Vertigo Productions Photography

wedding & portrait photography

Ottawa Wedding Photographer

How NOT to choose a wedding photographer.

Written by Leona Oates, owner Vertigo Productions Photography of Brockville Ontario.

Ottawa wedding photographer, kingston wedding photographer, gananoque wedding photographer, brockville wedding photographer, cornwall wedding photographer.

Ottawa Wedding Photographer
After everything is said and done, your photos are what will bring you back in time. When the wedding is over and everything is just a memory, your photos are the one thing that can take you back to that special day over and over again.

If you are getting married than you have a lot of planning ahead of you. With so many vendors to choose from and so many questions to ask, you may not even know where to start. This article will help you with how to choose, or in this case, how NOT to choose a wedding photographer.

We've all heard our fair share of regrets from brides and grooms when it came to their wedding photographer. In order to help in your search for the perfect shutterbug to document your romance, here is a list of NOTS for choosing a wedding photographer, and why they are big NO NO’s.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
#1. Have a friend or family member shoot your wedding for free!

This is the #1 regret heard from past brides.
Thinking of all the money you will save sounds great at the time but what happens when you’re not happy with the final result? Why risk bad blood between friends or family if something should go wrong. Unless they are a professional wedding photographer, when a friend or family member offers to save you big bucks by shooting your entire wedding, they have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. There are so many different variables with it comes to shooting an entire wedding, and unless you have experienced it again and again, you simply cannot be prepared for it. Vertigo Productions has hired graduated photographers to be second shooters at weddings, photographers who do amazing work and have mad skills and passion, photographers who at the end of a wedding day threw in the towel and vowed never to shoot another wedding again so long as they live. It’s a tough gig with many things that can go wrong with no retakes or second chances, once a moment is gone, it’s gone forever. Your wedding photographer is not your guest, they do not have time to enjoy your wedding as a guest would and nor should they, allow your friend or family member to enjoy your special day without worrying about missing a precious moment on camera because they were in line for a drink, having a chat with other guests or simply couldn’t adjust to the lighting change from one angle to the next quickly enough. Leave the hard work, creative thinking and the technical aspects of your wedding photography up to the professionals and allow your guests to be guests.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
#2.  Choose the wedding photography company who has the most weddings under their belt, they are the most experienced.

Yikes this is a BIG one. If a company says they shoot hundreds of weddings per year than clearly they hire freelance photographers to shoot these weddings for them.  Do these freelance photographers have any experience or passion? If you’re looking at a company to shoot your wedding photos insist on meeting with the photographer who 100% will be the person showing up on your wedding day. Not only that, ask to see their portfolio, make sure they are the person who shot the images you are looking at, be sure they are the one who will be post processing and handling your photos after being shot, and be sure to ask them how many weddings they personally have been hired to shoot.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
#3.  To save time and money, go with the photographer who is included in a package deal!

Please don’t hire a wedding photographer because a venue sold them a spot on their vendor list. Hire someone you get along with, someone who will make you look like a beautiful princess in your photos despite the fact that you yourself may be feeling like a bridezilla. A great photographer not only knows how to take photos, a great photographer will be patient, will help calm you and put you at ease during all the chaos in order to keep you happy and smiling, reminding you to breathe and enjoy yourself.

Meet with your prospective photographers if you can, and get to know them a little bit. You will spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than any other person probably, its important they feel like a friend because this is a very intimate day for you. You don’t want someone on your heels during the most important day of your life who you don’t like being around. Secondly, these are your photos, your memories, your big day; YOU should decide who you want to document it. Be sure to have a look at their portfolios, have a chat with them personally and make sure they don’t have their own fine print you don’t know about, just because you signed a contract with the venue for a package deal does not necessarily mean the other vendors don’t have their own contracts you will be obligated to sign after the fact.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
#4.  Signing a contract is a hastle; find a photographer who doesn't require one!

A contract is a MUST for any vendor you hire for your wedding. Be sure to see an agreement before paying anything!!! A contract will help cover your back as well as the photographers. With a contract there will be no miscommunications, or misunderstandings. Do not hire a wedding photographer who does not absolutely insist on one. Other signs of a non-professional wedding photographer include; ads on their web site, no web site, email that ends in hotmail, Gmail, yahoo etc, a professional photographer will have their own business email and domain name, taking pride in their web presence and social media pages, do a Google search of prospective photographers to see if they are legit.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
#5.  The photographer with the lowest price is the clear winner!

This is a mistake that is heard way too often, “I wish I had paid less for the party favors and more for the photographer” or something along those lines. A very low price if often a very red flag. True professional wedding photographers pay taxes, have insurance, carry high grade equipment in duplicate, many have store fronts to run, all of these things are very costly. Before deciding on a cheap photographer think about why they are so cheap.

Keep in mind though, the highest priced photographer does NOT mean they are the best photographer either. Something as simple as business location might be a large factor in the price of a photographer. Try looking for photographers outside of the larger cities; their overhead to run their business costs less which is reflected in their pricing. For example, an Ottawa wedding photographer seems to charge more on average than a Brockville wedding photographer.  They may charge a small travel fee but you are still saving money without sacrificing quality of service.
Ottawa Wedding Photographer
Other Questions to ask your prospective photographers.

-Is your equipment and backup equipment top of the line?
Make sure they DO have backup equipment should something go wrong with their camera, lens, flash, batteries, memory cards etc?
I was a guest at a wedding where the paid photographer asked to use my camera because she had forgotten to charge her battery!!!

Are you a full time photographer, or is photography your side job?
This question can answer two things; how much time has this person actually invested in their day to day life perfecting their craft, is it a part time thing or do they eat, sleep and breathe photography? And secondly it gives you an idea of how much time this person has to invest into you and into your photos. Does their photography come second to a full time day job or is photography their top priority?
Ottawa Wedding Photographer

What kind of retouching service do you offer? How experienced are you at this?

Ask to see before and after photos. Ask for a list of their capabilities, this can get complicated if you expect your retouched photos to be retouched a certain way only to see your likeness with blood shot eyes and yellow teeth. Not all retouching is created equal, be sure to find out if they have the chops to match the price you are paying. Good retouching is very expensive and time consuming, make sure you are getting what you are paying for. Its heartbreaking how many wedding sets Vertigo Productions has been hired to edit that have not been shot by Vertigo Productions.  This is something to keep in mind when selecting your shutter bug. In this age of digital photography if your photographer is not an expert at natural looking digital image modification than you are not getting the best of what digital photography has to offer.

Hope this was helpful, if you have any questions feel free to email, call or text.