Planning a wedding can be tough...or should I say, it is tough! In today's world, brides are overloaded with options. It's pretty amazing how many resources we have for wedding planning, but choosing where to start is pretty overwhelming. The very first big decision for your wedding is usually the date and the venue. Once you have those, you can begin moving forward with your vendors.
With that being said, I have decided to create 8 tips to help those in the process of hiring their perfect wedding photographer.
Good photography isn’t cheap and cheap photography isn’t good. Making the decision to splurge on a good photographer is worth the money. Think of it this way - After the wedding day is done, family has gone home, and those wedding heels are finally off, you will have two things left over; your memories and your photographs. Having a budget helps you find that balance between the price you can afford and the quality you deserve.
Do you love photos with a vintage vibe? Traditional posed photos? Candids? There is a photographer for every style. Find what you’re drawn to and choose a photographer based on that.
The best way to start is by doing a simple Google search to see which photographers are local to the area you are getting married in. Other websites like WeddingWire or The Knot make this process super easy. Check everyone’s websites thoroughly and choose the ones you feel most relate to your personal style and wedding vision. Spend some additional time looking at the photographer’s social media sites (Instagram and Facebook), particularly looking for reviews.
Once you have your list narrowed down, reach out to the photographers. Most photographers have a contact form on their website. If you’ve chosen a date and/or venue, be sure to note this on your contact form. Next, pay attention to responsiveness. How long does it take for the photographer to respond to emails? Are they cordial and professional? These are two key details that can make an enormous difference in your final decision.
Are you interested in a wedding album or do you only want digital files? Do you want a photographer that is directional or more of a fly-on-the wall? Think about all aspects of what you want and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer questions. Check out my older blog post here where I answer my most frequently asked questions.
This is the MOST IMPORTANT tip! You will be with your photographer all day. Most likely, your photographer will be with you on your wedding day longer than any other person, including family and bridal party. Choose someone that you’re comfortable and familiar with.
If you like the style of a photographer, but you aren’t sure if you want to commit, consider booking a mini or trial session. This will help determine if you mesh well together. Give the photographer the chance to show you what they can do with you as their client. Keep in mind too that an engagement session holds this same purpose. I personally love engagement sessions because it allows myself and my couples to work with each other before the big day. My engagement session was actually the first time my fiance and I had our picture taken professionally. It was an experience I'm thankful for - plus I loved our photographs!
Once you have made the critical decision of who you want as your wedding photographer, book them! Key dates during the wedding season book quickly. It is ideal to book your photographer 6-12 months before your wedding date. You can expect your photographer to send you a contract detailing their services and any policies they have regarding cancellations or changes. Most photographers will require a non-refundable deposit (approx. 50% of your total cost) to secure your day.
So there you have it - 8 ways to get you on the path of finding the best photographer for you. Each person will have their own style, wants, and needs when it comes to choosing their photographer. Luckily, there are many unique and talented photographers out there! Feel free to reach out to me or comment on this post with any questions you may have regarding this process.