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wedding photography




Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

June 30, 2023

You’ve found the love of your life, they asked you to marry them, and now you get to plan one of the happiest days of your life! No big deal, right?

Choosing the vendors for your special day can be overwhelming, to say the least! However, there’s certain vendors that I truly believe need to be at the top of your priority list (and your budget list!). The venue is definitely a top priority and should fit your aesthetic, budget, and most importantly, be able to comfortably host all your intended invited guests! The next priority? You guessed it, photography!

Why You Should Prioritize Photography

Imagine this scenario:

You have the wedding of your dreams. The venue, the dress, the hair and makeup, the cake, the table settings, the flowers, the DJ – everything is exactly how you pictured it. You hire a photographer that has an “okay” portfolio and you kind of like their style, don’t see much consistency throughout their work, and they’re a little unorganized BUT they were way cheaper than any other photographers you looked at, so you book them based on the price tag. You wait months to get your wedding photos back, already envisioning what they will look like on your wall, and when you finally receive them, you are SO disappointed. The angles are off, the coloring is weird, the crops are unflattering. You could have taken better pictures on your phone. All of your hard work, all of the planning that was supposed to be captured forever on camera, is now gone and you have no good images to post on your social media or even print for your home.

A nightmare, right?

I will be the first to admit that I was a bride on a budget. There are so many things we cut back on that I wish we didn’t and so many things we did choose to spend our money on that I wish we used in other areas of our day. Photography was one that we looked at the price tag and chose our photographer based on that. While I believe we still got relatively good pictures, it took MONTHS to get our photos back, many moments were missed, and I had hardly any shots of all of the details that I so carefully planned for a year and a half. My photographer barely got to know us and missed a lot of shots that if they had just asked or even known a little about what I was looking for, would have made our experience SO much better. I only had 2 or 3 photos of me and my husband that I liked enough to hang up. If I could do it all over again, I would choose based on style, experience, and reviews, not the price tag.

The most important thing to remember: at the end of the day, when the venue’s lights are out, the food is gone, the flowers are wilted, and the cake is eaten, the only thing that will remain from your wedding day are your photos. Those will be what your kids, and even generations to come, will look at someday. They will be what will hang in your home. What you post on social media. They are IMPORTANT and deserve the highest priority!

What to Look for in Your Photographer

1. Style

Decide what kind of “style” you’d like your photos to have. Do you like the look of light and airy? True to life? Or are you leaning towards a more moody, earthy, warm vibe? No matter what your style, be sure to check your potential photographer’s portfolios. Ask to see full wedding day albums! You want to make sure you’re getting what you want. Any photographer can put their best work online, but you want to see what a full wedding day from start to finish looks like!

2. Reviews

Check out your potential photographer’s reviews! Are they good or bad? What do their past clients think of them? These could make or break your decision!

3. Personality

When looking for your wedding photographer, set up a call or video chat with them. Talk to them for a few minutes and see what they’re like. Are they easy to talk to? Are they friendly? Are they patient and answer your questions professionally? I am a believer in gut feelings and this way you get to see their face and/or hear their voice, see how they are, and test whether your personalities vibe.

4. Packages/Experience

Take a look at what they are offering you. Are you getting everything you want with your package? I always say 2 things are non-negotiables for me when structuring my packages: engagement photos and a second photographer. While some people find one or both unnecessary, I completely disagree. With engagement photos, they are invaluable for me to get to know you and your partner before your wedding day. I get to see how you interact, how you are in front of the camera, what poses suit you best, and so many other little things that I wouldn’t know otherwise. Whether you have already had engagement photos taken or simply may not be interested in them, I highly encourage you to take your photographer up on them if they are included in your package. Most of the time, excluding them won’t make your package any cheaper, and you get some pretty photos taken. What’s the harm?

As for the second shooter, this is huge for me on a wedding day. My seconds are my right hand person throughout the day and make my job so much easier, which in turn makes your day flow so much better! They are there to get the groomsmen getting ready (especially if that’s something important to you), they notice little details that I might miss in the moment, they get different angles and capture different candid moments that I miss while capturing the more pressing moments. They are simply just a valuable addition to your day that I would never want my couples to miss out on!

5. Review their Contracts

Make sure you actually read what’s included in your photographer’s contract. I know in this day and age, a lot of us typically skim over it and sign at the bottom, trusting our hired professionals know what they’re doing. However, you want to make sure certain things are included in their contracts, like turnaround time for receiving your photos, cancellation terms, and any additional fees that might be snuck in there. Trust me, a solid contract will protect both you and your photographer!

At the end of the day, trust your gut. There is a perfect photographer out there for everyone, and everyone deserves to have the photography experience of their dreams! Happy wedding planning, and if you are still looking for your photographer…. I know a good one!

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