Let’s face it, in today’s Phoenix photography market, it seems like everyone that has a camera is a “photographer.” But don’t be duped. It takes years and years of hard work and training to become a master of any craft. I’m now riding on my 9th year of shooting, (has it really been that long!?) and even I still have so much to learn. Now don’t get me wrong, at the youngest of ages, talent has no boundaries. When searching for a wedding photographer, it is important to know what you’re getting into, and I will try to help clear the air.

So first, not everyone with a camera is a photographer, and you SHOULD NOT RELY on your friends or families recommendation (“Uncle Charlie can shoot your wedding; he just got one of those fancy cameras”). NO. Do not let this happen to you, you will regret it and your wedding photos will go down in a horrible blaze. My number one recommendation is to review and verify ANY photographers’ portfolio. I have even seen photographers use other photographers work as their own to help drive their own business. If you just gasped, don’t worry, I get chills every time I have to say it too. Your safest bet is to narrow down three choices you and your significant other like, then contact them and try to schedule a meeting and have a one on one. This will ensure your comfort in the decision you will end up making. A big issue everyone has when trying to find someone is the cost. Look, wedding photography is not cheap. Cheap prices, mean cheap photos, simple as that. Gauge the photographers quality to their rates, which is why I said find 3 choices you like and narrow it down. Maybe one photographer is better at communicating with you. Maybe one has a better package. No matter the subject, if you spend $1000, don’t be surprised if you end up with mediocre work. It’s your wedding day: food, liquor, venue, and photo are the big 4. No one will remember the food, liquor or venue, but they will remember the photos and moments you get to keep forever – don’t forget that.

The good news about Arizona is that luckily, there are a lot of successful and talented photographers to choose from. It’s a pretty big realization to be chosen to shoot someone’s big day when there are so many choices to choose from. Some shooters fail to realize that this isn’t just a job, it’s a privilege to be hired to document a couple’s wedding. A key take away here would be, if you meet a photographer that is not only good at what they do, but they can also show charisma towards you, it’s a sure fire synergy to hire them.

In my current state, I am pushing to shoot more weddings. Half of my work flow comes from the music and bar industry, and the late nights can only go so far, so to fill the gap, weddings let me be creative and I get to showcase peoples massive and beautiful parties. I have recently joined Wedding Wire and that page can be seen (click here) and I am also on Wedding.com and that can be seen (here). Most photographers year after year flow with the things they like to shoot, and right now, I really enjoy weddings. Hire someone that shines just like you.

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