Choosing a wedding photographer can be a daunting task! There are literally hundreds to choose from. Weeding through the various styles, prices, referrals from your friends and family, all create an abundance of stress and fatigue. After awhile everything blends together and choosing just one photographer is like trying to eat just one cookie. Not to mention, your wedding photos are some of the most significant heirlooms you will ever have, so picking a photographer your trust is seriously important. To help ease this process for you I’ve listed a few things that I’ve found to be important when talking to my couples.
“Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten.”
Choosing a Wedding Photographer
- Choose someone you connect with. It is super important that you connect with your wedding photographer. They will be with you 95% of your wedding day so you’re definitely going to want someone that you’ll enjoy being with! A photographer isn’t just there to take photos. Weddings are stressful events and we often play both coach and therapist. Choose someone you can trust to alleviate your stress and offer solutions if issues do arise. Meeting them in person or discussing your wedding on the phone will help you get a sense of their personality.
- Have an idea of your style. This is not to say that you have to know exactly what you want, but you should have a general idea. Begin with some searches on Instagram or Pinterest. After looking at wedding images try to determine similarities in the ones you are drawn to the most. Some photographers are Dark and Moody while others are Light and Airy. Others are strict photojournalists and don’t do any posing whatsoever while others are very traditional and will pose everything to a T. Some photographers light things naturally while others light very dramatically. My work, for example, is very rich and true to color. I shoot narratively which means that I tell the story of your day exactly how it happened (a blend of photojournalistic and traditional), and I tend to light naturally. Having an idea of what you like will help you narrow down a photographer.
- Choose a photographer you can put your trust into. You need a photographer who is knowledgable because you will need hand over the reigns at times and take their advice. Ask them questions, if they can’t answer them immediately they should be able to find the answers for you. Choosing someone who you wholeheartedly trust will make this much easier. Listen to your photographer when they tell you how much time they need for things. Listen to their suggestions on other vendors. Trust that they will make you look absolutely beautiful. If you don’t trust your photographer it will just create more stress for you when it should be an element of ease.
- Thoroughly examine their portfolio. Does their website show examples from many types of weddings? Specifically, look for examples from weddings that will be like yours. Whether you’re getting married in a church, on a golf course, on a farm, in a ballroom, etc. look for examples of those types of photos. You want to be sure your photographer has experience with lighting in your particular situation. If you are getting married in a church you usually aren’t allowed to use flash, so seeing a portfolio with only outdoor garden ceremonies isn’t going to give you an idea of what to expect from them. Not to say they can’t do it, just ask them to see a real wedding gallery from a church wedding. These days styled shoots are very popular as well. Often new photographers don’t have work to show so they will set up a styled shoot, add some filters to the images, and post them as real wedding work. If all their images look similar, don’t show real ceremonies or receptions, or if all the brides look like professional models, ask to see a full gallery from a real wedding.
- Study their posing. When choosing a wedding photographer study their images and posing. Yes, most of the portraits are actually posed, whether they seem candid or not. Do the couples look relaxed and natural? Do they seem happy and in love? All of these things are very important qualities that you’ll want in your photos.