As far as products and albums go, ALL photographers carry similar albums, we generally use the same labs and design tools. Yes, some photographers will argue that their albums, or prints or design is better and yes it might be to some degree but essentially it’s all similar. If your photographer doesn’t carry a product you saw somewhere else they can get it.
Don’t base your decision on a product, base it solely on the work and the personality. The only thing you, as a client need to see is that the work you love is consistent across a few years of weddings and that they have been shooting long enough to truly have the skill set and not just be pointing the camera with a “spray and pray” mentality that they might walk away with the shot.
Do your research! Look through the entire site, check out their social media pages, look for real reviews and any awards for the photographer. Disregard all the hype, the fancy websites, the marketing materials etc. Do you like the work he/she presents to you? Do you think its value for the money he/she is going to charge you? If so book a meeting and find out if the personality amazes you as well, it’s so important that both of you get on with your photographer.
At Alan Harding photography it’s all about the work and building a relationship. It doesn’t mean that my way is the best way, it’s just how I do things. I have one of the greatest jobs in the world, I get to drink my coffee at home and not in traffic, I get to travel to different locations within the UK and sometimes abroad seeing the most amazing locations. I get to photograph people on the happiest days of their lives. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle and taking the wrong clients is just as bad for me as it is for them.
Meeting them in person ensures that we have a connection, email just won’t cut it, so my advice is meet the photographer, like him or her, like his or her work book them ASAP, as photographers only carry out one wedding per day. Book early, usually 12 months in advance -delay and you maybe disappointed and have to take second best.