With Valentine’s Day this week, there are probably lots of you out there who are newly engaged! Congratulations to those of you who got to say “yes!” Now begins your wedding planning journey, which can be hugely overwhelming. Click on over to my post “What to Do When You Get Engaged” to get an overview of where to begin!
Once you get your venue and date all set, you’ll be choosing a wedding photographer! This can be a difficult and serious decision, I know. Below I’ve curated a list of things to look for while you’re choosing your photographer to help you narrow it down and find the perfect fit for your day!
Choosing a Wedding Photographer:
- Personality. Do you get along with this photographer? Do they feel the love between you two, do they make you laugh even when you’re uncomfortable in front of the camera? Do you feel like you can be yourself around them? Do you trust them to capture your big day in the way you want? These are all crucial to the wedding process. You’re not going to want someone who annoys the crap out of you following you around at all moments of your wedding day. Make sure you hire someone you love!
- Style. Make sure you like their style of photography. Every photographer has their own unique view, so be sure your wishes align with them! If you like bright, airy, white photographs don’t opt for a photographer who specializes in a moody, dark style — and vice versa. Does the photographer capture candid moments and details or just posed shots, or both? Talk with them about what their approach is.
- See a Full Wedding. Don’t just make sure you like their work (though that’s the first thing you should do in my opinion!) — make sure that they have experience in capturing actual real weddings. A lot of wedding vendors add to their portfolio with photos from styled shoots– photoshoots with model brides, perfectly posed tablescapes, ideal lighting and weather. Which is awesome! I love to see the creativity and personal artistic preferences of the photographers I know! But it can lead to problems if they don’t work the same on the real wedding day. Make sure you see a full, real wedding they’ve shot before booking.
- Products. What products do you care most about when you think of photographs from your wedding? A canvas for above your bed? An album to pass on to grandkids? Keepsakes for your moms? Digital files to share online? Every photographer is different when it comes to products offered and products included in collections. Make sure you can get what you want for your budget.
- Contracts. Professionals work with contracts. These contracts help you to know what to expect from the
professional, and they should help to protect you, the client, feel secure in your payment, what you can expect of them in return, and what their policies are if things go wrong. Never work with a photographer without a contract!
- Experience. Have they shot a wedding as a primary photographer? There’s a lot of learning that goes into
being the boss, keeping the day on schedule, rounding up family members and wedding parties, tying ties and pinning boutonnieres, controlling lighting during the reception, and on and on. Make sure this isn’t their first rodeo. (Or, if it is their first time and you’re cool with that, then at least you’ll know!)
- Turnaround. Check what their turnaround times are! While faster delivery is nice, maybe it isn’t a make-or-break issue for you. Discuss this with your partner as you review options! I’ve photographed first year anniversary sessions who told me they still didn’t have any photos from their wedding. Be sure you know what to expect (and again make sure it’s in writing!)
- Retouching. Will they edit out any stress acne or chocolate cake you may have? How much retouching do they do? If you need it, what do they charge for extra retouching?
There are obviously many more factors that can go into choosing a wedding photographer for your big day, but these are the top ones that I found in my experience to be useful. I hope this helps some of you brides- and grooms-to-be out there!
If you’re interested in setting up a consultation with me, click here!
Until next week,