Hiring a Professional Wedding Photographer - What to look for?

April 05, 2015  •  1 Comment

As a fresh face in the wedding industry, you learn from others and grow singularly.  As with any industry there are always things that confuse, raise concern, and provide insight.  The Florida Keys & Key West provide everything you need for your destination wedding.  It allows you the budget option with a small ceremony or you can go all out and have the storybook wedding of your dreams. So where do you get started?  How do you find the right Key West photographer?  What should you know before hand?  How can you as the consumer be sure that you are going with the right professional?  Well its your lucky day, as I am about to answer a few of those questions for you.


Why should I hire a professional Florida Keys wedding photographer? 

A professional wedding photographer is going to be licensed and insured.  A professional is going to make sure that you are covered on your special day.  Many times the sticker shock hits you first.  Remember this person is creating lasting images of your day, that will be with you forever.  Make sure that this person is a true professional. Most likely you are going to use a friends recommendation, others are going to do their research on the internet.  READ the reviews of the vendor.  Email them with questions instead of just asking their availability and how much.  It is important that you and the wedding photographer have a relationship built, which will produce lasting images you will cherish.


Florida Keys WeddingsFlorida Keys WeddingsShowcasing rings is a creative way to show your love of each other.

What style of wedding photography does the professional use?

Knowing the style of a photographer will help you asses a better understanding of how they create their images.  Documentarian photography is a great fit for any wedding.  Capturing your day from start to finish really tells your journey and story.  Ask about their visions and creativity for couples portraits.  We all know the importance of formals, but what about those images that you want.  The ones that show your love for each other.  Ask to see samples of the photographers work, or check out their portfolio's.  They will show their representation of how they tell a story, and how they break out of the box.


Westin Key West Resort And MarinaWestin Key West Resort And MarinaNicole and Troy Glafke were married on April 30, 2015 in Key West. A very relaxed, natural, and artistic couple. Photography was produced by Mike Freas of Foto By Freas Photography. Other Vendors included Last Key Realty and Danger Charters


Why do wedding photographers require a deposit up front?

To solidify any contract a deposit needs to be made.  This is a retainer and will secure your date with the photographer for your wedding date.  This is an industry standard.  You have to pay a deposit to reserve the venue, and the same goes for your photography packages.  As a south Florida wedding photographer you have to cover your insurance for the event and venue.  It also allows the photographer to get started on your package and piecing the day together.  It's a start to the paperwork and planning for your imagery.  It's the initial investment for your forever images.


How long does it take to get our images?

Each photographer has their own turn around times.  This is where the real work comes in.  A wedding photographer has to sort through thousands of photographs, checking for consistency and focus.  A photographer then culls these and rates them, then edits.  A general average of 4 hours for every hour shooting applies to the time frame.  Be patient with your photographer.  They are concentrating on delivering perfection, and you have to let them work.


Sheraton Suites WeddingSheraton Suites WeddingSamantha & Josh were married at Smathers Beach. Wedding Planning by Sheraton Suites Key West Wedding. Photography by Foto By Freas Photography. Dj provided by Soundwave Productions

Do I need to have the venue reserved before contacting the photographer?

YES.  Key West photographer sometimes have to amend their insurance policy for certain venues.  Also there may be a process that the photographer has to take in order to be able to be an approved vendor of a new venue.  By contacting your photographer after you reserve the venue, you are able to give them more information for an accurate quote.

 Why does my photographer send me questionnaires?

Communication of your expectations is major in planning.  These questions are used to get an idea of the feel of the day, and your vision of it.  This helps your photographer learn of any family dynamics, must have shots, surprise shots, and your creative thoughts on your day.  You want your photographer to feel like they are a friend of yours, that you have known forever.  Not someone who barely knows you and is the hired help.

Sheraton Suites WeddingSheraton Suites WeddingSamantha & Josh were married at Smathers Beach. Wedding Planning by Sheraton Suites Key West Wedding. Photography by Foto By Freas Photography. Dj provided by Soundwave Productions

What can I expect from my photographer on the day of the wedding?

On the day of the wedding the photographer plays many roles.  Personal assistant, wedding planner, banquet coordinator, etc.  Pretty much consider us your personal drill sergeant with a schedule to keep.   We produce timelines designed around your requests, our visions, and the coordinators schedule.  Thus creating appointments that we have to keep, so that we can make sure that we get exactly what you are wanting for your day.  We will get you through the day, supplying you with Aleve, and then some.

Cheeca Lodge WeddingCheeca Lodge WeddingCheeca Lodge Wedding in Islamorada, Florida. Mike Freas for Mary Veal Photography.


Whats the most important thing to know about hiring the right wedding photographer?

Who are they?  What do they enjoy? Where is their creative vision going?  Ask questions, get to know them, and make sure that they are a good fit.  You will spending a day with this person and they need to understand you.  This will help them to keep the lens out of your face all day, but be there for the key moments and shots.  You will look back on these images each anniversary year and remember that special day.  Hiring a professional wedding photographer who gets you, will preserve that moment that you want to feel again and again.


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Thank you for the fantastic article. The place else could anyone get that kind of info in such a perfect means of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am at the search for such information.
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