Wedding photography is a very important decision for couples. As a wedding professional myself I work very hard to provide my clients with the best service and best value for their money. I know that when it comes to entertainment, you really do get what you pay for. I am positive that this is also true with wedding photography.
My recommendation is to put your money where your memories are. Do your research and select professionals that suit your style. Communicate with your vendors so they know exactly what you are expecting. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas and thoughts. You should be very comfortable with your chosen wedding professionals. This is especially important with your photographer because you will be spending a lot of time with them. Take the time to get to know the people you’re working with.
Speaking of getting to know people, here is some information about Chad Barry and Chad Barry Photography based out of Chatham.
Who are you, and what is your business?
My name is Chad Barry and my business is Chad Barry Photography
Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you been in business?
I’ve been doing photography seriously for about 4 years now, and have officially been in business for about a year.
How did you get started?
I’ve always had a great passion for the outdoors and nature. Five years ago I met Chanel, now my wife, and started getting outside more, hiking and camping. After a few months of dating we did a week long camping trip to Algonquin Park. I borrowed my mom’s point and shoot camera for the trip and hardly put it down. Soon after I bought my first DSLR so I could change lenses and get more creative. I shot mostly landscapes, nature and the mandatory selfies on our day hikes. I tried to learn all the settings on my camera. A year later I was introduced to the Chatham Camera Club where Chanel had been invited to model for an evening. I immediately joined, upgraded my camera and started entering and winning competitions.
Needless to say, I was hooked! I shot everything I could from nature, still life, portraits, boudoir to weddings. I even teach courses at the college now. I just couldn’t get enough and I still can’t!
What is your favourite part about your job?
I love people’s reactions to my images. To me photography is about evoking emotions. A great photograph can put you into a scene. It can trigger memories and ignite the imagination. Any time my images can do this is a very rewarding experience for me.
What sets your business apart from your competitors?
I think there are two things that attract people to my work. Firstly, because I have such a passion and background in nature and landscape photography I have a unique eye as a wedding photographer. I see the world a bit differently and that often results in unique images.
The second thing is that I take the time to build relationships with my wedding couples. After all, aren’t weddings about relationships? I meet with potential clients over coffee and we get to know each other a little bit. It’s important to me that I have clients I enjoy working with that understand and appreciate my approach to photography. I ask a lot of questions and make the process as easy and friendly as possible. After an hour or so together, if everyone feels good about the relationship then we move forward. I’ve had huge success with this so far.
What is the most important thing a potential client should consider when comparing photographers?
My best advice would be to find a photographer whose work you love, and has a personality that you enjoy. You’ll spend a lot of hours with your photographer so there needs to be a trust and comfort level there.
Price shouldn’t be your most important deciding factor. Your wedding day will be the most celebrated milestone in your life and you want the best photographs from that day to take you back in your memories year after year. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally, you really do get what you pay for. Find the photographer that you absolutely love and then work your budget around his or her professional fees. You don’t want to be disappointed later because you were able to save $500 or $1,000 by going with your second choice.
Also, book your photographer early! Good photographers go fast. I’ve already started booking weddings a year and a half out.
What are some important questions for a potential client to ask a potential photographer?
“Do you carry commercial liability insurance?” – This question can often separate the serious professional photographers from the trunk slammers. If they care enough about their business to protect it there is a good chance they carry themselves professionally and will do everything they can do deliver on their contractual obligations. This also means that if they drop a lens at a wedding a week or two before yours, they will be able to replace it quickly.
“Chicken or Beef?” – Your photographer is going to be working pretty much non-stop all day and will need to refuel. Show them you care by asking them their meal preference and if they have any special dietary limitations. Also, consider putting your photographer at a table where they can easily see the podium and head table. Most photographers will put down the fork and get up to grab that shot if something magical happens during the meal. A good vantage point makes this easier.
“Do you have a second shooter?” – I hesitate to put this question out there because it seems to be the fad nowadays. In some situations, a second shooter may be important due to the logistics of your event. That being said, you may have more than adequate coverage with just one photographer. Talk to your photographer about the timeline of your day and get their advice on whether a second shooter is needed or not. My brilliant wife often works as my second, or as my assistant when a second shooter is not needed. There are lots of times when an assistant can be very helpful!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy everything life has to offer!