Found this blog by Jen Carter of my wedding zone and thought I would repost here.
a photographer is not like going to a store and selecting some bridal
dresses. It is different because you can’t see the photographs before
you buy them. You can know how good a photographer is only after he has
been chosen and you have received the photos from him. It is therefore
evident that your decision will largely be a matter of faith. Those who
think price is the sole determining factor are on the wrong track; they
should remember that price is important, but you don’t know the quality
of the product you are paying for. So it is better if you follow a few
general guidelines before choosing a photographer.
most cases, recommendations of friends and relatives are of great help.
After you prepare a list of photographers following their
recommendations, you should meet each of them and have a look at their
portfolios. You can collect the names of good photographers from other
sources also. If you can’t meet all of them personally, visit their
websites and review their portfolios. Concentrate on the photographs
only, don’t get carried away by the design of the website. After a
thorough review, shortlist them and talk to them personally, on phone or
through e-mail. Find out whether he will be available on that
particular day, which areas are his specialties (candid, traditional,
photojournalism, combination, film or digital etc.) and how much he will
charge you for the job. In return, be sure what you are going to get
from them. While judging the samples, trust your own instincts. It is
only you who will know what you like. When you see a picture, you only
can say, “Yeah! This is exactly what I am looking for.”
this interaction, you will have a fair idea of the photographer’s
personality. Remember he is going to be with you all day; you will
definitely not choose someone who you won’t feel comfortable with. No
matter how good his photographs are, a photographer with a bad
personality can ruin your day. So select someone you feel good about.
you have found a photographer who meets all these requirements, start
working the budget back into the equation. Try not to cross your budget.
Bargain in those areas where bargaining is possible. Try to stick to
your budget without compromising on quality. If you keep your mind open
to the wide range of possibilities, you will certainly find the
photographer of your dreams.