Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a big decision. Unlike things like cake, flowers, and the food, photographs live on long after the wedding is over. If you pick the wrong photographer, you might be disappointed with how they documented one of the most important days of your life.
Deciding on a photographer is also a unique decision because you don’t know what you’re getting until after the wedding is over. Unlike your cake or flowers, which you see on your wedding day, you won’t know what the photographer captures until weeks or months later.
Keep reading for 10 tips to help you choose the right wedding photographer for you.
How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Wedding photographers can be a big investment and could potentially be a large chunk of your wedding budget. The most expensive photographer might not always be the best for you, however. Rather than finding the “best” photographer, you want to find the best photographer for you.
Some things to help you make your decision:
Knowing what kind of photos you want will help you nail down some photographer options.
Do you want a documentary style, with few posed photos and mostly candid shots? If you want more traditional wedding portraits, a traditional photographer focusing on portraiture is likely to be your best choice.
A fine art or edgy and bold style are other options as well. A mix of different style is also a possibility. Once you know what you want, you can start creating a shortlist of photographers who emulate the style you want.
Make sure your desired photography style makes sense with the overall style of your wedding.
2. Ask Around
Asking friends or family members is a great way to find a good photographer. Read online reviews, wedding boards, and go to wedding expos and shows. Speaking with someone who can personally vouch for the photographer may provide some peace of mind and also help you build your short list or narrow it down.
3. Check out Instagram and Other Social Media
Many wedding photographers use Instagram and Facebook to post shots from their weddings. Check out their social media accounts to see the kind of photos they are posting. Are they photos that you would like from your wedding?
Don’t just limit your searching to potential photographers. Check out photos posted by wedding venues, florists, wedding blogs, and magazines. If you find photos you love, see who the photographer is. They will most likely be tagged.
You can even search different wedding hashtags on Instagram, like #weddinginspiration, #weddingphotography, #weddingdetails, etc. You never know what you might find using social media!
4. Ask Your Other Vendors
If you find a florist you love or a wedding planner who just gets you, ask who their favorite photographer is. People who work in the wedding industry are likely to have great insights into different photographers, especially ones who they work well with.
5. Make Sure Your Personalities Work Together
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day, so don’t underestimate the importance of actually like that person. Do you feel comfortable with them? Confident that they will execute your vision and capture what you want to remember from the day?
A photographer who isn’t going to annoy guests but is assertive enough to round up the families and wedding party for photos, direct people into photos, and work the room to get photos of every aspect of the ceremony and reception is important.
When meeting with a potential photographer, make sure they ask lots of questions about what you want, don’t want, and are attentive to your wishes.
6. Review Their Work
Don’t just rely on what you see on Instagram or a photographer’s website. Ask to review a few full galleries of their work. This lets you see how they document the day from start to finish. From details in the bridal suite to the first look, to the details from the ceremony and reception, you can see the progression of the day.
If a photographer doesn’t capture the details that you want, or the style doesn’t really jive with your vision, they might not be the best choice for you.
One other service to keep in mind is to send out the various details of your wedding for photography. Companies that do product photography can provide gorgeous shots of details like your invitation, wedding shoes, or wedding jewelry. Visit our site to learn more about these photography services.
7. Set Up Interviews
Once you’ve created a shortlist of photographers after asking for recommendations, checking out social media, and getting in touch with photographers to review their work, it’s time to set up some interviews.
You and your partner will want to meet with a potential photographer to make sure they share your vision, to ensure your personalities mesh, and to see if you’d want to have this person documenting your big day.
Ask lots of questions and make sure they are asking lots of questions of you. Although you’ll most likely meet again before the wedding, this is your chance to really share what you want out of your photographer and make sure they can live up to those expectations.
Figuring out your photography budget should be one of the first things that you do. Most photographers will share an investment range on their websites. This can give you a general idea of whether they could work within your budget or are not even close.
There’s no sense in wasting your time or their time if your budget and their price are not even close.
Make sure you are clear on the delivery of the photographs, the time frame, whether you will have access to an online gallery, and whether you have to order the photos through the photographer or if he or she gives you the digital rights to the photos.
Keep your budget in mind here. If the photographer requires you to only purchase photos from them, you might end up spending considerably more than if you had the digital rights to the photos.
10. Agree on Contract Details
Once you’ve decided on a photographer, agree on the contract details. What is the deposit, when is the balance due, how long will it take to get your photos, what exactly do you get, etc.
You should also establish how many hours of coverage you get and how many shooters will be there. Before signing a contract, be sure you’re familiar with all of the details.
The Bottom Line
Using these tips will help make this big decision a little more manageable. Don’t let choosing a wedding photographer consume your life. Pick your photographer and then move on to the more fun tasks, like taste-testing your cake!
If you’re on the hunt for other wedding services, check out our blog for all of your wedding and event needs.