Choosing a wedding photographer is SO important! I've found that many people base their decision on who to hire solely on cost. While I completely understand working within a budget, I also think there's a lot more involved in deciding on a wedding photographer than money! After all, you're with your wedding photographer more than most other people on your wedding day and you're entrusting your photographer with the important task of capturing one of the most memorable days of your life! I learned a lot when I was searching for a photographer for my own wedding, as well as from conversations with couples who are inquiring about my services. Here's a few tips I've picked up along the way:
1. Determine Your Style
There are so many different styles out there and to me, that is one of the beautiful aspects about photography! Photography is art and its subjective so everyone has different preferences and styles. First determine if you want a photographer who has a documentary style and who captures candid pictures of people and action, or a portraiture style photographer that spends more time posing people and objects. In addition, do you want a fine art photographer whose pictures look like film and are more grainy, airy, and muted, or a photographer with a crisp, clear, and bright style, or a photographer with a vintage, dark, and heavily edited style? If you're having trouble determining your style, I encourage you to look through numerous wedding photography websites and write down the things you do and don't like about the pictures you're seeing. Then choose a photographer whose pictures have the qualities you like.
2. Ask the Right Questions
I encourage you to either meet your prospective photographer in person, on the phone, or at least over email to get to know them better and to ask questions. Here's a few questions I would encourage you to ask:
- How much experience do you have and how long have you been shooting weddings?
- What type of equipment do you shoot with?
- How would you describe your style?
3. Get to Know Their Personality
The personality of your photographer is very important! You want to make sure that you hire someone you feel comfortable with and who you feel that you can be yourself with in front of the camera. In addition, you want to hire someone who is responsible, professional, and a hard worker. You may not be able to determine all of these things right away, but I think you can find out a lot about your prospective photographer by reading their blog, social media, and talking with them in person, on the phone, or at least over email. Personally, when I was looking for a photographer, it was most important to me that my photographer was professional, laid back but also punctual and able to keep a schedule (really important on a busy wedding day!), kind, and enjoyable to be around.
4. See a Full Gallery
I encourage you to ask to see a full online wedding gallery. It is easy to present just a few great images online, but you want to see a full and accurate picture of the types of images you'll be getting. A few things you should look for are consistency in their style and editing, a variety in the types of images they capture (for example: some detail pictures, some posed, some candid, etc.), and the overall quality of all of their pictures.
5. Compare Packages and Pricing
If you haven't done so already, sit down and think through your wedding budget and approximately how much you have to spend on wedding photography. As a wedding photographer I do feel the need to encourage you to seriously consider prioritizing wedding photography in your budget as one of your top expenses. I truly think wedding photography is one of the most important things you can spend money on because it is one of the only tangible reminders you'll have of your wedding day that will last for years and years to come. I also understand that most brides are on a budget and that money is a big factor in planning a wedding. As you compare packages and pricing, make sure that the photographer and package you are considering can meet your needs within your budget. Make sure you're aware of the specifics of whats offered in a package (like, do you get all of the edited digital images or is their an additional fee per image once the wedding is over, etc.). Keep in mind that if a photographer is more expensive its because of their level of experience, equipment, and the quality of their work.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you are searching for a wedding photographer and feel that my style may be a good fit for you, I'd love to hear from you! 2016 & 2017 are filling up quickly but I do still have available dates so please contact me and we can talk more about your wedding day photography needs!