How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer
January 8, 2020
First off, Congrats on your engagement!
I hope you’re taking some time to relish and celebrate this sweet season with your Significant Other. This is a season packed full of SO much goodness, but with all that goodness I know that there are so many components to the wedding planning process that can be overwhelming.
That’s where I come in! This month I’m focusing on sharing education, tips, and details to help you through booking YOUR wedding photographer.
If you’re a bride or groom that values wedding photography, picking the perfect photographer to capture your memories can be daunting! It’s one of your most important days and you can’t redo it. So, it’s an understatement to say that you want to pick someone you trust, love, enjoy being around, and KNOW you’ll receive a quality product from at the end of the day.
I’m a wedding photographer, and picking a wedding photographer for myself has been one of the most challenging decisions. To be honest…it’s been a paralyzing choice…so I get it! On top of that, I’ve heard terrible stories from family and friends that have hired a wedding photographer that underdelivered, didn’t serve them well on their wedding day, or just had a slew of mess ups.
I don’t want that to be you!
So, how do you pick the right wedding photographer for your day?
From a photographer’s, and planning bride’s, point of view I want to share tips on how to choose the right wedding photographer for YOU!
01 | You should be totally in LOVE their work
Now, this one might seem pretty obvious, but hang with me here! Take time to scroll through their social media platforms AND their website! You can find most photographers are present on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Go through these platforms and take the time to get a comprehensive idea of their work.
By looking at their work across platforms, you can then start to get a full picture of what this person’s work really looks and feels like.
When looking for my own wedding photographer I have been asking myself these questions:
What’s their style? What do I love about it? Does their work grab my attention?
Do I feel anything when looking at their work?
This is a BIG one! I want to feel the emotion, connection, and vibrancy of their work. I don’t want to feel like I’m scrolling through stiff, stuffy couples that look uncomfortable.
Is their work consistent? Does their work look consistent across platforms and over time?
I want to see that they know what they’re doing. If their work is consistent, I can more easily know what to expect from them and trust they’ll deliver similar imagery for my wedding day. If their work is all over the place…that’s a red flag!
Do they shoot film?
Now, this is a personal bias, but I believe film is more beautiful, vibrant, timeless, and classic. That’s why I shoot film for my clients and I want nothing less for myself.
02 | Invest Wisely…You’ll Get What You Pay For
As you’re looking through photographer’s wedding collections and investment guides, really look at their pricing and what you’re paying for. Now, this is a hard one because there are SO many factors that go into each photographer’s pricing (i.e. location, travel, film or digital, experience, number of photographers, length of wedding day, etc.), but go through their guide and see what sticks out to you.
When I am looking at wedding photographer’s pricing and investment guides I ask myself:
Does the deal sound too good to be true?
Spoiler, then it probably is!
What all is really included?
Are there going to be added on travel fees? Is an engagement session included? Will they walk me through my timeline preparation? What does this package include?
How long have they been in business? How many weddings have they photographed?
This is important to me because I want to know that who I am hiring is professional and will show up to serve me well NO MATTER WHAT on my wedding day. I don’t want someone who just picked up a camera this year documenting my most important memories.
At the end of the day…you’ll get what you pay for! And photography is NOT something I would want to skimp on.
P.S. – This is a HUGE topic that I’m just barely touching on here. I’ll share another post later this month that focuses solely on pricing. Stay tuned!
03 | Get to know them. Take the time to really talk to them!
Here’s the deal – Your photographer will be the vendor who will spend THE MOST time with you on your wedding day, so you want to be sure that you actually like them. Do you want them to be with you when you’re getting ready? Having your first look? During all your portraits? While you have your most vulnerable and happiest moments? Because, news flash, they will be!
It’s essential that you hire someone you are comfortable with.
So, be sure that you take the time to talk with your photographer BEFORE hiring them. I STRONGLY recommend talking with them either in person or over the phone to get a sense of who they really are. After you talk with them do a gut check.
Did you enjoy your conversation?
Could you see this person as a potential friend?
Do you feel more at ease, comfortable, and secure about wedding photography after chatting with them?
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that you not only LOVE their work, but could see them as a friend in your life. Most of my clients have stayed in contact and remained friends long after their wedding day because we had a connection. Find someone you can build a relationship with.
04 | Ask to see 2-3 full wedding galleries
Now, this kind of goes back to point “01| You should LOVE their work”…To really decide if you like a photographer’s work, you’ll want to see what a wedding day looks like from beginning to end.
It’s easy to love someone’s work when they’re just posting the highlights on Instagram and Facebook. It’s another, to love a complete gallery!
Once you reach out to a photographer of interest, ask them if they can send you 2-3 wedding galleries to look over. Once they send the galleries your way, sit down with your Significant Other and flip through them.
Do you get excited flipping through each wedding gallery?
Do you see consistent work across galleries?
Does each wedding gallery tell the couple’s story? Do you feel like you accurately understand the day from the gallery?
Do they document people well in both candids and formal photos?
Do they document all the hard work and details well?
Can you see yourself as a potential client?
05 | Get Feedback From Past Clients or Vendors that Have Worked With Them
This one is HUGE! By talking with past couples or wedding vendors that have worked closely with this photographer, you can get an idea of not only their imagery and photography, but HOW THEY TREAT PEOPLE.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be surrounded by kind, generous people. I want my clients, vendors, family, friends, etc. to all feel well served, thought of, and cared for every step of the way.
I care about this so much it should honestly be point 01! A photographer with a bad attitude or non-servant heart is not someone you want by your side on your big day.
So, what do past clients and vendors say about them?
After talking with vendors and past clients do a gut check. If there is anything that made you uncomfortable, note that. I’m a firm believer in trusting your gut.
So, as you’re interviewing and looking for the right Wedding Photographer consult the tips above and you’ll find someone that is the perfect fit for your big day! Remember, your perfect wedding photographer might be different than that of your Sister or Best Friend. Choose someone that is right for YOU and your Significant Other.
I’m all about that gut feeling…so if you feel like it’s person for you, go with it!