Keys to Hiring a Great Wedding Photographer

Keys to Hiring a Great Wedding Photographer

You only have one chance to get the perfect wedding photos — so no pressure, right? Here

are some questions to ask your potential wedding photographer to guarantee a perfect match.


Nearly every family has a collection of photo albums, regularly brought out during get-togethers

and holidays. Everyone gathers around to reminisce about the good times they miss (or maybe

don’t miss: like questionable haircuts or decade-appropriate clothing). When suddenly the mood

turns serious. Someone, perhaps a young child, asks about an unfamiliar face, a departed loved

one. Obviously, the memories family photos evoke can trigger deep emotions. And wedding

photos, with their unique significance, are certainly no exception.

Boston-based wedding photographer and Boston Wedding Group member, Theresa Johnson

Herlihy of Johnson Photography, understands and makes full use of the enduring power of

photos: “I love to capture emotion, like when the father of the bride is looking at his daughter. It’s

a beautiful moment that’s gone in a fleeting second.” Consequently, selecting your wedding

photographer can feel like a heavy decision because you and your partner’s satisfaction with the

pictures must last a lifetime. And, as Theresa is quick to point out, you have only one day to get

it right! So, here are her top questions couples should ask potential wedding photographers to

ensure that your special day is picture-perfect.

How many years have they been in business?

Theresa could not stress the importance of this question enough. After over 25 years in the

photography industry, she emphasizes the danger of hiring someone inexperienced just to cut

costs. Because the day moves so quickly, you will want a photographer that can keep up

without throwing the day off schedule or missing an important moment. This can be a challenge

to newer photographers who may have not worked at large or hectic weddings.

Have they shot a wedding like yours before?

This sort of question is easily overlooked but can expose a possible pitfall. A good starting point

in your research is to look at complete wedding galleries and ensure that the photographer’s

work is consistent and reflects your style. Additionally, lighting, essential to any flattering photo,

can be affected by variables such as venue location and season. If a photographer has only

ever done outdoor beach weddings and yours is in a dimly lit cathedral it may be beneficial to

ask how they plan to properly light the space, given how much these details influence the quality

of the photos.

Are they a team player?

As Theresa says, “The engaged couple are the middle of the wheel, and the different vendors

are the spokes; if one of the spokes doesn’t work well with the others, it’s going to be a wobbly

day.” Your photographer will be heavily involved throughout the event and must be mindful ofhow their photos will fit in with the schedule of the caterer or the layout of the venue.

Furthermore, to ensure that the day runs smoothly, photographers must work compatibly with

videographers as they are often capturing the same moments through their respective


Will they be sensitive to family dynamics?

Every family is complex. As preparation, Theresa sends out a form before the wedding that asks

for the parties’ names and relations, along with family dynamics to consider. She says, “I want

an overall sense of who’s important. Obviously, everyone at your wedding is important, but there

are always key people I cannot miss taking pictures of.” This level of attention to detail and

emotional intelligence is necessary for any seasoned wedding photographer.

Do you feel a connection to them?

This will always be the guiding principle of selecting a vendor. “I’m all about connections,” says

Theresa. Her website highlights the significance of listening to a client’s vision and never

missing an irreplaceable moment. As she says, “I don’t want people just to hire me because

they like my work. It’s got to be a good relationship.” At heart, you need a photographer who

cares as much as you and your partner about your wedding. The emotional investment needs to

be tangible because these pictures are documenting not just your loved ones but your

memories too.



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