8 Steps to Finding your Perfect Wedding Photographer
Follow these guidelines to locate the perfect photographer to document your day.
Although not thought of until months after your wedding day, your photographs will be your most treasured keepsake from your big day - you’ll immediately want to show your friends and family; whether that be sharing your online gallery, posting on social media, showcasing artwork in your home showing the love you had for each other on that day, to the heirloom album you will look at from time to time reliving the first kiss, the look you both had in your eyes when you saw each other for the first time…
Choosing the right photographer to capture those moments and emotion is an important decision. Below is a list of things to look for and ask to assure you and your photographer are a perfect fit.
1. Settle on a style
What catches your eye? Do you love the simplicity of traditional wedding photography (posed and camera aware) Do you want that magazine centerfold of a commercial style? Or is it that tell all photojournalistic approach that captures the love, joy, and moments as they happen and unfold?
You can even find a photographer that does amazing at all. Someone who gets the classic family portraits and those stunning couple portraits that look like artwork hanging on your wall, but still captures the moments and memories like a fly on the wall.
2. Ensure personalities mesh
So you’ve found a couple of photographers that match your style! How do you make sure they fit with your personality? A quick inquiry email gets the ball rolling, let them know you are interested in their work and simply let them know where and when you are getting married. From there we recommend a sit down meeting over a cup of coffee, glass of wine or some whiskey (Photographer Recomended), or a phone call to just talk, yes about the special day but also to just talk… you are going to be spending at minimum six hours with the photographer(s)
3. Ask to see a full wedding
Seeing one or two full weddings accomplishes a few things. First, it allows you to see beyond the creative portfolio photos that most photographers showcase on their websites and really see how they document the entire day for their clients. It also helps you give you a general idea of how many photos you will receive back from your wedding day. On top of that, it should help you see how that photographer approaches weddings in a similar wedding to your own.
4. Price Point/Budget
There's an old adage that says "you get what you pay for"...and when it comes to your wedding photography this sentiment rings true. Once the food is eaten, the music has stopped, and the dance floor is empty, your photographs are what's left for you to hold onto these memories forever. Good wedding photography will allow you to look back, feel all the same feelings, and relive your wedding day forever.
Ultimately it comes down to what you can afford but when its all said and done, the only thing you will have to remember your day is the photos. Find a photographer who fits your style and then talk budget, but don’t be afraid to splurge!
5. Resist the friend/family idea!
Ok...so this one might take a little heat but it's true. On your wedding day, your friends and family should be your friends and family, not your vendors. While it can be enticing to have a "friend with a camera" photograph your wedding, your memories are best left to the professionals who have learned to anticipate moments through years of experience. Besides, in most cases your friends and family would rather be enjoying the day with you and not being put to work. They're equally excited to celebrate your day!
How do you want to preserve your day? Does the photographer offer an heirloom album that will allow you to pass your precious memories from generation to generation? Or is it a simple coffee table book that's likely to fade and fall apart in a few years? Do you get high-resolution photos on a USB or are they low resolution downloads from a gallery? Do they offer fine art professional print services for wall art or leave the hard work up to you?
Think about how you want to relive your wedding day. Full service photographers are there to guide you on how to best preserve your photographs and tell your story so that you're able to relive this day forever.
Ask to speak with past clients and get the scoop straight from the horses mouth...so to speak. Ask them how the experience was, before, during, and after the wedding. Did they get their photos back in a reasonable amount of time? Were they comfortable and at ease with the photographer on the wedding day? Any wedding photographer worth their salt should be more than happy to share happy client references for you.
8. Time away
One that you may not find on many other lists but important all the same. A wedding day is about the couple and their family and friends...not the photographer. It's a day for you to celebrate so be sure to work with a photographer who is going to allow you to maximize time with those who mean most to you on your wedding day.