When you are thinking about your wedding and how you want it to be a reflection of you, you go through a long list of things to get to that personalization point. The venue, the caterer, flowers, outfits, DJs or bands, and countless other vendors you carefully hand pick. When you are ready to pick your photographer I know you are faced with countless options- there are a lot of us out there, or even larger chain companies- who might save you some money but lack the personal service of one of us small business owners. Where do you go? How do you choose?
Here’s my 5 step guide to picking the best photographer for you!
1. Style- this helps narrow down the mass amount of photographers you will be looking at.
Things to consider: How do you want your photos to look? Do you like traditional poses akin to our parent’s heyday? Do you love editorial images that look like they belong on the cover of a magazine? Do you want an authentic representation of the people and the emotions that shared in your day? Do you want a mix of several styles? These are all things you need to discuss with your partner. Figure out what is important to you for your images. Think about the value of the photography from your wedding day- and keep that in mind when meeting and interviewing photographers.
2. Personality - Another thing to think about when hiring your wedding day photographer is personality. You’re going to be hanging out with one of us in some capacity for the majority of your wedding day- you want to make sure you hire someone who will not only deliver the images you desire, but you want to hire someone that you like being around as well! A wedding photographer gets to capture some of the most intimate moments in your life- make sure you feel comfortable with the person you choose to do that for you!
3. Packages- There are all different types of packages that photographers offer.
Things to consider: Even though you generally hire your wedding photographers months to a year in advance, try to have a rough timeline of your wedding day. This will help you think about how many hours of coverage you want in your wedding photography package. Think about if you want images of yourself and your partner getting ready, if you’re doing a first look before the ceremony, if there will be a receiving line, family formals and formals of the two of you after the ceremony, your cocktail hour, and your reception. Do you have grand exit planned that you want photographed? Having an idea before you go into a meeting with any photographer will help you and your photographer immensely- they can help guide you with how much coverage you will need, and if they need a second photographer to help capture your day. Other things to consider include if you and your partner want an engagement session- a great way to get some practice in front of your photographer’s camera and to see how they work, an album - which, in my opinion- you should strongly consider! - digital files, and printed or framed images. Think about what you ultimately want to get out of your wedding photography- and try to think long term! I know it’s exciting to share these images on Facebook, but think about them in your home and your life for years to come.
4. How much you value photography-
Everyone knows the quote- “Good work ain’t cheap, cheap work ain’t good” - I think this applies to a lot of things in life, but it’s definitely a quote to keep in mind when searching for your photographer.
There are, of course, cheaper alternatives to good wedding photography, but have realistic expectations if you go that route. A lot of people wonder if they can have one of their friends or a family member do their wedding photography. There are a few things to consider if you go that route- if they aren’t a professional photographer, they don’t have the training and skills to shoot in any lighting situation or anything else that might come up on your wedding day. The pros make it look easy, but a lot of time and training go into becoming a wedding photographer - not to mention expensive and extensive gear! If your friend or family member isn’t prepared and messes up your wedding photos, that is an unfortunate and uncomfortable situation for everyone involved. There are also wedding companies out there that hire out photographers to couples, which might save you a few bucks as well. You will look at portfolios and a representative to the company will book the photographer for you. Most of the time you won’t meet your photographer until your actual wedding day- and that can be scary for some people.
Look, I know weddings are expensive- but it’s all about what you value. If you are looking for a personalized experience, someone to take care of you and your partner before, during, and after your wedding day, and photographs that will last your lifetime, keep those values in mind when you are setting your photography budget.
5. The meeting- I feel that meeting, liking, and trusting your wedding photographer is not only important day of, but it helps minimize your stress leading up to the day and afterwards while you wait for your photographs. We’ve all heard the stories of couples' wedding photographers not showing up, or doing a bad job, or being rude to them or their guests- these are some of the worries that crosses couples' minds when they are hiring their vendors- which is why it’s so important to get to know them well beforehand!
Wedding photographer’s don’t bite, and if they do, they aren’t the right one for you! Hire someone that treats you with care, kindness, and can deliver the incredible images of one of the best days of your life!
Have any additional questions? Send me a message or give me a call, I’d be happy to help!