As a wedding planner, my job is to narrow down the LONG list of professional photographers for my brides and grooms based on their style, budget, AND personalities. However, once the list is narrowed down, it is their job to meet with the few photographers either in person or over the phone. I've already recommended the photographers that fit their style and budget; the next test is the personality test. Just as I am not the planner for every wedding, a wedding photographer cannot be the photographer for every bride and groom. The good photographers may disagree with me on this but sometimes personalities just clash!
Unfortunately I didn't take my own advice on my wedding day. While planning my wedding, I was referred to a lovely photographer by the name of Candace Simpson of Elegant Images. We visited her studio and LOVED her photos and her warm personality. There was one problem. She had a family trip planned and her return date to Las Vegas was on my wedding date! How dare she! She tried every possible way to change her return date to the day before my wedding but it didn't work out. She offered to have her assistant shoot my wedding but I was hesitant. Knowing what I know now and the fact that her assistants are amazing, I would have hired them in a heartbeat.
So...who did I hire? I had three months to plan my wedding so I called the photographer that I saw many years ago at the Bridal Spectacular because his work was stunning and I didn't have time to do the research. However, all the red flags were there: the non stop reminder that I needed to submit payment before the date was secured (and trust me, I was making my deposits pretty quickly with only three months to plan), the uneasiness in my stomach whenever I called him, the dull personality that he possessed, and his general lack of care. I didn't listen to my instincts and in the end I was very unhappy with him - not my photos - him.
On a happier note, I recently had two amazing experiences with photographers. Candace, the photographer I didn't hire for my wedding ended up becoming one of my friends and we did an awesome bridal shoot. Check out photos here. I also recently did a photoshoot with Adam from Imagine Photography. I met Adam recently when he decided to branch off on his own and start his own company. One of my wedding coordinators Angelica and I talked with him for 3 hours during our first meeting! These two photographers have everything you'd want in a wedding photographer - talent AND personality.
You see, it is so much more than just looking at the photographs when interviewing photographers. Sure, it is absolutely important that you see their work and their product but there are so many amazing photographers out there. Ask yourself these questions when you're looking to hire your wedding photographer:
Would I enjoy an afternoon with this photographer over a cup of coffee? Do I feel at ease when I pick up the phone to call this photographer? Is this photographer passionate about photography? Does this photographer seem genuinely interested in me or is this "just another wedding" for them?
If their photos are gorgeous and they don't meet the personality requirements, move on. Personally, I love a photographer who is outgoing, bubbly, likes to have fun, likes to laugh and can make me laugh. Some people may not care for this and want a more serious personality. Hire someone you feel comfortable with and trust your instincts because it's usually correct.