Wedding planning is no easy task, with the endless tasks you need to complete, trying to figure out which vendors you should choose for your wedding to make your dream wedding vision come to life, plus all the stress and time it takes. It’s not easy, trust me, I’ve been there too! While you’re planning your wedding, take into consideration what you’ll actually be able to keep after your wedding day. Choosing the perfect wedding florals, décor, location, and delicious food is all very important, none of that lasts after wedding day. Your wedding photos, though, will last the rest of your lives,  your children’s lives, your grandchildren’s lives, and so on. That’s why finding the perfect wedding photographer is key.

Your wedding photography is the ONE THING that you’ll get to keep after your wedding day is over. Long after the flowers have died, the food has been eaten, and you’re guests have gone home. Your wedding photographs are the physical memories of your beautiful wedding day that you (and future generations) get to look back on to remember it all by.

When you start searching for the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding, there are a few key things to look for. These key things will help you determine if the wedding photographer you’re looking at is a quality, experienced wedding photographer or if he or she is a newer, less experienced photographer.

While there’s nothing wrong with newer, less experienced photographers (we’ve all been there!), take into account that your wedding photos are the one thing you get to keep after the wedding day to remember it all by. So you want to consider quality above all else.

9 Tips to Look For in the Perfect Wedding Photographer:

  1. Full Wedding Galleries – Every photographer can photograph beautiful detail photos. But, looking at full wedding galleries that showcase the photographers’ work from start to finish is key. The full galleries will give you an idea on the style of work and how they do photographing candid + authentic moments. Additionally, it will show you how they cover the entire story of the wedding day. You don’t want to book a wedding photographer who forgets to photograph you with your grandparent(s) or misses the moment where you’re walking down the aisle with a look of pure love + joy on your faces. Also remember, you want to focus on the quality of the work as well.
  2. Back Up Gear – Every wedding photographer should have a set of back up gear incase of an emergency. Occasionally, main gear will malfunction or accidentally get dropped. Backup gear is essential so they’re not stuck without a camera missing out on photographing parts of your wedding day.
  3. Good Communication – Good communication with your photographer leading up to, on the day of, and after the wedding is extremely important. They may not respond to an email or text immediately or late at night. But, they should respond in a timely manner to make sure that your needs or concerns are responded to. You don’t want to book a wedding photographer and then struggle to get in contact with them. This will lead to unnecessary stress and worrying  wondering  if they’re even going to show up on wedding day.
  4. Know What You Should Expect From Them Up Front – When talking with each wedding photographer, make sure you ask about what to should expect from the process of working with them. This eliminates any bad surprises later on and gives you an idea on what the experience working together will be like.
  5. The End Product or Additional Expenses – Every wedding photographer runs their business a little differently. Be sure to find out what the end product will be whether it be photo products or digitals. Also, find out if there are any additional expenses you need to cover that aren’t included in your package. This would include travel expenses, lodging, permits, day of meals, and other items.
  6. A Back Up Plan – This one applies to both you AND your wedding photographer. Let your photographer know what the back up plan is for the wedding in case of rain or bad weather. Make sure your photographer also has a back up plan for how or where to do photos in this instance. Also, make sure they have a back up photographer in case something were to happen to them on or before the wedding day.
  7. The Ability To Make Decisions On The Fly – This is another part where the wedding photographers experience comes into play. Your wedding photographer should be able to make fast decisions on the fly, adapt to any situation that may arise, and problem solve at the drop of a hat if they need to. If your wedding is running late or something happens where plans need to be changed, your photographer will need to know how to adapt for that situation to make it work so they still get the photos they need to capture for you.
  8. Someone You Both Get Along With – Your wedding photographer will be the one vendor on wedding day that will be with you ALL day. Make sure you connect and get along with them. You don’t want to spend your entire wedding day with someone who irritates you. Your fiancé must get along with them as well.
  9. A Contract – Having a contract signed by both you and the photographer is a must. It covers you in case something goes wrong. Additionally, it’s a good source for what to expect and the guidelines you have to follow when working together. Be sure to get a copy for your records too.

Your wedding photographs are one of the most important parts of your wedding day. Finding a quality wedding photographer who’s work you love, captures the entire story of your wedding day, and is someone that you both get along with is key. Following these 9 tips will help you find the right wedding photographer and ensure you have an amazing experience.

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Kayla Illies