You are in the beginning stages of planning your wedding and know just how important photography is going to be. After all, it is the only tangible thing you will have left after your wedding is over. You look for the best wedding photographers on google and end up having to sift through the thousands of photographers that pop up. How in the world do you figure out who is the right photographer for your wedding day?!
8 years ago we were right where you are now. Going from website to website, not knowing exactly what we were even looking for. It was overwhelming and made wedding planning so stressful. Finding your wedding photographer should stress you out, it should actually be a lot of fun! That is why we put together this list of X essential tips to help you find that dream wedding photographer. We want you to get excited about your wedding day and the special moments you are going to share with your loved ones and complete confidence that your memories are in the best hands.
Before you start your search, ask yourself, why do you NEED a photographer to photograph your wedding? Look at yourselves five years in the future, you are sitting on the couch, looking at your wedding album together. You are both tearing up at certain images while belly laughing at others. What is happening in these photos that are causing you to react like this? Who exactly are in these photos and what is taking place?
Go through other photographer's websites, Pinterest, and Google images. Make a folder on your desktop and fill it up with wedding images that you LOVE. Go through this folder and ask yourself, why do you love these photographs so much? What do photographs in this folder have in common?
Each photographer has a certain way that they photograph weddings. How do they approach a wedding day. Some photographers will be very hands on and help create the perfect wedding day through posing and communication, while others may stand back and let the wedding day unfold naturally. For this determine what do you want during the actual wedding day? Do you want to be completely in charge of how the day unfolds? Do you want to give that control to someone else and trust that they will make the day memorable for you.
Also ask, how do you want to see yourselves in your photographs? What is important to you, beautiful, flawless portraits? Authentic candid moments?
Lighting that is so spectacular that its looks like it came out of a movie? Or reliving the day through your photographs as it happened? Pay attention to everything you see when you look at what is happening in photographs you see. Picture yourself in these photographs, what do you want to feel when you are looking at your very own wedding photos?
Photographers that photograph with a photojournalistic style capture the day as it happens. They will blend into the background and focus on candid moments. This style is perfect for couples who want to look back at their day and see it unfold as it happened.
Photographic Storytellers are a hybrid of both Editorial & Photojournalistic photographers. Storytellers create images that are beautiful and tell the story of the wedding day. This style is perfect for couples who value the moments of the wedding day that they share with everyone they love.
Editorial Photographers aim to create photographs that will make any bride look flawless. There is much more focus on posing & directing. The editorial style is for a couple who values the details of the day and wants magazine quality portraits on their walls.
Photographer's all have their own signature editing style. Some are bright while others are dark. You will see photographs with muted tones, and others with vivid colors exploding off the screen. Really pay attention to the photos that are catching your eye. What is similar about the editing styles? These photographs are going to be in your wedding album and on your walls for the rest of your life. Try to pin point as much as you can how you want your wedding photographs to look.
Pro Tip: Find a photographer that specializes in the editing style that you are looking for and nothing else. For example: Our photographs are bright & Vibrant while keeping colors true to life so each moment is exactly how you remembered it. We will not edit Dark, Moody, or airy.
Your photographer is going to spend more time with you on your wedding day than anyone else. What kind of photographer do you want around you? Someone that is upbeat, the life of the party? Someone who makes you laugh and feeling care-free? Maybe it is someone who is quiet, reserved, and chill?
Your Photographer is going to play a big part in how your wedding day unfolds, what type of personality is going to work the best for you? Look at your bridal party, what draws you to them? What traits stand out that you love about your friends? What will make the day stress & care free for both of you?
Pretty much, why do photographer's photograph weddings? A photographer's core values are what fuel our passion to go out and capture special memories for our couples and push ourselves to go above and beyond each and every wedding. These values make it to where it is not just a job, this is our life purpose, this is why we are here.
Ask this question when looking through a photographer's website. What do they do for their couples that reflects the values they share with them?
If family is important to you and them, your photographer should make your family a priority and become one of them. If your wedding album is the one thing you want more than anything to showcase your wedding day, how is your photographer reassuring that your memories are in the best of hands?
There are so many factors on what makes a photographer unique. It could be how they make their clients feel on the wedding day. The connection they make between you and your own photographs. The way they pay attention to their couple's needs and go that extra mile on the wedding day to keep their couples relaxed. Photographer's usually spell this out WELL on their websites. Find the qualities that stand out to you the most.
