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How To Find The Best Hawaii Wedding Photographer
How To Find The Best Hawaii Wedding Photographer
Finding a wedding photographer in Hawaii can be a difficult task, not knowing where to start or what to look for when it comes to price, style and personality. First, we will take a look at the importance of choosing a good wedding photographer and why, in Hawaii especially, finding someone you vibe with is key. Then, I'll cover how much to spend on a wedding photographer in Hawaii. 
Venue: Royal Hawaiian Golf Club Wedding, Photographer: Theel Wedding Productions
So why is it important to find the right photographer for you? Any person who takes nice pictures and is reasonably priced should do the job fine, right? Wrong. I cannot emphasize this enough, there is so much more to wedding photography than taking good pictures. It's probably 50%, if even that. Important things to look for when "interviewing" your wedding photographer:

1. Do they use professional camera equipment?

Yes, anyone with a camera *can do the job, but do you want them to? Things happen. Memory cards corrupt, instances happen where insurance is required, equipment fails. If your photographer doesn't have a backup plan or a backup camera you are SOL. Literally. There will be absolutely no wedding photos to hang on the wall because cell phone photos aren't meant to be blown up that large. Find a professional photographer that is properly insured, has high quality equipment, and genuinely loves what they do.

2. Do your personalities click?

If they are just there to do a job, what's so important about personalities vibing? Think about it this way. On your wedding day, the person you'll be with even more than your significant other, is your photographer. They are there from the moment you start getting ready to the drunk dancing at the end of the night. On the best day of your life, you will have a random person stuck to your side the entire time. Make sure you like that person. If your wedding photographer doesn't insist on a phone or video call at the very least, that would raise some red flags for me.

3. Does your photographer focus more on experience or "getting the shot?"

There are so many Hawaii wedding photographers, and really everywhere else, that focus solely on getting their shot. This means they will bark orders, push and shove to get to the front, insist on sticking to timelines, etc. This may be exactly what you need. You may need that strong arm throughout the day to keep you on track and get you the exact shots you had envisioned. But if you are a person that enjoys experiencing the moment and having genuine captures throughout the day, you will need a photographer that is professional and prompt, but easy-going and flexible. Ask yourself what is most important to you before speaking to potential photographers to really ask the questions you need to have answered.

4. Do they ask the right questions?

When booking a photographer, they should be asking all types of questions. Guest count, timeline, hired vendors, if you want a first look or not, priorities when it comes to family photos and couples photos. If you want to spend two hours away from the party or want to do a quick couples session and spend the rest of your time with friends and family. With the amount of unique personalities in the world, these questions need to be asked so that on the day, you are completely comfortable knowing you chose the right photographer. Make sure they are asking you questions.

Now that we've discussed why it's important to find the right photographer, let's talk money. It's always the first question when anyone looks for a wedding photographer. How much should I spend? Or, what's the cheapest I can get a wedding photographer for?

Invest. In. Your. Photos.

If there's anything to cut back on, your photos aren't one of them. Lose the guest favors, book the cheaper hotel room, cut back on flowers, minimize the guest list even. But don't cheap out on the photos.

These are the photos your grandchildren will be showing their kids. You will be immortalized in these images, as the beautiful couple you are. You'll use these to post on social media, reminisce on anniversaries, blow up to gift family on holidays. Your wedding photos and wedding dress will be the only thing on your expensive day that you walk away with. The only tangible evidence from that day that you lived and loved. 

So now you've decided you should invest in your photos. But how much should you be budgeting?

A good amount to budget for a Hawaii wedding photographer is $4000. Your wedding photographer will likely have a second shooter, so every angle of the day is captured. They should be insured and have backups to their backups, making sure nothing gets in the way of your perfect album. At this price point, what you see in their wedding portfolio is probably what you'll get. If you love their work, you'll love their photos of you. And last but not least, at this price point you're most likely getting someone with a bank of experience when it comes to editing, retouching, and client experience. 

There will be photographers that have cheaper pricing, always. You could post on Facebook that you're looking for someone new to the field trying to gain experience and possibly get hundreds of replies. But just remember that with higher prices come reasoning. The time old saying, you get what you pay for. Factor this into wedding budgeting as a cost from the beginning! Just as a venue, food, and florals can add up to this or more, photography should be invested in.

How To Find The Best Hawaii Wedding Photographer
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How To Find The Best Hawaii Wedding Photographer

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