Wedding photographers are some of the most crucial people you’ll have at your wedding. A lousy cake is something you eventually forget about. The music not being amazing isn’t a lasting memory. But photographers capture this monumental day celebrating your love and immortalize it forever. When they don’t do a fantastic job, it’s difficult to forget that, because you’ve literally got photographic evidence. So, in this article, I want to focus on how to choose a wedding photographer that’s perfect for you.
We’re going to explore ten different aspects of choosing a wedding photographer to ensure you don’t miss a step along the way. Let’s get started!
Understanding The Photography Style You’re Hoping To Achieve
This is the basis of your wedding photographer search. First, you and your partner need to identify what kind of photography style you want to emulate in your wedding photos. There are a fair number of options, such as photojournalistic, classic, dark and moody, fine art, etc.
Most photographers will specialize in a particular style, and in some cases, they specialize in two. When you know what you want, keep that in mind in future aspects of how to choose a wedding photographer.
Understanding Your Budget & The Photographer’s Fee
It’s important that you understand what you’re willing to spend and what a good photographer costs. For the most part, it’s going to be a case of reaching out and asking for rates as nobody just places them online. While you’re starting with setting a budget, you’ll only be getting to know certain photographers’ rates when you start nailing down the best picks for the job.
Review Photographers In Your Area
One of the first major steps you’ll take in the how to choose a wedding photographer process is reviewing what photographers are in your area or in the area of the ceremony. Just because you love a photographer from one state doesn’t mean they’ll be able to come all the way to your state for the wedding.
If they’re willing to do so, it can become a far more expensive endeavor because you’ll be paying travel and accommodation expenses on top of the actual service.
See If Some Of Your Top Picks Have Taken Photos At The Venue Before
Once you know where the wedding is taking place, and you’ve reviewed photographers, you can review their portfolios. This won’t be the first time you’ve looked at their portfolios. However, this time you’re looking to see if they’ve possibly been a part of past weddings at the same venue.
You’d be surprised how often that was the case. This can give you confidence in them knowing the venue intimately and provide inspiration for your photos.
Take a Look At Reviews Online About Some Of the Photographers
This should go without saying but always check the reviews of any vendor you’re considering. Now, some people are going to be sour toward the photographers, so take every review with a grain of salt. However, figure out the consensus regarding their work in person and the finished product. If they’re amazing at taking photos but have an awful personality (based on numerous reviews); is it worth it? That’s for you to decide.
Social media is another avenue to turn to when wanting to learn more about your potential photographers. Search hashtags and wedding blogs to see if they can lead you to an amazing photographer.
Ask Friends & Family If They Know Anyone
This isn’t necessarily a guarantee, but ask your family and friends if they know any photographers who might be perfect for the job. You never know what or who they might know.
This has the added benefit of trusting the vendor if they’re provided by a trustworthy source such as a friend or family member.
Interview Your Top Picks
Don’t just find the photographer you like and leave it at that. You can’t hire someone you haven’t met yet. You need to schedule a meeting with them to discuss the wedding, what you’re hoping for, and to see if you two click. The last thing you want is to have a situation where you and the photographer don’t get along. This can cause problems, and why would you want that on what is the happiest, most stressful day of your life? It’s not worth it.
Make sure to ask them some questions. This is a priority in the how to choose a wedding photographer process. Here are some of the questions to ask:
- Are you licensed?
- Are you insured?
- How long have you been shooting weddings?
- What is your process?
- What is the turnaround time for receiving the finished photos?
- Do you backup the photos? If the answer is yes, how long are they backed up for?
- Can we view some of your past full wedding galleries?
- Will we receive print rights?
Open & Honest Communication
With the questions out of the way, it’s time to start discussing every little detail. You want to work in a collaborative manner. Sometimes we’re too blinded by the craziness of a wedding to know exactly what we mean when explaining something.
A person with a more singular task can be a great asset to help you with certain aspects of the photo plan and timeline for the day.
Schedule a Test Run
A test run can look different depending on what you go with. For starters, you could decide to do a literal test with just a few images in the venue or anywhere available to get a feel for what you’re going for and how best to achieve it. Alternatively, you can hire your potential photographer to do your engagement photoshoot. This will act as the test run with tangible results you can use. If you’re not interested in using them beyond the test run, that’s fine. At least you gave them a fair chance.
Make Sure You Get Along With Your Choice of Photographer
I’ve said this multiple times, and I mean it. Make sure you get along with the photographer. How to choose a wedding photographer is a complex process. Still, it should never result in a photographer whom you don’t get along with or have significant differences in opinion.
You need to have confidence in your photographer, and it’s hard to trust someone you don’t really like all that much. Plus, getting along with your photographer will make relaxing in front of the camera so much easier!
There you have it, the perfect how to choose a wedding photographer guide! If you’ve been wondering how to choose a wedding photographer, I hope that this has helped point you in the right direction.
With all that out the way, maybe I should introduce myself! It’s McKenna! I’m so glad you managed to come across my blog and website. I’m a Nebraska-based photographer who’s constantly working with happy couples, ensuring their wedding photos are spectacular. There’s no better girl to trust than an Omaha girl! So check out my portfolio, and let’s chat about how I can serve you and your big day.