This is pretty straight forward. What do their couples get when they hire them to photograph their wedding. Things that you should be looking for:
• Hours of coverage
• 1-2 Photographers
• Engagement Session
• Travel Expenses
• Wedding Albums
• Wall Art / Prints
When you first determine your wedding budget, rank everything you want for your wedding from the most important vendor, to the least. The higher photography is on that list, the bigger chunk of your budget you are going to want to invest in your photographer.
Keep in mind after your wedding day has come and gone, your wedding photographs are all you have left. There is NOTHING ELSE. Give yourself some wiggle room in case you fall in love with a photographer that vibes well with both of you. Go in with the mindset that you are going to be making a sizable investment if you want a damn good wedding photographer. If wedding photography is truly important to you, do not let price be the determining factor.
Make a list of 3-5 photographers that you love and want to connect with. Reach out them via their contact form. Each photographer will ask you different questions, answer them all with as much enthusiasm as you can. Photographers can tell a lot about a couple based on the answers they give them.
Pay attention to the ways that these photographers reach out to you. How long did it take them? Were they excited to hear from you? A good photographer will reach out to you within 24 hours. The very next thing you should ask for is to schedule a consultation so you can get to know them and what they can do for you. Don't just go to book them right away.
Before your consultation, make sure that BOTH OF YOU can be there, either in person or video chat. If you try to tell your fiance about your meeting, a lot can be lost that was essential to the process. With both of you at the meeting, you both can fully appreciate everything that you learn and experience.
The first thing a photographer will do is try to get to know your story. Knowing your story is vital for being able to tell the story of your wedding day. Some photographers may only want to know how you met and what things you have in common. Others will go deeper to learn about what makes your story special, how you both have grown together, and how much you value spending the rest of your lives together.
Your photographer will want to know some of the details about your actual wedding day. It could be very detailed, wanting to know every little detail so they can understand your vision and if it fits their style of photography. It could also be as easy and just wanting to know what your dream wedding day looks like and what about your wedding day you are most excited about. This is where photographers can really get a good sense of how much you value your own wedding, so feel free to be excited about it!
This is where a photographer gets to really understand what you are looking for with your wedding photography. The moments you are going to cherish the most, the people you are so excited to see. A lot of photographers will ask you outright what moments of the day you are most excited for. This is where the photos you found during your research will help you the most. You will be able to articulate exactly what you are looking for. Now some photographers will take this to the next level and get creative to figure out what will truly mean the most to you. Moments that will hold so much value that you didn't even realize until speaking with them.
Every photographer should explain to you exactly what their values are and why they photograph weddings. Their process should be clearly explained to you in a way to where any question you would have is answered. Collections should be clearly explained to you as well. Be sure to ask any questions you may have, transparency is one of the most important values that all photographers share.
You want to look for a photographer who is more interested in learning about you than talking about themself. They should be investing time into learning about both of you and what is truly important so they know if they are a good fit for you. It should feel like you are talking to an old friend, sharing laughs, and really enjoying the conversation. When they talk about their collections, they should be more focused on finding the right collection that fits the vision of your wedding day more so than taking your money.
What to look for
This is one of the most important investments you will make for your wedding. All wedding photographers understand the responsibility that is put into our hands. Each moment only happens once. You can't try to recreate it, , what you felt during that original moment is lost. The last thing you want to do is make the wrong choice and end up with wedding photographs bring you pain instead of joy and happiness.
If you believe you have found the right photographer and confident that they will do am amazing job capturing your wedding day, then go with your gut! The most common thing that holds us back is price. There are so many ways to cut costs for your wedding day to free up some of your budget for more important things.
You do not want to be the next bride who posts on social media that their wedding photographer missed the most important moments of their wedding day. Don't let price or anything else hold you back from making one of the most important choices for your wedding day.
You know yourself best, listen to what your heart tells you.
Engagement sessions are the number one way to get to know your wedding photographers. For most couples, this is their first time in front of a camera as well. You will have the chance to get to know your photographers on a more personal level, learn how their pose their couples, and get comfortable in front of your cameras.
This will be a major stress reliever for your wedding day. You won't have to worry about if you look good in your wedding photographs, you have already spent the time needed to get comfortable in front of the camera and able to be fully present with each other on your wedding day.
What's The big secret to a stress free wedding day? use your wedding photographer for your Engagement Photos!