If you’re on the search for choosing a wedding photographer, you are probably engaged to the love of your life, have created a Pinterest board, and are constantly scrolling on instagram for the perfect photographer!!
Well, know that you are not alone and that I have been there!!
We have instant access to the most magical weddings which is amazing, but can also become quickly overwhelming. While we can search on The Knot, Pinterest, and instagram for inspiration, we need to ask: how do we narrow down all the details and create a dream wedding?
I believe it’s all about finding a place where you can get inside information from the professionals.
I wanted to create a place where brides can learn from the professionals and walk away with helpful tips to help ease the stress of wedding planning and be left feeling confident on their wedding day!
To kick start this bridal wedding series, I will be sharing what questions to ask your wedding photographer before booking and what to look out for when you are scrolling on instagram and Pinterest. So without further ado, here they are!
What to Look For When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
1. Determine a budget
After planning my own wedding, this is one of the most valuable tips I can give you! If you have not taken time to plan out a budget for your wedding, you need to! I highly recommend doing this before you start reaching out to vendors. One of the first questions a vendor will ask you, is if you have a set budget for their service. If you don’t have a set budget, I encourage you to go into the conversation with an open mindset. It’s okay to not know the ins and outs of pricing! Just know that you have the freedom to ask questions to gain a better understanding. Pricing becomes a guide to laying out a foundation for the rest of your planning and helping you prioritize what is most valuable to you.
2. Determine your wedding day style
When you are deep in wedding planning and pinning your favorites on Pinterest, consider what style you are attracted to. Do you have a vision for your wedding day? What is the mood you are wanting to set? These questions not only help lay out the decor for your wedding, but help you narrow your search for photographers. With Pinterest and Instagram, you can scroll for days, but it’s knowing your style that will help you see photographers images in a different light. It’s asking yourself: Can I see yourself in their images? Have they photographed at a wedding venue like the one I chose? What photos do I value most from the wedding day?
All of these questions will help you narrow down your search and learn what your photography non-negotiables are. Yes, we are talking about the dating term, non-negotiable in this context. What are your non negotiables with wedding photography and how do these fit with your style?
Each photographer offers something unique. From their editing style to the way they capture the details of a wedding day. It’s looking at one’s image through the lens of your non negotiables. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help continue this conversation.
- Does their style compliment the setting of your venue?
- Is their editing style something you are excited to print and place in your home for years to come?
- What style of photography are you looking for? (Candid, adventurous, editorial, journalistic)
- Will their editing style highlight the colors you have chosen for your wedding?
- Are you looking for images with alot of movement or more traditional portraits?
Remember that it’s about how they capture the emotions and memories of your wedding day!
3. Know the experience you want on your wedding day
Choosing your wedding photographer plays a huge role in helping set the experience of your wedding day. Most likely, you will be interacting with your photographer the most on your wedding. So, now you may ask, how does that really impact your wedding day experience? This goes back to tip number two, when choosing your wedding day style. You want to find a photographer that vibes with your personality and will help elevate the experience you are wanting. In between the ceremony and reception, you will be with your photographer and bridal party for photos. You need to think how will the photographer continue the celebration of the day as they are capturing the portraits. Your photographer’s shooting style should compliment your personality and relationship as a couple.
Here are two questions to ask a photographer to help you determine if they fit your wedding day experience:
- Ask them to walk you through their full experience from booking to final delivery of images
- Ask them to explain what their approach to wedding day photography is
At the end of the day you want to find a photographer that leaves you feeling comfortable and confident! Someone that you know you can build trust with and will add a sense of peace to your wedding day. Choosing a wedding photographer that will make you their top priority and help make this the best day ever!
4. Use the engagement session to see if it’s a good fit
This is a perfect time for you to meet the photographer in person and experience their shooting style firsthand. I think this is so valuable when it comes to documenting beautiful photos on your wedding day.
I love offering an engagement session to my couples and having that time to get to know them before their big day! It not only helps them gain confidence in front of the camera, but it allows me to see how they interact as a couple and speaking encouragement to them! It is like a practice run before the big day. You will learn the direction I give for posing and how to be natural in front of the camera. The goal is that on your wedding day you are looking forward to your portraits and even forget the photographer is there.
If you are hesitant about an engagement session, remember it is the best time to learn more about the photographer and a time for you to gain confidence in front of the camera!
5. Ask to see a full wedding gallery
This is definitely one question you want to leave in your back pocket as you are looking for wedding photographers. Wedding photographers usually break down the wedding day into different categories, “the main events of the day.” For example, the bride getting ready, detail shots, the ceremony, the family portraits, etc. Each of these events require the photographer to understand the lighting of the space and what equipment is best for capturing that moment. This leads to how does a photographer capture all those moments?
That’s when you ask to see an entire wedding gallery from a past client.
This not only shows you the beautiful shots that initially attracted you to their website or instagram, but the not so candid images that play a role in telling the story of your wedding day. It allows you to see that they value each moment of your wedding day whether it is the first look, details of the ceremony space, or the family portraits. You want a photographer that takes the time and care needed to capture each moment beautifully. While family photos aren’t the first one to be shared on social media, those will be the ones you hang in your home and send to loved ones.
It about how they capture your wedding day in full. You want a wedding photographer that can handle any lighting or setting with confidence and ease. A photographer that provides you with a gallery that captures the details and monumental moments of your wedding day!
6. Learn about the timeline for receiving your gallery and prints
Most people overlook this detail when choosing their wedding photographer. When booking your photographer, make sure to read their contract in full. They should include this information in the contract and clearly communicate this information to you. Here are a few questions to consider that will help you gain clarity on this topic:
- How will I receive the final edited images and will I have full rights to them?
- Does my gallery have an expiration date?
- What is the best way to order prints from my wedding gallery?
- What type of prints and albums do you offer?
All in all, when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, it comes down to knowing your visual style and building that trust and genuine connection with them. When this connection established, you are able to move forward with confidence knowing that your photographer understands your vision and values for your wedding day! Happy wedding planning and I hope walking through these tips and questions help you pick out your ideal photographer!
Feel free to comment below or email me if you have any question or suggestions to share to other couples!
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