So you’ve picked the venue, set the date and chosen your best man. Now what?
It’s time to find a wedding photographer. Even if your sister’s boyfriend claims to be any good with a camera, don’t believe him.
You’ll want your wedding photos to be perfect as they’ll last forever. So, make sure to find a wedding photographer that’s competent, professional, and comes highly recommended.
Finding a wedding photographer is a very important part of the wedding planning process, as essential as selecting a venue or picking the perfect dress. Unlike catering or flowers, however, your wedding photographs will be a keepsake of your big day.
Finding a photographer that matches your taste and preference can be really difficult. Will you work well together? Will they capture the special moments?
All in all, here are our 7 top tips on how to find a wedding photographer.
1. Choose a Style
Before you start looking for a wedding photographer, you should first decide what style of photography you want. That’ll help you determine which type of photographer you want to shoot your wedding.
Look for inspiration. Spend time poring over any kinds of images you like, from decor images to a fashion writer’s Instagram feed.
Once you’ve got a nice bunch of inspiring photos, try to figure out what exactly attracts you to them and explore what feels most natural to you and your other half.
Maybe it’s a lifestyle, photojournalistic style, formal-posed portraits, or a classic style. If you prefer sharp and contrast imagery, maybe you should go for someone with a dramatic style.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to pick one specific style, as many wedding photographers can take a mix of documentary and portrait style images, a blend of color and black-and-white shots, etc.
But if you love a specific style, be sure to focus on a photographer who specializes in it.
2. Do Your Homework to Find a Wedding Photographer
Begin your search by browsing local listings and checking out reviews from the latest newlyweds.
Carefully review the websites and blogs of potential photographers to see all the images of weddings they’ve shot. This will give you a clue about their style. How do they shoot the moments dear to you, such as a dramatic first look or a mum busying herself with her daughter’s gown?
The website’s design can also provide clues about the personality and sensibility of the photographer. If possible, check out their social media pages too.
Have they got positive feedback from clients? How do they relate with their followers on Instagram? Do they seem personable and friendly?
You get the drift.
3. Interview Several Photographers
Most wedding photographers will send you their portfolio before you meet them for the first time. Make sure the collection has recent weddings they’ve shot from the beginning to the end, not just a highlight reel from various weddings. This is a better way to judge the photographer’s work.
During the interview, find out exactly who will shoot your wedding. Some larger studios hire many photographers and some photographers go it alone. And even with one-man businesses, it’s not uncommon for photographers to work with an assistant.
Whichever the case, ask to see the portfolio of the photographer(s) who will be shooting your wedding.
4. Check Out All the Photographs
Even if you have already seen much of the photographer’s work, ask for a complete wedding album. Maybe you’ve already seen the photographer’s best shots–the kisses, the sunsets, the breathtaking landscapes.
It’s now time to see how they handle the less attractive shots. Think family portraits, shots of centerpieces, images of the couple’s parents on the dancefloor. Can the photographer capture the best shots of these scenes?
Now is your time to decide.
5. Discuss the Pricing
Some photographers’ fees cover everything, include albums, high-resolution images (saved on a thumb or disc drive), and prints. Others charge a flat fee or by the hour, then charge individually for any albums or images you want.
Many wedding photographers have a price list that includes the various packages on offer at different wedding photography prices. Be sure to understand what’s included.
Find out how long the wedding photographer will be with you (7-9 hours is perfect) and whether they’ll be assisted by another photographer, as you’ll have more detailed images this way.
Finally, also ask when you should expect to get everything, including a sneak preview of shots (a few days), prints (up to 3 months), and album (up to 12 months).
6. Do Your Personalities Mesh?
So you’ve picked a wedding photographer. What’s next? And also, how do you ensure they go with your personality and style?
When drafting your first email, be sure to expound on the date, venue, and coverage time needed. Share your expectations for the day. If there’s a connection between you and the photographer, they may respond to you in a more personal way.
Better still, don’t just email them. If you’re unable to meet with them one on one, set up a Skype or phone call. You’re going to spend many hours with this individual on one of your most important events in life.
If you build trust from the beginning, you’re likely to get the experience you desire on one of the most special days of your life.
7. Sign the Contract
There are some critical issues you should consider before signing a contract. Most important of all, when will you receive the final shots? Having a definite timeline will help you know what to expect.
Do you envisage making a wedding album, or making large prints to frame? If you’re getting hitched during the fall, do you expect your photos by the holidays?
You should discuss all these things and agree upon them beforehand so you’re aware of what to expect after the wedding.
Narrowing down prospective wedding photographers right away will help you find a wedding photographer you trust who will shoot your special day just the way you imagined.
And remember, you’re going to look back on those photos for many years to come, so make sure they’re stunning!
Make sure to explore our blog for more tips on finding the best wedding and event services in your area.