Step One: What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer
Unlike other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, or taste. That means it takes research and careful selection are extra important when choosing your photographer. Before choosing your photographer, you must first find what it is you want in your photography, what style fits your wedding theme and personality.
You'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer will be shooting your wedding. Do any of the following appeal to you?
Photojournalism: These are candid or spontaneous pictures of people, décor and the action. With a purely photojournalistic photographer, you'll very rarely see people staring at the camera. The photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story.
Portraiture: If you prefer classic portraits, with posed shots of the two of you, your friends and family in front of various backdrops.
Fine Art: Fine Art photography gives the shooter greater artistic infuses their particular point of view and style into your photographs. The shots reflect your weeding day, through the specific style of the wedding photographer. The photos can be dramatic and gorgeous, grainier, dreamier, and have various different style depending on the photographer.
Edgy and Bold: This style of photography is considered "outside-the-box". With different angles and unconventional framing, instead of a straight-on shot of the couple.
Many wedding photographers can do a blend of the styles listed above, but if there's a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it and communicate your vision to them.
If you are still having trouble with finding what style fits you, check out our "Best Wedding Blogs" and see these styles for yourself. If your wondering is our style matches yours, check out "Our Style" page.
Step 2: Home Work and Interview
Now that you know your style and what photography you want, its time to start finding a professionals that match with you and interview them. Start your search by reading local listing, searching wedding photographers in your area, and by asking friends and family.
Once you are getting names of photographers, go on their website, blog, facebook. Check out their photos and other weddings they've shot. All this will give you an idea of their style and if it matches yours. Keep an eye on the design of the website, and look for clues about the photographer's personality and sensibility.
Once you found some photographers you like, its time to meet with them in person. Call or email the photographer to see if they're available for your wedding date. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style.
We recommend that you set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date. This is to make sure you are finding the right person that meshes with your personality and vision. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos.
Step 3: The Meeting
During your meeting there are certain questions you need to ask your photographer. You can check out what those questions at "Questions to Ask Any Wedding Photographer" . For now we are going to focus on what qualities and experience you should be looking for in your potential photographers.
1. Being Technical and Creative:
A professional wedding photographer should not just know the inside out of a camera, but he must also be artistic and creative.
2. Being Personable and Charismatic:
Some things to look for is , How well do they get along their clients (If your not sure, check their reviews, both positive and negative)? Any other thing to think about is, are they outgoing, personable, charismatic, professional, and honest? Does their personality, match or work with mine? You are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is essential to the overall experience of your wedding.
3. Quality over Quantity:
When seeking a photographer, don’t get caught up to the amount of products each photographer is promising. Stay focused on the actual quality of the work provided and if it matches your style and vision.
Step 4: The Signing
Once you've found the photographer thats right perfect for you, its important to pick a package that fits your needs, sign a contract with them and lock your wedding date.
1. Compare Packages:
When looking at packages, it's important to find out what's included in each package, an engagement shoot, special effects or additional coverage, so you can compare rates. Ideally, you want your photographer to be there for your full wedding day and if you are unsure that the package you want will cover the whole wedding, it might be better to upgrade to a higher package. This will make thing less of a head ache and you wont have to stress out about time. Also consider whether you'll want to do an engagement shoot, bridal session, or post wedding session and see if your photographer offers those in their package.
2. Ask About Your Rights and Payment:
Most contracts stipulate what rights both you and the photographer has. Since every photographers contract is different, we recommend looking over it very carefully and asking your photographer on any questions you have.
A big part of signing and contracts is payment. If payment is not clearly stated on the photographers contract, ask them about how and when you are paying them before signing anything.
3. Postproduction Details:
During signing, asking about how long it takes to receive your photos is a must. This sets expectations and gives your a timeframe to expect. Keep in mind that, editing photos and albums take time, having a long wait to receive your photo just means they are taking time and care with your photos.
Step 5: Become Friends With your Photographer
Lastly, I know so many clients I've become friends with all because of photography. You spend so much time finding the right person and creating this amazing day, finding a photographer that you can be friends with is not just a great feeling but a great benefit too. After you get married, if you want holiday photos, family photos, kids photos! You will know who to call, and if you know they will great amazing images and you trust them, thats priceless within its self.