Choosing the right wedding photographer is a crucial decision in your wedding planning. Don't miss these tips for picking the right photographer for your big day.
Choosing the right wedding photographer for your big day
In easy-to-read bullet points, here's what you need to know when considering booking your wedding photographer:
You gotta shop around.
Wedding photography typically isn't cheap, and when you're investing a sizeable chunk of money into something you should definitely shop around to find the best value. To select a wedding photographer, you have to do your research! Now's the time to read all you can on their website, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest pages.
Pay attention to wording.
A recent bride shared the following advice about looking for a wedding photographer. She said, “If you look on their website and they have the word ‘investment' instead of ‘pricing', they're probably expensive.” It's not always the rule, but it's a way to keep yourself in check when it comes to finances. Throughout our research, it is evident that many photographers choose not to include any pricing information on their website (which can be so frustrating!)
If you see a wedding photographer you're interested in, definitely make contact. Email is generally best for professional or business communications. You can tell a lot about someone simply by their tone in an e-mail. A good photographer will likely be open and easygoing as opposed to forward and pushy. Alternatively, you could consider shooting them a DM on Instagram!
Meet and greet.
It's a great idea to meet with a potential wedding photographer before you sign the contract. If you're serious about booking a certain photographer, you'll definitely want to meet them first. It's not just about the look of their photos, you'll also want to assess if they are a good personality fit for you and your partner. After all, you'll be spending 8+ hours with them on the big day!
Good vibes only.
On your wedding day, you want good vibes, plain and simple. You want your photographer to be easy to talk to, and feel that they are genuinely interested in learning about you and documenting your love story. You want to book a professional who makes you feel comfortable and at ease in front of their lens, and that has so much to do with their personality and vibe. Just like with your partner, when you meet “the one” you'll probably just know. 😉
Try a trial photo shoot.
If you're feeling good about a particular photographer, try them out! You can have them do an engagement shoot or bridal portrait session to help you decide if you want them to do the Big Job on the Big Day.
The wedding photographer's style is definitely one of the most important aspects of choosing the right photographer. “A picture is worth a thousand words”, and you'll likely have these pictures up in your home for a lifetime. Be sure to choose someone whose style you really love. Ask to see full albums or galleries of weddings so you can see what type of final deliverables they offer their clients.
A wedding photographer's notability can tell you a lot about their passion as a photographer. Has the photographer been featured in magazines or wedding websites? Have they been in the industry for a while? That's usually a good indication that they are professional and stable in their business.
Photography is often couples' number one wedding must-have.
Photos are an important part of the wedding because they allow you to capture memories in a snapshot. Post wedding, you can display your wedding photos in your home, in albums, and of course, all over social media so you can see them and relive them. Your wedding photos will tell the story of the day that you and your spouse became a family. Photography is one of the areas of your wedding that you really can't DIY. That means coughing up the dough and hiring a pro.
How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer for Your Big Day
The first part of your wedding photographer hunt is figuring out exactly what kind of photography you like and want: traditional, posed, candid, photo-journalism, artist, retro? We recommend spending loads of time looking at photos and seeing which style speaks to you and your partner. Perhaps you really love candid shots and more of the photo-journalistic style rather than traditional posed shots. Or maybe you love photographers who capture tons of details. No matter your style, do your digging to find a shutterbug who embodies the look you're going for.
Where to look for a wedding photographer:
- Start by Googling “Wedding Photography (Your City Name)”
- Visit local wedding expos
- Browse Instagram for hashtags #yourcityweddingphotographer
- Ask for recommendations from family and friends
Decide what's important to you in your wedding photography:
- Personality (to help you feel comfortable)
- Hours of Coverage
- Additional products (albums + prints)
Find a handful of choices that you are interested in, and collect pricing information. If they are within your budget, book meetings to “interview” your photographers. When you have your meetings with your potential photographers, ask them the same list of questions so you can compare apples to apples:
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Questions to Ask a Potential Wedding Photographer
- How would you describe your shooting style?
- What experience do you have with photography and with shooting weddings?
- Do you offer a free engagement photo session?
- Will there be two photographers shooting the entire wedding?
- How many hours of coverage are included in your fee?
- Do you have experience shooting middle-aged/not-model-looking people?
- Do you have experience doing wedding shoots with pets/handicapped people/any special requirement you have?
- Can you travel to our wedding venue?
- How many images will you share with us after the wedding?
- Are your images copyright-free so that we can print them whenever and wherever we want?
- How long do you display the images online after the wedding so that our guests can view them?
- Are you willing to do traditional, posed wedding shots as well as candid moments?
- Do you have experience doing detail shots?
- What is your payment schedule/process like?
- What payment methods do you accept? Cash/Check/Venmo/Credit Card? (Gotta earn those rewards points!)
After asking these questions and really listening to the answers you are given, you should have the info you need to make a decision. To finalize your booking, reach out to your chosen photographer and ask to book your wedding date.
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What are you looking for in a wedding photographer, or what helped you decide on yours? Happy Planning!