3 things to look for when you hire a wedding photographer
How to avoid the #1 regret some brides have after their wedding
By Marcos Martinez
El Paso wedding photographer for Wedding Xpressions Photography
Your wedding is way too important to trust just anyone to capture your memories. Your wedding will be one of the most important days of your life, so it is imperative that you hire a good professional wedding photographer.
A very popular wedding blog called Wedding Window interviewed many previous brides and asked them what they regretted the most about their wedding and wrote an article: Top 10 Wedding Regrets. The number one regret brides had, besides not slowing down to enjoy the day, was “not spending the money to get a great photographer”. NONE of the top ten regrets had anything to do with linens, flowers, decorations, cake, music, alcohol or anything else that had to do with choosing a wedding vendor. The only thing that mattered to brides after their wedding was their pictures and video.
Leslie Norvell wrote in this blog post: “Every bride that I’ve spoken with who had taken a shortcut on photography regretted that choice. It may be the last time all the generations are together, the only time some of these friends will be together or the most beautiful a bride will ever look. All of these reasons demand the best opportunity to preserve the memories. In summary, get a good photographer!”
You may already know that it is crucial that you hire a professional wedding photographer for your wedding, but you may not know what to look for when looking for one. In this article you will learn what to look for when hiring a wedding photographer for your El Paso wedding.
1. Hire a full-time professional photographer
You may not think this is important since your wedding will be on a Saturday. It is none of your business what he or she does during the week, right? Wrong. Most of the complaints and even horror stories brides have about their wedding has to do with the fact that their photographer is just a weekend warrior.
We get calls all the time by frantic brides telling us that their wedding photographer canceled on them at the last minute. Other times they simply cannot contact them. Sadly, most of the time we are already booked and can’t help them! Many times what happens is that the photographer’s full-time job sends them out-of-town, or makes them work that weekend. Guess what is more important to your photographer; their job that pays for their food and rent or their side hustle? That’s right, you get the short end of that stick.
Other times, a bride will hire a photographer that does not have another job, but the photographer mainly relies on the income of the spouse. It is very common that the photographer’s spouse gets relocated to another city and the bride is left without a wedding photographer. By this time, most or all of the good photographers are already booked.
My wife Elba and I have been full-time professional photographers for nearly two decades. Wedding photography is our bread and butter. You can rest assured that we will be there for you at your wedding capturing your day the best way possible.
Another common complaint is that their photographer takes forever to turn over the wedding photos and any other included products. The reason for this is that after the wedding, the photographer’s focus is on their day job, and not your wedding.
The week after your wedding the full-time wedding photographer will be working on editing your wedding images and designing your album. You get your images and album a whole lot faster.
2. Hire a full-time professional photographer
A wedding planner told me recently that the photographer a bride hired for her wedding showed up in jeans and a neon orange t-shirt with his business name plastered all over. She had to tell him to go to a nearby Wal-Mart and buy a plain shirt. Some photographers think your wedding is a time to promote their business. They place business cards on all your nicely decorated tables including your sign in table.
A true professional will be dressed appropriately for a wedding. Yes, formal attire. Dress pants, long sleeve dress shirt and a tie for a man or nice formal wear for female. No Mr. Photographer, shorts and a t-shirt is not appropriate attire!
A professional wedding photographer will be using professional equipment. Not only that, but he will have back up equipment with him. You cannot redo your wedding if your photographer’s equipment fails and he has no backup equipment. I cannot believe how many times I’ve received a call from another photographer on a wedding day asking me to borrow my backup camera or backup flash because theirs failed and they have no backup equipment! Many weddings have been ruined because an unprofessional photographer carried not backup equipment. Don’t let this happen to you.
3. Hire a wedding photographer with experience
Wedding photography is one of the toughest types of photography. Just because a photographer can take beautiful images when he/she can control all aspects of the shoot, does not mean he/she will be able to capture the fleeting moment when everything is happening fast, the lighting is bad and there’s no way to redo the moment. An experienced wedding photographer will be able to get beautiful images even in dark churches where no flash is allowed, in a low lit venue, changing lighting conditions etc… The experienced wedding photographer will also be able to anticipate moments. He will be at the right spot at the right moment to capture all those important moments and expressions.
Make sure the photographer’s experience is in weddings, not just photography. A couple I met once told me that their wedding photos were awful. They thought they were doing the right thing when they hired an experienced photographer… and experienced newspaper photographer. This photographer had been shooting for newspapers and magazines for many years but did not have much experience with weddings. He missed many important moments for the couple because he did not know what was important during a wedding. Others hire good portrait photographers and the result is the same or worse.
My wife and I have specialized in wedding photography for nearly two decades. We have shot around a thousand weddings. We know how complicated shooting a wedding can be, but we also have the experience to confidently capture the day even with tricky lighting. Knowing how the day flows helps us know when and where to be to capture the priceless expressions, emotions and moments.
Many couples make the mistake of trying to cut costs by getting a cheaper photographer for their wedding. This is a huge mistake. Save on other things that ultimately have less importance. When my wife and I got married 20 years ago, the biggest mistake was not spending enough on a great wedding photographer. We learned back then that it’s better to invest a little more than you had planned on a good wedding photographer, instead of a little less than you should.
In short, the best decision you can make for your wedding is hiring an experienced full-time professional wedding photographer. Your decision in wedding photographer will either be your biggest regret or the best decision of all. Your memories will thank you!
About Wedding Xpressions Photography – Marcos & Elba Martinez – Husband & Wife Team
While some photographers will carry an assistant or an inexperienced second shooter, my beautiful wife Elba and I have been harmoniously working together to capture weddings for nearly two decades. Our work has been featured in places like Belle Magazine, The Knot, Posh Bridal, and Michael’s. Wedding Xpressions is currently the Best Rated El Paso wedding photographer by Three Best Rated, and Expertise.com has selected Wedding Xpressions as Best Wedding Photography in El Paso.
We are members of Professional Photographers of America and Wedding & Portrait Photographers International.
Wedding Xpressions Photography offers the best engagement sessions, all-day wedding photography, innovative hybrid video, top-of-the-line custom engagement and wedding albums, and a lot more.
We pride ourselves in capturing LOVE with Love!
We invite you to make an appointment to meet with us in our studio to talk about your wedding and see all of your amazing options.
Call us today at 915-443-7916 or fill out the form below and we will call you to set up a time to meet.