With the holidays in the rear view mirror, there are a lot of newly engaged couples out there right now! And you’re all probably in the midst of making a whole bunch a big decisions surrounding your upcoming wedding! And I may be biased, but picking your photographer is definitely one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the wedding planning process. Choosing a photographer that is the perfect fit for you goes way beyond just liking their images.
Your photographer plays a bigger role in your overall wedding experience than you might think. From the numerous emails back and forth, to the engagement session, to handling crazy wedding day situations, your photographer will be doing a lot more than just taking your pictures. And I would argue that they play a pretty big role in ensuring you have a stress-free wedding day! Not to mention they are solely responsible for capturing the memories of this momentous occasion! So when you are shopping around for your photographer, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure that you pick the photographer that is the perfect fit for you!
Budget. One of the most obvious factors you’ll need to take into consideration is budget. Before looking for your photographer, you should have some sort of budget in mind. But again, I know I may be biased, I encourage you to be willing to allocate more funds to your photographer if need be. I guarantee that you won’t regret taking some of the funds from the floral or decor budget and moving them over to the photography budget in order to snag that must-have photographer. When you find that perfect photographer that is just out of your price range, don’t let them get away! Your photographer is in charge of capturing all the memories and emotions from your wedding day, so getting the right person to do that for you should be a big priority. Again, I know I’m biased!
Image consistency. Image quality and style are definitely important factors when choosing a photographer and should be the first thing you look for. Their images should make your heart skip a beat and give you the warm fuzzies. The emotions that images convey and the overall style and aesthetic should speak to you. But once you see a few images from a photographer that you love, the next thing you’ll need to do is check for image consistency. The difference between a good photographer and a great photographer is consistency. It’s easy to create a beautiful image when the light is perfect, the venue is stunning and all the pieces of the puzzle are perfectly put together to create a stunning image. But what about when the light is less than ideal? Or when it rains? Or when the venue doesn’t have a wide array of stunning backdrops? Can the photographer still create beautiful images that are consistent with their style? This is definitely something you’ll want to find out as you peruse through their portfolio. Make sure that all the images in their portfolio are not from the same weddings. If you feel there is not enough variety in their portfolio, ask to see some full galleries from other weddings. The last thing you want to happen is to fall in a love with a photographer’s work, but then your images look nothing like the ones that you originally fell in love with. So consistency is key!
Here’s an example of two very different wedding day situations that still resulted in images that reflect my photography style. The image on the left was taken in the middle of Hurricane Michael last fall where we were left with very limited location options due to the crazy weather (check out their wedding here!). The image on the right was from a wedding where the weather was perfect and the venue (The Clifton Inn) left us with endless stunning backdrops (check out their wedding here!). But both images are ones that I am proud of and would display in my portfolio.Personality. Budget and image style are the obvious things you’ll be looking for in your photographer, but the not-so-obvious factor that you will definitely want to prioritize is their personality. I think people underestimate how much time you’ll be spending with your photographer on your wedding day and how much of a role they will play in the planning process. Your photographer is the only person that is literally by your side throughout the entire wedding day. From the moment you step into your dress to the end of the day when you drive away in your exit car, your photographer will be right there. So there’s no denying the importance of having a photographer that you get along with and will fill your day with positivity and good vibes! And when your wedding day starts to go awry- it suddenly starts to downpour or you are running an hour behind schedule- they will be the ones you turn to and count on to save the day! When my couples leave reviews about their experience with me, they spend more time talking about how comfortable I made them feel or how I handled sticky situations with ease, than they do about the actual images! So when you are checking out a photographer, try to get a sense of their personality and overall demeanor. Does this seem like a person you would enjoy spending 8+ hours with on your wedding day? If you can’t get a sense of their personality from their website or your email correspondence, set up a phone call or face-to-face meeting so you can get a sense of what they are like!
The nitty gritty details. Once you’ve found a photographer that checks those 3 boxes, then it’s time to get the nitty gritty details! You’ll want to make sure that you are on the same page about how the more specific details of the experience will work. What is the turnaround time for the images? How many images can you expect to receive? How are the images delivered? Is a print release included? What is the payment schedule? You’ll want to make sure that these details are set in stone so that you are not unpleasantly surprised down the road.
So if you are in the process of looking for a photographer, I hope you find these tips helpful! I would also encourage you to apply this same advice when choosing your wedding planner and videographer as well! Happy planning!!!
Here are some more tips for brides that you may find helpful!