What to Look For in a Wedding Photographer – Part 2 – Experience

Vancouver WA Photographer

Ever since the DLSR became a lot more affordable, everyone that has one seems to of become a photographer. With the market so saturated, how do you choose the right photographer for you?

I’m here to try to explain what to look for, what to expect, and how to make sure that you get the images that you and your significant other deserve on your wedding day.

I have already covered style in my last post, if you haven’t read it, you can see it here.

This week, i’m going to cover another area that you need to consider, experience.

Sure, we all start somewhere. That person that just bought that DSLR and needs a portfolio REALLY wants to give you this amazing deal. You could risk it and get amazing images, or you could risk it and get dark, blurry and unprofessional work.

When photographers just start out, they are learning the aspects of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and proper light techniques. By hiring a beginner, your images may come out under/over exposed (aperture/shutter speed), blurry (shutter speed), grainy (ISO), or not being able to perform indoors or in low light (lighting equipment).


All of the above images would not of been the same without knowledge of lighting equipment and techniques. Whether working at night, in dark venues, or just balancing the scene so that the sky is exposed correctly, all of them required knowledge and experience.

I know that with experience, comes with a higher price, but there is a reason for this. As photographers gain more experience, they realize that they need more specialized equipment in order to capture the gorgeous images that you are wanting. With that gear, also comes licensing, insurance, taxes and all that other fun “adulating”. That is one of the main reasons that more experienced and professional photographers prices are higher.

Once an amateur photographer takes the leap into going professional, their prices will slowly rise as well.

I always recommend looking through a potential photographers portfolio. In this day of age, it is easy for someone to exaggerate how long they’ve been a photographer and just show images they took over the last year or so. A photographer stating years of experience should definitely have a decent sized portfolio with multiple clients.

The above is work from my first year that I called myself a wedding photographer. It was 5 years after I picked up a camera, 3 years after shooting landscapes, and 2 years after I was shooting portrait session.

Before I even thought about shooting that wedding, I shot portraits and landscapes for years, and I have the portfolio to show for it. My clients can look back at my work for a few years and see my style evolving.

My biggest hurdle was making sure that I could consistently capture great images. I didn’t want to be hired for someones important day and not be able to deliver the quality that they deserved. Once I proved to myself that I had my style and gear in line, I got my licenses, insurance, and all the other things in line to be hired.

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An image from my first wedding! With a few years of landscape experience, I shot it as if I was shooting the landscape…..and just added people!

While not common, images can also be stolen from other photographers or bought as stock images and used in their portfolio. I have had this happen and so have a few other photographers. If you see an image that does not look like any of their other work, ask them about it!

So in all, make sure you thouroughly screen which ever photographer you choose for your wedding. Your images are one of the only things that you can look back and enjoy the day with.

If you’d like get to know more, book a free consultation! I would love to talk to you more about your ideal wedding images.


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