Ten years from now, your wedding pictures are the one thing you’ll have that will vividly bring back memories of your big day. It’s certainly the one area of your wedding where you want to make sure you’re hiring not only a seasoned professional but also someone you’re absolutely in love with.
Just like every other vendor, no two photographers are the same. Each one has a different method for interacting with their clients, a different editing style and even a different way of doing business. Plus there’s way more involved than just pushing a button. So how do you find the perfect wedding photographer? We’re telling you below…
Choose an editing style you love
Before researching photographers, scour bridal magazines, blogs and Pinterest. Decide if you like a darker, moodier edit, one that’s light and airy, something bright and full of color or even a combination of. Once you know the style you’re going for, it will be easier to weed out photographers that won’t work for you.
Decide how much guidance you need
Are you experienced in front of the lens and want someone who’s silent behind the lens? Do you need someone giving you guidance on what to do? You won’t be able to tell this by looking at a website but it will be really important when you schedule consultations. This also feeds into the question below. Knowing how much guidance you feel you need will also help narrow down a style.
Do you prefer classic, lifestyle, artistic or documentary style photography?
You may not know what all of these mean right off the bat so let’s break it down real quick. With a classic style you’ll get images like those of your parents and grandparents. They’re timeless, often times a bit more formal and usually involve a good bit of guidance and posing. Lifestyle photography is candid but with a bit of direction and styling. It’s approachable and a good option if you like documentary style but are “awkward” in front of the camera. With artistic photography, you may not be full frame in every shot. Your photographer will use his or her eye to create art with your wedding photos. Documentary style is like lifestyle photography for people who need little to no guidance. Your photographer will mainly stay in the background and capture moments as they happen naturally with little posing.
Look at all the images on their website, blog and social media
This may seem excessive but looking at each channel will give you a broadened knowledge of the work they produce. You’ll want to ensure the editing and style (as noted above) are consistent in all their images. You’ll also want to check for a wide selection of images published. Seeing the same faces or weddings over and over again could mean they’re new (which isn’t always a bad thing – everyone starts somewhere) or they haven’t dialed in their editing. That may not seem important but if a photographer hasn’t dialed in their editing, there’s no guarantee of the images you’ll receive at the end of the day.
Don’t be afraid to look outside your area
Most photographers are willing to travel. While there is usually a travel fee, it’s not significant enough to make a difference, especially if you’re getting the photographer you love. If you do a local search and can’t find a good fit, don’t be afraid to look in surrounding areas or even on Instagram for the photographer of your dreams.
Always schedule a consultation before booking
I’m a huge advocate of scheduling consultations before booking. While someone’s images, packages and pricing may look good on your computer screen, you may not be a good fit personality wise. Especially with photography, you’ll want to ensure you feel comfortable with this person. Of all your vendors, you spend the most time with your photographer on wedding day and you’ll want to trust that you’re getting the images you want at the end of the day.
Now that we’ve covered what you need to know to find the perfect wedding photographer, it’s time to schedule consultations with your top choices. Download our list of questions to ask your photographer below to take along when meeting. This will help you make sure you’re asking the right questions to make your final decision.