Chicago Wedding Photographer – 10 Tips on How to Evaluate Your OptionsAuthor: Groshan Fabiola
When searching for the perfect wedding photographer for your special day, especially if you are getting married in a big city like Chicago, the many choices you have can be overwhelming. How do you find the right one?
The most important thing you can do is set up a face-to-face appointment so that you can personally meet your candidate. When searching for a Chicago wedding photographer, it is likely you will come across many big companies. If you are not clear and specific about your request to meet the actual photographer who will be behind the camera at your wedding, these giants may have you speak with a sales representative or album designer instead. If you are looking for a more personal experience, you should direct your attention to the smaller studios. However, make sure the studio has been in business for at least a few years: you don’t want a new studio to fail and close in the current economy after you have them booked for your wedding, leaving you high and dry on your big day, or even after your wedding.
Once you’ve double-checked that you are meeting with your actual photographer, make sure you ask him or her to show you a portfolio of their work. Evaluating the pictures the photographer has under the belt is the best way to make sure he or she has experience and a style that matches your own. But don’t stop after looking at five or six of the best images, check all the shots from at least three full weddings the photographer has worked. You want your Chicago wedding photographer to show skill at taking beautiful photos throughout your big day from start to finish, not one that just lucked out with a few great shots. A photographer with true talent will be able to capture the life and beauty of even a mundane moment. Look for good photos under varied lighting, a variety of interesting angles, and an eye for detail.
Another good idea is to ask to see albums of your Chicago wedding photographer’s most recent weddings. You don’t want a photographer showing you photos from years ago, with nothing current in his or her portfolio. An experienced photographer’s portfolio should also include shots from all four seasons, so you can look at the photos he or she has taken during the specific month of your wedding. You can bring some photos you like and show the photographers, but it’s really up to you to evaluate his or her style to make sure it matches your vision.
After looking through the candidate photographer’s portfolio, you should have picked up some good ideas on different types of flowers, arrangements, shoot locations, and even hair styles you may want to incorporate into your own wedding.
Many brides today actually hire two photographers: one to focus on the storytelling and interaction between the bride and groom, and the other to focus on the photojournalism that encompasses spontaneous moments, exchanges and little details that will give your album a more personal touch. Emotions happen in split seconds, and two cameras will give you more points of view and the best coverage to really tell the story. However, if your budget only allows for one photographer, he or she should be able to flow between the two roles, efficiently shooting some posed photos and unobtrusively capturing the natural moments. Whatever you decide, make sure the Chicago wedding photographer you choose has back-up equipment and a back-up photographer who could shoot your wedding in case of an emergency.
Make sure the studio you decide to work with can provide you with digital negatives of your photos. Find out if they just shoot and burn the photos, or if they take the time to go through them over a several days and apply special features to enhance the quality of the photos. Instead of leaving the images plain, a good photographer will look for the potential behind the straight shot. Some sample techniques your Chicago wedding photographer should be familiar with include creating a vintage look and applying various filters to stylize your images in the likes of the latest Twilight or 300 movies. Make sure the studio you choose can provide finished albums in the style you want. Some examples include coffee table books, magazine style, or the always popular traditional method books.
Before ending the meeting, ask for referrals. With so many weddings happening in the windy city every year, your Chicago wedding photographer should have no problem giving you a list.
After you’ve met your photographer and spoken with a few past customers, tune into your intuition and consider your feelings. Do you think he or she is the right person for the job? Picking your Chicago wedding photographer is almost like picking your wedding dress. There has to be a good balance between the value of the product and its cost. Imagine you find a gorgeous designer dress on Michigan Avenue for $15K, but reluctantly pass it up because you don’t want to scrimp and save for the first few years of your marriage just to pay it off. Yet none of the budget-priced dresses you’ve seen have seemed special enough for you to wear on the happiest day of your life. Finally, you discover a dress reminiscent of the designer one in a small boutique and catch your breath. Not only will it make you feel beautiful, but your future husband will be able to put up with the cost!
Speaking of your husband-to-be, he was with you when you met the photographer, right? Your Chicago wedding photographer will be with you throughout the entire day, and you want to make sure that both your and your fiancé’s personalities and styles mesh well with the person’s who is documenting the big event.
Remember, on your wedding day you want to stay true to the moments and above all have fun throughout the event. But you are also creating new, irreplaceable memories that will outlast the one day and stay with you for a lifetime. You are going to share your wedding album with your children and look back at it fondly years later, reminiscing about the day you and your husband’s life together officially began. Make sure you find a wedding photographer who understands the value and significance of immortalizing these memories, and approaches his task with heart and passion.About the Author: