Making sure you have everything in line for your special day can be challenging. Planning out every detail is stressful, especially since you only have one chance to get it right. Every detail has to be perfect, from the guest list and the venue to the catering and the menu.
What’s even more stressful than that? Choosing a wedding photographer to capture it all.
Wedding photographers play a big role in capturing the magic of your big day, so you want to make sure you find one that understands your vision and wants to help you bring it to life. After all, you only get one chance to take beautiful wedding pictures that you and your family can revisit for many years to come.
No pressure, right?
Hunting down the right photographer for the job is no walk in the park, but by keeping the following steps in mind, you should be able to find the best one for the job in no time. Read on to learn more about how to choose a wedding photographer for your special day.
Before you start contacting different wedding photographers, you should have a vision in mind of what you want the photos to look like. After you have chosen a venue and have an idea of what your perfect wedding day will look like, you’ll have to find a photography style that matches your vision. For example, if you find yourself daydreaming about looking through aged-like-fine-wine film photos in a family album, try to find a photographer that offers film photography. If your venue is going to have an abundance of natural lighting, look for a photographer that specializes in outdoor weddings.
More importantly, once you know what you’re looking for in a special someone (photographer), try to translate your interests into hashtags on Instagram. Look through the profiles and portfolios of photographers who offer the services you’re looking for. If you find yourself scrolling through someone’s photos in awe and thinking to yourself, “I want–no,no– I need them to shoot my wedding,” then chances are you have found a strong first candidate then and there!
Unfortunately, we have to talk about finances. Photography can get pretty expensive- there’s no doubt about that. Truthfully, a lot goes into shooting and filming a wedding. Many photographers will want to meet up with you first, see the venue, and get an idea of what you really want your big day to look like on film. It’s crucial to get a feel for what wedding photographers in your area are charging, so be sure to decide with your partner how much you want to allocate to hiring a wedding photographer.
Once you and your partner settle on a budget, you can comb through the list of photographers in the area who capture the style you’re looking for and see how many match your budget. After you have a list of strong candidates whose pricing aligns with your financial needs, you can start inquiring and getting a feel for what they will want from you.
With any other service or product, you want to read reviews before you commit to spending any money. Weddings are a big deal, which is why it’s so important to research your potential photographers and find honest reviews about their services. In many cases, photographers will post their most glowing reviews onto their websites, so you have to dig a little deeper to find critical comments and feedback. One way to get a balanced overview of a photographer is to see if they have a Google Business Profile. Reviewers are more likely to be honest about their encounters on platforms like Google and Yelp, making them great resources for learning more about other couples’ experiences with a photographer.
Next, it’s time to get in touch with your top candidates who align most with your vision and budget. Contact your chosen wedding photographers well in advance so they have enough time to iron out any challenges ahead of time, should you decide to go with them. You might not hire anyone during your first meeting with them, and that’s okay. If you decide against hiring someone, be sure to keep them in the loop and let them know you’ve decided to go with someone else. Additionally, I recommend meeting with potential wedding photographers more than once to build trust and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Before you meet with a photographer, make sure you have questions prepared for them. Having questions is a great way to ensure that both parties are on the same page and can help you save a lot of time and stress in the long run. It will also give you a chance to get to know them a little better beforehand and see if they’re a good personality fit for the occasion. Here are a few questions you could ask during your meetings:
Technically, this part comes after choosing a wedding photographer, but it’s an important one. Once you have found a photographer that’s right for you, try to schedule a practice run with them or pick a time to walk them through the venue. If they can make it to the rehearsal, that’s even better. Of course, it’s not always possible to practice beforehand, but it is extremely helpful. Practice makes perfect; being able to walk them through your wedding day before it happens helps build trust among both parties and ensures a great experience for everyone.
Planning out every detail of your special day is a challenge, and so is choosing a wedding photographer to capture it all. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to find your style, research potential photographers and, if possible, practice before the big event. Ask plenty of questions and build trust with each other beforehand, and you should have nothing to worry about.
If you enjoyed reading this post, make sure you check out my blog for more photography tips and advice. Looking for inspiration for your big day? Feel free to take a look at my photo book for more ideas.