look if they want.”
4. What is their photography style?
While it’s important that you and your photographer’s personalities mesh, brides should also ask potential photographer’s about their photography style. Krisna says it’s important that brides find a photographer whose style matches their own stylistic preferences. In order to do this, brides need to communicate in their consultations exactly what they want and like as well as gauge the photographer’s likes and tendencies. Questions about style can be the determining factor in deciding if you and a photographer are on the same page.
“These are questions you really need to talk to your photographer about, which is why the consultation is so important. I have brides that say I don’t want anything posed. So, we will shoot the wedding entirely photo-journalistic style. I love those images because we were there just to capture what was happening. Yet, you have some brides that want those posed family pictures with mom, dad and the bride standing there. Also, you have to let the photographer know your style even with little things like if you like more horizontal or vertical photos.”
5. What kind of equipment do they use?
Like I said, most brides are not photography experts, but it wouldn’t hurt to do a little research! Being a little educated can help a bride not only ask more informed questions, but also help them better understand the photographer’s answers. Krisna advises brides to talk with potential photographers about the kind of equipment they use. So, do a little research beforehand to decipher whether or not the equipment they plan to use will produce the results you expect and are paying for.
“You need to find out what kind of equipment the photographer uses. You can’t have a photographer that pulls out a point and shoot camera. I can give you a personal experience from that. When Jim and I got married, I did not ask these questions. I interviewed a couple of different photographers. When I asked the one I chose if he used digital or film, he said both. I thought that was great and fantastic. But, he ended up pulling a digital camera out of his shirt pocket to take pictures. He was only $750, and I got what I paid for…That was one of the things that made us want to get into this business. So, I think it is really important to know the type of equipment that the photographer has and will be using.”
For more great tips and advice from Krisna, check out our last conversation with her on 2012’s Top Photography Trends.
Krisna and Jim would love to meet with you to discuss photographing your special day! For more information, visit their website or connect with them on Facebook. To schedule a consultation, call (866) 542-3686. Tell them The Pink Bride sent you!
All images courtesy of Jim Goodwin Photography.