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How do you know your wedding photographer is a professional?

We have put together 10 Tips to help you know between a professional Wedding Photographer and an amateur.

Being a wedding photographer is a very exciting career which is very fun and sometimes challenging. In that case, because a lot of people who can afford expensive cameras think they are professionals. Those are the ones we refer to as Hobbyists. Hobbyists are always looking to make extra money but photography is never their main focus. They might be very disappointing.

Looking for a cheap wedding photographer is always tempting because after paying for the expensive gown, venue, and everything else you will be running low on budget. It is not a secret that you want to leave photography for last.  Wrong move!!

Choosing your wedding photographer should be your top priority, after or even before you secure the venue or the dress. Because Photography is actually the most important service at a wedding but you wouldn’t have any idea now. You will only know after the wedding. Chances are, that will be too late.

The best wedding photographer gets booked months or years in advance if you leave it for the last minute you will regret it. You can only stand a chance with them if your wedding is during the week or maybe in winter when the wedding season is off.

It is a fact that you want everything like your dress, décor, and flowers to be world-class and the food delicious. The wedding Photographer should, however, be your first priority because without a good photographer, everything else you have spent thousands of Rands for will be in vain as you will not have something to show for it.

however, if you decide that you will spend all your money on everything and go for a poor-quality wedding photographer. You will dread looking at a single picture from your big day.

Food for thought, what is more, important at a wedding than a wedding Photographer? I bet you said the dress. Well, that is not true, Your photographer is very important, just close your eyes for a minute and think, The dress you will wear once, The Flowers will die, The cake will finish, the food will finish, and after a year your guests won't even remember what shoe you were wearing. The only thing left will be memories. Simply put, memories captured well are always good memories.

Here are the tips to make sure your wedding photographer is the best.

1.      Does the photographer only show you pictures of one wedding?

If that’s the case then great, ask him or her to show you another wedding so you get an idea of his or her approach. I will be concerned if I was a client and a photographer shows me a single picture for each wedding.

You need to know the style and the approach and the fact that they have the ability and most of all creativity to sustain a sequence for the whole day. As an average rule, Three or four recent weddings are acceptable to make up your mind.

2.      Does the photographer have great listening and communication skills?

A photographer that doesn’t listen to you and they think they are great because of a few photographs and they constantly talk about themselves is someone you should be wary of,  If they won’t listen chances are, they will not deliver what you expect.

3.      You have to like your photographer.

On your wedding day you need to be happy and most of all comfortable, Rule number 1. If you going to choose a photographer its better you start liking him or her because they will be on your face the whole day. So, it's even safer to be friends with them because they will help you a lot even when it comes to the do's and don’ts. Remember they have been to thousands of weddings and you haven’t.

4.      From your judgment, does the photographer seem professional?

This might be a tricky one too because some people can talk well, dress smart and they know their way around the camera. You would rather go the review route, check their reviews and see what other people say about him or her. You can never know unless you spend a day with them.

5.      Choosing your wedding photography package.

After having a meeting with your wedding photographer about the packages and your needs for your wedding, you should have an idea of what exactly you want and the photographer is in the best position to help you get the best package. Don’t be pressured to getting something that is over your budget or things you don’t need.

6.      Ask if photography is their main chosen career?

If they are doing photography part-time there is a reason for concern.

7.      How long have they been doing wedding photography?

Anything under a year is not a good sign, this is because they might not have enough experience. Don’t confuse the qualifications and experience.

7.2  Two to three years is fair but shouldn’t be good enough, this photographer might have some experience but might have issues should any situations arise.

7.3  Anything above three years is a sign that you shouldn’t let them go, only if this is 3 or more years continuously.  If its 3 years part-time it’s a no go.

7.4  Anything over 5, 10 or 15 years is excellent and highly experienced. If you have the means book them immediately because such photographers are not always easy to find.

Ask around about the wedding photographer if you are doubtful to get a second or 3rd opinion.

8.      How many weddings have they photographed in their career?

This is very important if they have done less than 100 weddings chances are, they are still new. If they have done anything more than 200 it’s a great sign that they have been around. And they know their way around weddings.

Note: for a professional wedding photographer they must do at least 60 weddings annually.

9.      Does the wedding photographer have a contract?

A photographer who calls themselves professional and they don’t have a contract or certain terms they are not to be trusted. Just like any other service or purchase to have a contract covers you in case an issue arises.

The contract will be an assurance that the wedding photographer will deliver as written and verbally promised. This is also to give you a heads up if they will be using your photos for marketing purposes which you shouldn’t always object because if you do then what’s the point of the photographer putting his or her effort for photographs that won’t be shared. Unless you have a good reason then you can object.

10.  Should you tell your wedding photographer about your family stuff and relationships.

-         To a point yes.

Weddings can be quite emotionally charged events so it is safer to tell your photographer about some family issues that might be controversial on your wedding day, e.g. Divorced parents, or relatives that don’t get along with each other.

If the price is too low and the photographer seems to be good ask more questions because photography is not usually a cheap service.

If the prices are way over your budget and you really want to book them, talk to your photographer but don’t expect them to swim across the ocean for you. Try to meet them halfway with a really good offer.

Don’t forget to appoint a representative who will help the photographer when he or she is conducting the photo shoot, the person you appoint should be a family member that knows the entire family to make the photography process a breeze.


Everyone has their preferences, budget and don’t be pressured by friend’s family or any of the service providers. Be sure to read the fine print and don’t be caught in scuffles after the wedding because you failed to read every important detail.

From the TC productions family, we wish you all the best not only in photography but in the entire planning of your wedding.

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