I talk with a lot of brides. Sometimes I talk with friends of brides who have stories to tell me about other photographers.
As you might guess, the stories are pretty much all disaster stories. Here's what might surprise you about them. With only one exception, they all start out like the title of this blog. "I hired my friend." I hired my cousin." "I hired my college roommate."
Certainly there are friends that are experienced and very good wedding photographers and there are friends that are inexperienced but talented enough to do a very good job. But the disaster stories all start with this phrase.
Let's continue the story of the bride that hired her college roommate. We were exhibiting at a bridal show. A bride came to our booth with her entourage. During the conversation I happened to ask one of her friends about her wedding photos.
"I don't have any."
"You didn't hire a photographer?"
She went on to tell me the story of her college roommate. "She took amazing photos so I wanted her to photograph my wedding for me. But when she got to the end of the day she realized that she didn't have a memory card in her camera. So I don't have any wedding photos."
That was a mistake of a very inexperienced wedding photographer. I'm guessing from the story that it was this photographer's first (and probably last) wedding.
When choosing a wedding photographer brides consider many things, but sometimes leave out the experience of the photographer. A good landscape photographer might make a good wedding photographer after some training, but being good at landscapes, which don't move, is a far cry from photographing a fast moving event like a wedding.
So ask about experience because preserving the precious memories of your wedding day shouldn't be at the risk of rookie mistakes.
Oh, and you were polite and didn't ask, but we've shot nearly 400 weddings so you can check that box off.