It's tempting to hire a low-budget photographer for your wedding if cost is driving your wedding-planning decisions. But how do you know if you're getting a talented newbie who is still building his or her portfolio — or a rookie who simply hasn't mastered the craft enough to artfully capture your wedding day?
Here are a few signs that your potential wedding photog might be more at the wannabe level than wedding level.
1. Heavy, Instagram-like filtering on photos in their portfolio
This is a dead giveaway that someone is playing the role of photographer but doesn't have the skill set — or the necessary equipment — to capture shots in the same way a seasoned photographer can. Don't be alarmed if a photographer has these on their social media or randomly in their portfolio; the red flag is for if the majority of a candidate's photos have been given total makeovers.
2. Tons of gimmicks, Pinterest poses, and novelty shots
Again, a random shot here and there is okay — everyone's getting pretty creative these days and we all know how many fun ideas we can find on social media. But are your potential photographer's "best" shots always something that's even a little bit gimmick-y? This can be a crutch for some shutterbugs; instead of being able to produce a flawless photo of a timeless moment, they resort to novelty.
See More: How to Ace Your Summer Wedding Photos
3. Very little local experience or no niche market
Like any industry, "going global" can sound impressive, which is why it's not that surprising to see how many wedding photographers are quick to label themselves as international or nationwide. And we're definitely not knocking destination wedding photographers or saying photogs shouldn't travel; we're saying to raise your eyebrows if that's the only experience a new-ish wedding photographer seems to have. After all, every city in the country has its roster of vendors and those who will travel within a certain radius. Shouldn't your photographer be a part of the market they live closest to? If they aren't, go ahead and ask them why not.