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Ask the Expert: How do I know when a photographer is right for me?

Expert: Gary Donihoo, f8studio

How do I know when a wedding photographer is right for me?

Most importantly, you will be happiest if you choose a photographer whose images align with your personality and your relationship. At f8studio, we specialize in spontaneous, documentary-style images that capture the unique playfulness of each couple.

Every wedding is a series of vignettes: the couple getting ready, the first look, the formal family portraits, the detail shots, the ceremony, the reception, the sendoff, and more. These scenes take place in different (and often dimly lit) locations that pose unique logistical and technical challenges. It’s important to find an experienced wedding professional who is confident and capable of creating beautiful photographs in any environment.

One of the best ways to evaluate a photographer is to view several of their complete wedding galleries. When you’re browsing a photographer’s website, you’re only seeing the highlight reel. Most of us post only our very best work—the kinds of photos prospective clients want to see. The only way to fully evaluate the quality of a photographer’s work is to view a whole spectrum of their images.

Photography is a notoriously trendy industry. Although stylized detail shots (the cake, flowers, dress, shoes, etc.) are ubiquitous on Instagram and popular wedding blogs, they do little to showcase a photographer’s skill at capturing the moments that make every wedding truly memorable. Your photographer’s work should stand the test of time. When you open your wedding album 40 years from now, f8studio wants your images to reflect the timelessness of the life you and your spouse have built together.

Finally, look for a photographer with lots of happy clients. The most powerful endorsement is a glowing referral from a former bride or groom, who can address essential questions like: Did the photographer respond to your questions or concerns? Was he kind and helpful throughout the planning process? Was he unobtrusive on the wedding day? Did the final product match your expectations?

Ultimately, you can’t go wrong with a photographer whose work connects with you on a deeply personal, emotional level.

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