Wedding photography has come a long way over the years! And while this introduces such a large variety of options to choose from in the industry, it can make the job of picking the right photographer for you a bit daunting.
Don’t worry though. As an experienced wedding photographer, I’m going to give you a few key tips for choosing the photographer that’s best for your needs.
Consider Their Style
You might be surprised to hear that wedding photographers often describe their photography “style” in different ways. Long gone are the days when wedding photos were very traditional and very much the same in look and styling.
So when chatting with different photographers, ask them to define their style. Do they describe themselves as more traditional, where you’ll get more posed (and less spontaneous) images?
Do they consider themselves more modern and fashion-centered, which means you’ll see a lot more fashion-centered images of the bride, groom, and bridal party.
Do they shoot closer to a photojournalistic style, meaning they take a fly-on-the-wall approach and capture the day as it unfolds, as opposed to doing a lot of posed shots?
Also, pay attention to the images you see online. Are they dark and moody? Bright and airy? A mixture? Do you see a signature style that you love?
As you familiarize yourself with more wedding photographers’ work, you may find yourself drawn to a certain style more than others!
I consider myself predominantly a wedding photojournalist on the day. That means that overall, I specialize in capturing genuine, spontaneous moments during the day, and really capture the emotion between you, your spouse-to-be, and your guests.
However, for a portion of the day my style is also:
Editorial: Such as when I am photographing details such as the gown, shoes, cake, and rings
Traditional: When photographing family groupings
Fashion-Forward: When I am photographing beautiful, stylized portraits of the bride + groom, and sometimes the bridal party too
What about their Experience?
Finding a photographer who is creative is important, but weddings are fast-paced high-demand days.
Make sure that you are hiring a seasoned pro who can handle the kind of wedding you are having.
Experience brings wisdom, professionalism, and the ability to handle anything that is thrown at them including inclement weather and sticky family dynamics.
You need a pro who will make your day flow flawlessly no matter what comes up!
My team and I have photographed hundreds of weddings – so needless to say, we’ve seen it all and handled it all! There isn’t much the day can throw at us that we can’t handle professionally and with relative ease.
Beware of Low Prices.
I cannot stress this enough, and it’s a mistake I see couples make all the time.
The adage that you get what you pay for absolutely applies in wedding photography.
A professional photographer who is invested in their craft has spent tens of thousands of dollars on gear, professional development, and advancing their craft. They are totally dedicated to doing what they do and serving their clients.
They are licensed, pay their taxes and have happy clients who will sing their praises.
As such, they charge professional prices that help them create sustainable businesses that allow them to create amazing wedding images for you!
I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve heard brides lament that they hired a cheap wedding photographer and the images were sub-par.
Since their wedding day isn’t something that’s going to happen again (aka, there are no do-overs!), they’re stuck with less-than-beautiful images to remember their day.
And truthfully, it breaks my heart. After the flowers wither and the dress gets packed away, the one thing you’ll have left as tangible memories of your wedding day are your photos.
So please, if you take anything away from this article, don’t just settle for the cheapest option available. Take the time to do your research and find a professional who can truly capture your day the way you want.
Ask to See A Full Wedding Gallery of Work.
When you look through a full gallery of a wedding day, you should see consistency in the work.
Do people look amazing, relaxed and having a great time? Are the photos well exposed? Can you see details in the bride’s dress?
It’s also helpful to ask to see a wedding that is similar to yours regarding location.
For example. If a photographer shows nothing but outdoor weddings and your wedding is in a church, the photos will have a very different feel.
What Products Do They Offer?
Do you have your heart set on a gorgeous, archival heirloom wedding album that you can hand down to your children?
If so, then you don’t want to hire what our industry refers to as a “shoot and burn” photographer who offers only the digital files.
Make sure that your service expectations for after the wedding can be met, as well as any heirloom product needs.
Your marriage is the start of a beautiful life together. Wedding photography is such an important job, so make sure that you find the photographer who can help you tell your story for generations to come.
Would You Like More Wedding Planning Tips?
As I said, my team and I have photographed a lot of weddings. So needless to say, we know a lot about what it takes to plan the perfect day!
I’ve put together a free guide of some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years called How To Have A Stress-Free Wedding And The Best Photos Ever.
Just enter your email address below and you’ll get all my best tips delivered right to your inbox!