A photographer is SO much more than the pictures they take! And when it comes to wedding photography, finding your perfect photographer is not only more complicated but infinitely more important than for any other photo session in your life.
When it comes to wedding days, there are no do-overs or retakes. If a photo doesn’t turn out, there’s no trying again, and if a moment is missed, it’s missed for good. But your wedding photographer does so much more than send you a wedding gallery! They help you prep for the day, plan the timeline, fine-tune your vision and are by your side supporting and encouraging you through your entire wedding day.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital to choose one who is your perfect fit, and I’m here to teach you how!
Technology is your friend | Fill up your web browser’s bookmarks, save Insta posts and repin your favorite images on Pinterest. Don’t waste time trying to re-find an image you loved. Just save them as a handy resource when the time comes to build your list of potential photographers.
Check for starting prices | It’s so easy to get swept up in dreaming about your wedding day gallery in the hands of a photographer only to become disappointed when you find out the cost. Before falling in love with a photographer’s work, make sure their starting prices are at least in the ballpark of what your budget allows.
Narrow it down | Once you’ve scoured the web for photographers in your area and eliminated the ones who won’t work for you, narrow it down to your top three. And make sure to include your fiance in the process! We want him to love the photos, too, afterall!
Don’t send a million inquiries | Your local wedding photography community is a small one, and we tend to keep in touch. If we hear that a bride sent out an inquiry blast to every photographer in the area, it tends to start things off on a sour note. It also indicates that you don’t really know what you’re looking for in a photographer. We want you to be as excited to work with us as we are with you, so begin with building a relationship in mind. Remember, your photographer is choosing to work with you as much as you’re choosing to work with them, so it’s important to show respect to their artistic style.
Take it beyond email | Before making any final decisions, meet with your potential photographer in person or over video chat if they aren’t local. Honestly ask yourself: “Is this someone I’d want to hang out with all day?” If the answer is no, do yourself (and them) a favor, and part ways. This also gives you a chance to ask any questions before you reserve your date…and pay a retainer.
Do your research | Ask. For. A. Full. Gallery. I can’t emphasize this enough! Browsing a signature gallery from a photographer allows you to judge whether they have a consistent style, if they excel in candid as well as posed photography and if they catch all the important details. Do the skin tones look natural and glowing, or like they belong to Oompa Loompas? Did they remove unsightly distractions from the frame? Are the images in focus? Does the couple look like they are living the best day of their life to the fullest? It’s very insulting to ask a photographer to alter their style, so make sure you’re selecting one whose style vibes with your own.
Ask about their day-of kit | A great way to gauge the experience level of a photographer is to ask what they bring on the morning of the wedding. Do they come with safety pins and band aids or just a camera with a single lens? Particularly if you hope for elegantly styled detail shots, ask if they bring a flat lay kit. If so, that will save you all kinds of time and money!
Enquire about post-production | Will you be given printing rights? Can you share the gallery with excited family and friends? Will you have the chance to order physical products? When can you expect your final gallery, and how many photos will be included? The answers to these questions vary from photographer to photographer, so it’s important to ask ahead of time and avoid disappointment down the line.
Hunting for the perfect photographer is a big job, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Just follow these eight essential tips, and you’ll be well on your way! By being respectful of each photographer’s craft while also asking important questions, you’ll be able to sniff out the photographer who will make your wedding day a dream!