Choosing a wedding photographer might be the toughest vendor decision you will make for your wedding day. Nowadays, there are thousands and thousands of photographers on Instagram, Facebook, and Google. This makes it so hard to know who you can trust, and more importantly, who you should choose to capture your big day.
Additionally, photography is very subjective. Every person is attracted to different styles and colors and poses, and this makes choosing a wedding photographer even more difficult!
Your photos are the only thing you get to keep after the wedding day, so your photographer is going to be the biggest investment you make in your wedding. That doesn’t necessarily mean that your wedding photography costs will be higher than any of the other expenses, that just means that the photos they take will shape how you remember your day, so it’s crucial that you find the perfect person.
Here are some steps I recommend taking to help you find the right wedding photographer for you, someone who will catch your vision and capture your day perfectly.
First and foremost, make sure you like the photos you see on their Instagram and website. If most of the photos that they post are photos you could see yourself in, that’s a good sign! If the couples in their photos look comfortable and happy, if the angles are visually appealing to you, then you’re on the right track.
It seems like a no brainer… but if the photos that a photographer has posted online aren’t appealing photos to you, then chances are your wedding photos won’t be appealing to you either.
Along those same lines, make sure you like their editing style.
Most people don’t realize it, but each wedding photographer has a unique editing style. Some people mistakenly believe that as long as a photographer is experienced and has a good price, they’ll take good pictures. But you need to consider what kind of photo editing style appeals to you and take that into account when selecting your photographer.
A few of the main editing styles you will find are:
I’ve attached some photos to help you understand what these different styles can look like.
Keep this in mind while you’re hunting for a wedding photographer. If most of the photos they post are dark & moody, then that’s how your wedding photos will be too. Make sure their editing style appeals to you and fits your wedding vision.
Another huge thing to look for is positive reviews.
Many professional photographers have a reviews section on their website or Facebook page. There should be more than one positive review listed here to help you rest assured that they are trustworthy, reliable, and fun to work with.
If a previous bride took the time to write a positive review about a photographer, that is a huge indication that you’ve found someone you can trust!
One of the biggest questions brides ask is how much should a wedding photographer cost. Wedding photography prices range greatly based on the photographers experience levels and what is included in their photography package.
Some wedding photographers include engagement photos, some don’t.
Some wedding photographers include travel fees in their pricing, some charge extra for travel expenses.
Some wedding photographers include rights to print their photos, some charge extra for printing permissions.
Be sure to look at the fine print of what all is included in the wedding photo package to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. If they are charging thousands of dollars but that doesn’t include engagement photos or travel fees or printing permissions, keep in mind that you’ll be paying a lot more than just the package price when it’s all said and done.
Trustworthy wedding photographers are transparent about their pricing. If a photographer is not being open and honest in their communication, and it appears that there are a lot of things missing from their package description, I’d consider a different wedding photographer.
Another question that many brides ask is should I get a wedding photographer near me? It definitely makes things far more convenient when you get a wedding photographer that is from the same city or state as you. This makes communicating easier, and gives you the opportunity to meet in person and get familiar with each other prior to the wedding day. This makes a huge difference on how comfortable you will feel together on the big day!
If you are having a destination wedding or elopement and will not be getting married in the city or state that you live in, you might be wondering should I find a destination wedding photographer near me… or one that is based in the destination I’m getting married?
Here are the pro’s and con’s to each option…
If you choose to hire a photographer that is based in the destination you are getting married, the benefit of hiring them is that they have the ‘home court advantage.’ They know the lay of the land and where the best photo ops are. A potential disadvantage is that these photographers capture hundreds of weddings in that destination per year. They usually have several weddings per week and occasionally multiple others in your same weekend. Because of this, you might not get the personal connection and undivided attention that you deserve.
Your other option is to find a destination wedding photographer and have them travel to the location with you to capture your wedding. The benefit of this is that you have their undivided attention. They are traveling to your destination to capture your wedding alone, so you’ll be getting their full effort, develop a deeper connection with them, and most likely receive a quicker return of your images. The disadvantage to this is that you might have added expenses covering the photographer’s travel fees.
There are clear pro’s and con’s to each option, but what’s most important is that you choose a photographer who has BFF potential.
Most importantly, aside from the photos that they take, you want a photographer you can get along with!!
News flash: You spend more time on your wedding day with your photographer than with your soon-to-be spouse. Pretty crazy, right?!! You’ll be side by side with your photographer all day long, and this is the biggest day of your life. So if your photographer isn’t someone who makes you comfortable, helps you feel relaxed, allows you to be yourself in front of the camera, makes you laugh, then they might not be the best person to capture your wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to request setting up a phone call, a FaceTime, or a coffee date before booking a wedding photographer to make sure you two vibe with each other!
If you’ve found a photographer that checks all of these marks, then you’ve found a winner!!! Take your time when searching for the right photographer, it can be a process but it will be worth it in the end to rest assured that your day will be captured perfectly. (: