One of the most difficult aspects about planning a wedding is finding the right vendors. Although each vendor is incredibly important, your photographer is especially important. The job of the photographer is to capture moments of your special day that will tell a story for years to come. These memories will not only be with you for the rest of your life, but they will remain with your family and children. So, how do you find the right photographer? Not only do you need to ask the right questions, but you need to consider things such as a photographer’s style, quality, experience, products, value, and personality.
Our guest blogger Anthony Gauna, of Anthony Gauna Photography, is a Texas-based wedding photographer. He has been working as a full-time wedding photographer since 2012. He shared with me that a bride of his recently experienced the passing of her dad just a few months after her wedding. The very last photos she had of him were from her wedding. It’s not a fun thing to think about, but it is an important thing to remember when it comes to your wedding photography. You will want memories of everyone in your life that you love are important to you.
Here are a few important questions you should ask the photographer(s) you’re considering before booking them from a photographer himself.
1. ARE THEY FULL-TIME, PART-TIME, OR A HOBBYIST?
These days, it seems as if almost everyone is a photographer. There’s an infinite amount of great photography online. Cameras are becoming increasingly better in quality and learning how to use a camera is just a Google search away. However, when it comes to finding a wedding photographer, you want to be aware of the level of experience and value they would be giving you.
A hobbyist might enjoy taking photos and be decent at it, but when it comes to a wedding day, a photographer needs to be able to adapt quickly to changes in light and environment. Most hobbyists also photograph many different things and don’t specialize in weddings specifically. Someone who is part-time might be good at what they do, but they may not be able to dedicate as much time throughout the planning process or after the wedding.
Full-time wedding photographers have the experience of how to adapt and photograph on a wedding day. They also have the time to get to know you, help you plan out photos for the day, and be responsive when it comes to communication throughout the entire process.
2. HOW WILL THEY GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS?
This sort of goes along with the first question, but it’s helpful to know what to how your photographer does things. It’s important to know how their booking process works, when payments are due, if they require a group photo list, how their album design process works, etc.
Every photographer is different with how they run things. Some photographers will literally just show up to your wedding and deliver digital files afterward. And some photographers, like me for instance, have a more hands-on approach to help guide you along the way and keep you informed.
3. DO THEY HAVE BACKUP SYSTEMS IN PLACE?
This is a major thing that most couples don’t even think to ask. Making sure your photographer has backup systems in place will help you feel rest assured.
This means making sure they have backup cameras they bring with them to your wedding and that they back up the files immediately after the wedding. The majority of photographers do not guarantee that they will hold onto the files after they’ve been delivered. However, it is important to know they will at least take precautions to make sure your files are safe until they’re delivered to you.
4. DO THEY OFFER ALBUMS AND PRINTS?
In a world of social media and instant gratification, it might be tempting to go home with just digital files of your big day. But don’t you want a gorgeous fine art heirloom album to help you remember the most important event of your life?
It’s my belief that if you’re a professional photographer, you should be offering top quality albums and prints. Printing memories is something that I deeply value in my personal life because they serve as physical reminders of the people you love. I include an album in every wedding package I offer, while some photographers have albums as an add-on.
Nonetheless, we all know how busy life can get. Having a photographer that offers albums and prints will make sure you don’t forget to print out your most important memories. Photographers have access to some of the most amazing photo labs, so you’re prints and albums will also be of the highest quality too.
We hope these questions will help steer you in the right direction when selecting a wedding photographer. Above all, make sure you like and trust your photographer. And if you’re lucky enough, you might find a great friend in the process! Not only is Anthony amazingly talented, but he’s also one of the most humble, genuine guys I know. Check out his portfolio here.
Photos courtesy of Anthony Gauna Photography
Anthony Gauna is a wedding photographer based in San Antonio, TX. Servicing the local area of San Antonio and the surrounding cities. Often provides services for weddings all across Texas. Specializes in providing a fun, personalized, and stress-free experience for non-traditional couples wanting authentic photos instead of heavily posed ones. Texas is home, but available for travel nationwide.