When you’re choosing vendors for your wedding, you want to do your homework to find the best of the best in your price range. Your wedding photographer is no exception; in fact, for something as important as documenting the most important day of your life, you should be fully confident that you are hiring the right person for the job. There are many questions you should ask your wedding photographer during your initial consultations and meetings, but there is one crucial question that will give you the most information on whether or not this person is right for the job: can they show you a full gallery from a wedding they’ve shot recently?
Why you need to see a full gallery
You probably chose to contact a photographer because you saw how great his pictures were on his website or blog. You might have thought that was a representative sample of his work, and that’s exactly how your wedding photos will turn out if you hire him. However, what a wedding photographer chooses to put up on his blog or website is typically a small sample of what his portfolio really looks like. Any weddings he chooses to feature on his blog will only have the best 20 to 30 photos from a full day of shooting, or 700 to 800 images. If you’re considering his website gallery only, that’s a very carefully selected 50 to 60 photos from his entire career, or tens of thousands of images! You need to see a full gallery of work from a single event to get a true sense of what a photographer’s style is like.
Photo Credit: BrideBox Pro
What you’ll get out of this
Not only will you have a better idea of what a photographer’s shooting style is like, but you’ll also get to see what you would receive if you were to hire him for your big day. A link to a web gallery of images will tell you what you expect when you receive your wedding day images. You’ll see how your photographer handles different lighting, shooting indoors versus outdoors, how he likes to pose formal portraits and whether his style is more photojournalistic or traditional. Seeing a full gallery of photos from a real wedding he’s shot recently will give you more information than you can ever expect from a consultation or from his website. You might even consider requesting to see a wedding that is similar to yours (ie: rustic backyard wedding, ballroom reception with uplighting, beach wedding, etc.) so that you can see if you like his style.
Photo Credit: Mary McHenry Photography
What to do if they say no
The vast majority of professional wedding photographers will agree to show you a full gallery of work. They understand that it’s tough to judge how good a photographer really is from a tiny snippet of photos via a website or blog. But what if your photographer declines your request? We suggest explaining to him why you want to see a full gallery – so that you can get a good overall idea of what his style looks like and whether it’ll work for your wedding. If he still declines, this is a red flag. Ask if he has references that you can call on your own time to find out whether he is worth hiring and whether these past clients would be willing to show you their photos. However, any true professional photographer that is worthy of shooting your wedding should be gladly and willingly showing you sample galleries upon your request.
Photo Credit: Modern Love Photography
There are a lot of questions you should ask each and every one of your wedding vendors to ensure they’re the right ones for the job. It’s the most important day of your life, and you want everything to go perfectly according to plan. For such a crucial role like the wedding photographer, it’s worthwhile to spend a little extra time researching and interviewing to ensure you’ve chosen the right person. Make sure you ask the single most important question you can possibly ask any wedding photographer and you’ll know whether you’ve found the right person for your big day.