16 Jun How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer | 10 Tips
Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding. Other than your new husband and the ring, your photos are the only thing you have left when all the events of the day are over! Keep these tips in mind to help you choose the best wedding photographer for you (even if it’s not us)!
1. Choose a Style
There are almost as many styles of photography as there are photographers! Study wedding images, and keep in mind what kind of style draws you the most. From traditional to artsy, there is a type of photography for every bride. The Knot.com lists several different styles on their website. We fall mostly under the “lifestyle” category. We prefer natural, fun photos that don’t allow for strict, traditional posing. Make sure your photographer’s styles matches your own aesthetic!
2. Start Meetings Early
The big ticket items for a wedding, including photography, book up fast! You should pick a date and a venue, then start meeting with photographers right away. The sooner the better! We have lots of couples who book us a year or more in advance! Unlike some other wedding vendors, your photographer (usually) can only do one wedding a day, so when they book a date, it’s off the table. Choose 3 or 4 of your favorites, and meet as soon as you can.
We always encourage potential clients that we meet with to also meet with other photographers. We want you to be absolutely sure that we are YOUR photographers, and we want you to be comfortable with your investment! If you still want to work with us after talking to a few other photographers, we know we’ll make a great team! For this reason, we prefer meeting in person when possible so that we can all make sure that our personalities click.
That leads me to point number three…
3. Make sure You Like Your Photographer(s)!
Your wedding photographer will be with you longer on your wedding day than any other wedding vendor! They are there from start to finish, so making sure you get along is EXTREMELY important. If your photographer is unprofessional, rude, or annoys you, it could spoil your entire day! We always try to go out of our way to make sure you have a wonderful experience on your wedding day, but we will tell you up front… If you don’t like us, don’t hire us!
4. Choose a Photographer With a Second Shooter
Some photographers shoot all their weddings alone, some have an assistant that helps carry and set up equipment, and still others (like us) have at least one other photographer who shoots as well. Ed and I are a package deal. We shoot every single wedding together. It’s so important to have a wedding photographer with a second shooter to make sure that nothing escapes. With two shooters, I am always confident that we are capturing all the action, without having to move around too much and be a distraction. This is especially important for short ceremonies!
5. Make Sure You Know Who Is Shooting Your Wedding
Some wedding photography studios have more than one, and sometimes several, photographers who share the schedule. Make sure you know who will be shooting your wedding, and meet with THAT person. Ed and I are the only photographers in our business, so if you hire us, you can be sure that it will be both of us who are shooting your wedding!
6. Review Samples of Products
When you meet with your potential photographer(s), make sure you see any physical products they offer. Flip through any albums to get a sense of their quality. Are the pages thick or thin? Are the photos printed on photo paper, or is it a press printed album? Do you have any options with the cover color and materials? We make sure every one of our wedding clients receive a beautiful, heirloom album. The albums are not press printed, but actual high-resolution photos printed on photographic paper. All the pages are coated and are mounted on a heavy mat board to ensure longevity. We put a lot of care into our albums to make sure it will last forever. Make sure you get the highest quality that your budget allows! These are your wedding memories, after all.
7. Ask About Backups
We’ve all heard horror stories about wedding photos getting lost or stolen. Make sure your wedding photographer makes several backup copies of all images, as well as having backup equipment. If something goes wrong with their camera in the middle of a wedding, you need to make sure they have a spare ready to go! We have several backup cameras, and we always make a minimum of 4 copies of every image we take. If anything happens to your own copy of your photographs, even years later, rest assured that we still have them!
8. Hire a Photographer Even For an Elopement
Consider a professional photographer even if you are eloping, having a courthouse wedding, or having a very small, intimate wedding. No matter the size of your affair, this is still one of the most important days of your life! Hire a photographer, and make time for some beautiful portraits on your day!
9. Ask for Referrals
A good word from someone you trust can really put you at ease about your decision! Ask around for an opinion from another bride. The best peace of mind can come from someone else who was in your own shoes! We love our testimonials from our brides! Likewise, after your wedding, don’t hesitate to share your opinion of your photographer with them. They will be glad to hear about your experience!
10. Spend As Much As You Can Afford
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room… money. Photographers are expensive. At least, good ones are. But a good photographer is worth their weight in gold. I know I’m biased, but I also speak from experience. I’ve never seen a wedding photo from my parents’ wedding, and my mom wishes she had spent a little more and gotten a better photographer. Weddings can really rack up huge expenses, but don’t compromise your memories! This investment will last for years and years, and when you look at it that way, it’s a very small one. Make room in your budget for great photos and an awesome experience, and you won’t regret it! If your favorite photographer is out of your budget, make the splurge or move the budget around a bit to fit them in. You’ll be looking at these photos for decades. Make it worth it!
I hope these tips are helpful when choosing your wedding photographer, and give you a little insight into our own business! But, if for some reason it doesn’t, the Huffington Post has an excellent article on how NOT to choose your wedding photographer! Cheers!