Trying to find a wedding photographer in Montreal can be a daunting task. Here are a few things to help you decide what are your deal breakers, priorities and most importantly, the best questions to ask yourselves when trying to find “THE ONE”, or at least “the one” of the wedding vendors!
Montrealers are very lucky; we’re a city with a lot of very talented professional photographers. The bonus, many of us professional photographers are friends and often work together and create incredible experiences and images for our clients, which I am lucky to do for my clients. They key is, we are professionals that come with experience, expertise and both technical understanding and cultural knowledge. Unfortunately, the onus is on the client to find the professional from the hobbyist who is having fun on someone's wedding day.
Now, for the scary taboo subject, budget! There will be photographers that range in price and that can be for a variety of reasons; some may be just starting out in their careers and not have any experience yet, some might have been working for many years and have recently opened their own business and can offer great expertise and lower cost (which is why I can offer what I do!), some might be well into their career and are more high-end, etc. Every couple has to decide where they are comfortable and what their deal breaker will be. The old adage “you get what you pay for” is certainly true here, so it’s a place to decide if budget or quality reigns supreme, as there are options in Montreal for both.
What can help you decide? Experience. Why does experience count for so much? Wedding photography is not like anything else. As photographers we are constantly on the go, thinking of the next big moment and seeing and finding the great small moments that can’t be missed all at the same time! We help our couples schedule the day, thanks to our experience, and when that schedule sometimes doesn’t go to plan due to weather, traffic, late people in the wedding party, etc., we still are able to create those amazing, some may say epic, photos that last a lifetime. This is why experience matters. I can certainly say that my nearly 10 years as a wedding photographer has certainly helped my clients on many occasions.
When choosing your wedding photographer there are some key points you’re going to want to keep in mind.
- Your photographer is going to be the person that is with you the most on your wedding day (other than the person you are marrying!). That means this should be someone that you not only can stand to be around for 8-12 hours, but that you LIKE and enjoy their company. Is this a person that you can imagine being friends with? If so, than yay! You made a good choice.
- Choosing your photographer is almost like dating. Do you want to swipe RIGHT? LOL. You are looking for someone you connect with, that gets you and you get them. Are they going to listen to you when you say you’ve had enough with something? Are they going to be inspired by you and something you’ve shared with them?
- Make sure you have seen their work and based on that and discussions you’ve had with them, that you HAVE FULL TRUST in your photographer. Truth is, they will probably try some things that may or may not work out, but you chose them for a reason; that you like what they do. So, trust in them to do that with you and that you’ll love the results. THROW AWAY that list you got off of the wedding blog that details what the photographer needs to capture, because they know what to do and if they need to keep referencing a list, it only limits their creativity and freedom and no one wins that way.
- Have detailed conversations with your photographer about your wedding and make sure they understand any restrictions that may be required. If they are not comfortable with that, then that may be a red flag and worth exploring.
- ARE THEY A PROFESSIONAL? Have you seen their portfolio? Are they experienced? Are they technically knowledgeable/comfortable (this does not mean ask them for a photo or list of their equipment)? Do they understand the customs and traditions of the wedding? Are they familiar with the venue and other locations? Do they know any of the other vendors? Do they have ideas to contribute to the wedding? Do they have references/reviews to share?
There are many more questions you can ask, and some that will be more relevant to you personally. The most important thing is; do you like this person? Do you feel good with them? Do you like their work? And can you give them your full trust? If so… IT’S A MATCH!
I recommend starting with a phone call, even just a few minutes chat if you have time. Email is certainly efficient to see if the photographer is within the budget you have allocated, but it’s a bit impersonal (most photographers are willing to have conversations about pricing, so don’t be shy to ask, if the pricing is close, but not exactly within the budget. Odds are they can create a package for you to suit your needs).
Plan a FaceTime or Skype with them, even better, set up a meeting and meet face to face! (let’s meet you and me and see if we connect!) Get to know each other and start what may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.