How to Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer
Let’s face it— planning a wedding can be a little overwhelming.
From the very first day you're engaged, all the questions start flooding in about what decisions you’ve made for the big day. If you’re anything like me, high on your list is finding the perfect wedding photographer. After all, once your day is over the only thing you will have to look back on are your photos!
You want your wedding photos to be the very best they can be so you can relive those feelings of love and joy over and over again. I also believe in the legacy of wedding photos— my goal is to capture images that tell your story and that you'll be proud to share with future generations.
I am certain that there is a perfect photographer out there for every couple and that if you do a little research you will have no problem connecting with your match.
Why Your Wedding Photographer is the Most Important Decision You'll Make
You will spend more time with your photographer than anyone else. You'll have meetings, an engagement session, 8+ hours on your wedding day, image delivery, the album design process and so much more. Your wedding photographer will be there to fluff your dress, calm your nerves, and have fun with your bridal party. You want to make the right decision.
When brides ask me how they should choose their wedding photographers, I always offer a few tips. Here are my 5 factors you should consider.
5 Tips To Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer
1. Make Sure You Like Their Style
First things first, you have to LOVE the photos you find on your photographer's website and social media account.
Instagram is such an awesome tool to start searching for the aesthetic you are drawn to. Do you love bright and airy photos full of joy and romance? Or perhaps you prefer a more moody style with lots of contrast and drama?
Once you figure our your target style then it’s much easier to narrow down your favorite photographers. When you click through a photographer's website, you should be captivated by the beauty and moments you see.
Pro Tip: Ask to see at least one or two full wedding galleries! This will give you wonderful insight on exactly what you can expect when you hire the photographer. Remember— websites are full of highlight reels and only display the very best from the photographer's portfolio. Seeing a full gallery is the only way you can get a chance to see exactly what you will receive after your wedding. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure the entire day is photographed consistently and beautifully.
2. Decide If You're Compatible Personally
Coming in at a close second to style is compatibility. Remember, you are going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer, so you need to make sure you connect on a personal level.
Are they someone you could see yourself being friends with and who will share in the excitement of your wedding planning and celebration? It’s essential to find a photographer who not only loves her job, but is eager to hear all about your unique love story and wedding plans!
Pro Tip: If possible, always try to meet with a photographer in person or at least via FaceTime/Skype. It makes it so much easier to foster a relationship and truly gauge if he or she is the perfect fit!
3. Make Sure He Or She Communicates Well
You want to make sure your photographer is someone who is reliable and available to tackle any questions or concerns you might have.
Is he or she prompt and responsive with your inquiry? Throughout your planning process you will inevitably run into lots of questions and you need someone who can quickly get back to you with helpful information!
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for vendor recommendations! As a photographer who has worked in the industry for years, they should have contacts with wonderful vendors that they’ve worked with in the past! Ask about florists, cake design, dress shops, invitations, makeup and anything else you can think of.
4. Know the Details
While you are searching for your photographer, you want to make sure you know exactly what you can expect to receive when you hire that person.
- Is an engagement session included in the package?
- On average, how many photos can you expect from your wedding?
- How long does it take for the photos to be delivered?
- Is album design an option?
These are all great questions to ask before signing a contract!
Pro Tip: Ask about social media sneak peeks! I know after I got married it almost killed me having to wait to see my wedding photos! This is why I make it a priority to share a few sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook the day after each of my couple's weddings. Believe me, it’s worth the wait for your entire gallery, but it’s so nice to get a preview!
5. Make Sure They Have Experience
Don’t be afraid to ask a photographer about their experience and how long they’ve been shooting weddings.
Taking the photos is obviously a large part of a wedding photographer's job, but there are also countless other responsibilities that you might not be thinking of. Some of these roles include making sure your day is running on time, entertaining your flower girl, fluffing your dress, keeping your family smiling for portraits, wrangling the wedding party, pinning on boutonnieres, adjusting your veil, making sure you have a drink in hand during cocktail hour and so much more! A wedding photographer wears many different hats on your wedding day, and a photographer who has done the job dozens of times will be able to handle all of it while still keeping their cool and capturing great photos.
Without the necessary experience, some of the important moments could easily be missed. A photographer can truly help set the flow of your day to make sure you are able to relax and live in the moment.
Pro Tip: Take a look at the photographer's portfolio and make sure you see examples of weddings that will be similar to yours. If you are having an indoor ceremony and reception and the only photos you’ve seen in their galleries are of outdoor spaces than ask to see samples of weddings they've photographed indoors. You want to make sure they have the necessary experience to document in any situation.