Tips for Hiring a Photographer for Your Adirondack Elopement or Wedding at Fern Lodge
Finding the right Adirondack wedding photographer is a crucial part of the wedding and/or elopement planning process, and is one of the key decisions that may leave couples feeling somewhat stumped. But with some research, pre-planning and careful due diligence before you choose your photographer, you can relax later and enjoy your wedding day, knowing you’re in good photographic hands.
Whether you are looking at a low-key and private elopement or a full-out wedding celebration, here are some essential tips on choosing an Adirondack wedding photographer:
Choose a Style
Determine what style of photography best suits your needs. Traditional, artistic and photojournalist are the most common styles and greatly affect your finished product. Research online which one you like best.
Set a Price
Go in with a budget. An elopement typically cost much less, but a good starting point for a respected and experienced wedding photographer can be around $2,500 for a full day. Finding a photographer who might be able to offer a flexible price for reduced hours of coverage is important, but remember, those who do this for a living may or may not budge. That’s because from a business standpoint, they may eventually have to pass on a bigger paycheck if they accepted a lower rate in the past.
Decide if you might be interested in someone who offers an hourly rate, since no two weddings are alike. Generally, for an elopement with four people on hand, the hourly fee won’t the same as a 200-guest, 20-wedding party affair.
Not every photographer is a professional. It’s a competitive field and it’s important to look at experience. Even asking about specific technical degrees and/or training is a great idea. Hiring a photographer who is fully insured is an important aspect too, as you know they are running a legit business. Many venues will require your photographer to carry a particular amount of liability insurance as well, so it’s best to know that they are covered in advance.
View a Whole Shoot
It’s easy to have a small selection of nice images on a photographer’s webpage. Ask to see an entire wedding, from start to finish, which truly reflects on how that professional handles and produces consistent and high-quality images throughout the event.
For style, avoid trends when it comes to how a photographer edits his or her work. Processes like selective color and overuse of filters, Photoshop effects and vignettes will only make your images look dated someday. You want your images to stand the test of time and be true to the moments captured when your kids and their kids see them in the future, because in the end, the photographs are the one thing you’ll take with you and have forever.
Get It In Writing
Sign a contract. Every reputable professional will provide you with a contract laying out the details, like delivery of images and model releases, as well as information needed to get the most out of your day.
Trust your photographer. If you do not intend on hiring a wedding planner, an experienced photographer who cares and has documented weddings for many years should personally work with you closely on the details of the day, to ensure you have the right amount of time to get the shots you desire. Also, many photographers may not be open to copying images that are seen on Pinterest or other forms of social media. You want someone with their own creative ideas, and while it’s okay to suggest a pose you might like, trusting your photographer and hiring him or her because of their style is an incredible compliment.
Focus on Flexibility
Realize that no two weddings are the same. Even though you see a perfectly lit, perfectly posed, intimate photo in a portfolio, that does not mean it can automatically be duplicated. A December wedding in the Adirondacks will never look like a fall wedding. Having a photographer who can manage multiple lighting situations on the fly is important.
See If You Connect
Meet in person, or plan an online video chat. You may love his or her style, but if you don’t care for their personality or attitude, the wedding day most likely won’t be comfortable, because you’ll go into the day worrying about the photographs, instead of enjoying your wedding.
— Contributed by Erin Reid Coker, Gallery 9 North
***Planning an Adirondack honeymoon, elopement or a larger wedding event? Let The Fern Lodge be your destination! Check out our Honeymoon and Elopement Packages and our many other popular packages on our website or call us today for more information. We’d love to help make your honeymoon and/or wedding an unforgettable day!