How to Pick the Perfect Wedding Photographer

If memories are made of photos, you need to pay particular attention to your wedding photographer. With photography having gone digital and consumer, it may be tempting to let your uncle Hamid or friend Nabil, be the photographer.

Either may be great to have for supporting photos, but if you have the budget don’t skimp on this. You will be revisiting these memories for many years to come. To make sure you have zero regrets be sure to hire a professional.

The detailed questions for you to consider when meeting a wedding photographer are listed in the Perfect Muslim Wedding Planning Kit. However, to help you get started and give context here are things to think about.

  1. There’s no getting away from it, your budget and all the other components of the wedding will vie for attention, and amongst them are the photographer(s).
  2. Before you can start to talk to photographers it is good to do a little homework and find out what you, your spouse, and family-like and dislike. What kind of mood do you want the photographer to capture? Poised and filmic, or relaxed and natural? Color or black and white? In focus or having some blur? Bright and fun or dark and moody? The list goes on.
  3. Start with a portfolio and also make sure to see a complete shoot in order to get a clear understanding of the range of the photographer.
  4. Besides posed shots are they able to capture the heart and soul of the wedding?
  5. Although for budget reasons you may only want one photographer, in practice both as backup and to respect conservative Muslim guests and families, it would be good to have a female photographer.

    It is best for women photographers to ask permission from women wearing e.g. hijabs or niqabs. Many people are uncomfortable with having their pictures taken for personal reasons as well, so make sure the photographer is mindful of that.
  6. It is important that your photographer is culturally sensitive to your wedding needs. They should be amiable and someone you would be comfortable having around your guests. They should make you and your guests feel relaxed.
  7. Leave time and coordinate with the MC for family and friends shots before the wedding and at the end of the wedding.
  8. Know the tangibles and go for quality, not quantity. You may get 50 to 100 photos per hour. With digital, photos are essentially free until you decide to print them. Fewer well-composed and lit shots are better than a gazillion “who cares” photos.
  9. How much editing will the photographer do to correct lighting or other imperfections? What will you get in actual prints and photo books? These are some of the questions to address.
  10. Avoid pay now or pay later. There are two main types of photographers. The first, portrait photographer charges lower upfront fees to do the shoot and then makes it up on the backend from editing and prints. Photojournalistic photographers focus on capturing the event and let third parties do the printing.

    The difference maybe a couple of thousand dollars so make sure you have and pardon the pun “the complete picture.”
  11. As with selecting other vendors, references, quotes, and your chemistry all count when it comes to finalizing who you will work with.