Picking a Wedding Photographer is like picking a bridesmaid.
I know that seems a bit of a stretch but it really, really isn't. You are trusting this person to capture all the memories of your entire day, they have once chance to get it right. It's a big deal.
So I've written a few warning signs that I've learnt over the past few years.
1. Plan a meeting with your photographer to ask face to face.
If they won't meet without you booking, there's something wrong. It's so important that your photographer values your wedding and not just the money they make from it.
2. Make sure your photographer has a backup plan (and the backup plan has a backup plan).
This is so, so crutial. Ask them all different senarios - what if you break your leg? Or your car breaks down on the way to the wedding? Or your wife goes into labour? Ask all the questions, they need to have a plan for it all. We have people to ask, other photographers we know in the area, including my Dad who taught us everything we know.
3. Ask your potential photographer if they have backup equipment.
This goes with number 2 really, but still important enough to have it's own catorgory. What if they drop their camera? Or the lens malfunctions? They need to have at least one camera extra as a backup.
4. There's no contract.
A massive sign they don't take their own business seriously, they don't have a contract for the both of you to sign.
5. They don't have professional equipment.
I don't expect you to know what it is when you ask - but ask them and google it. I'm a Canon girl - so I couldn't tell you what the best Nikon is - but on Canon the less 0s the better (5D is better than 50D). It doesn't have to be the best because it's not all about equipment, but if they're planning on a 500D for your wedding day, be suspicious.
6. Ask to see an entire wedding day.
We keep a few recent weddings on the iPad for this very reason. There's 600-800 (low res!) photos in each of these albums but you need to see exactly the type of day you'll be getting, not just the ceremony and getting ready - but the candid shots of aunties and cousins and friends.
7. Your photographer uses anything other than Lightroom/Aperture or Photoshop.
I'm not saying it's got to be one of those exactly, but if they use a cheap editing software, they're not serious enough about their business. Ask them and if you don't recognise it - google it afterwards.
8. Your photographer has no insurance to speak of.
Insurance covers them but also kind of settles in your own mind how serious they take their own business.
9. Ask for references or to see reviews.
Or just google them and go through a few pages to see what people are saying. Facebook is good for it too, just make sure they have proof to backup their claims.
10. Be sure that you like your photographer.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? You should like their photos, but whether you actually like them is key. I'm not saying this person isn't a good person, it's just that some people just don't gel well with others. If you don't like them, you'll be less relaxed around them and therefore won't get the best out of your photos.
Hope this helped a little bit!!