5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
I’m going to sound a little like Captain Obvious with this, but when you are looking for a photographer for your wedding day, you want to be sure that you choose the right person for the job.
I know what you are thinking – “Duh!”
There is obviously more that goes into choosing a wedding photographer (and we’ll get into that shortly), but photography is unlike any other service you’ll be hiring for your wedding day.
Professional photographs are an investment in your memories and give you something tangible to look back on in the years to come. That’s why it’s so important to hire a photographer who can not only capture the images you want, but, more importantly, make your whole photographic experience completely effortless – because, let’s be honest, you have better things to do on wedding day than to be preoccupied with your photos.
Okay, enough chit chat, let’s get to the tips ….
Determine your budget and what type of package you want
Before you start your search, determine your budget range. Prices for wedding photographers can range anywhere from $2,000 to over $20,000 depending on what market you are in, what type of wedding you are planning to have (large, small, destination, etc.), and what type of package you book. Having been in the local Connecticut market for over a decade, I can tell you that most experienced, skilled wedding photographers start in the $3,000 range for wedding day coverage and digital files. Most will have larger packages available as well with more hours, multiple photographers, an engagement session, a wedding album, etc. So, your final costs will largely depend on what you’re looking for.
Know what style of images you want
Every photographer has a different style. Are you looking for more candid, photojournalistic photos? Do you want more posed portraits? What type of aesthetic are you looking for in your photographs? The popular light and airy? The trendy dark and moody? Maybe you love the look of film? Or maybe you are more traditional and want more of a classic look to your photographs. Whatever you want, it’s important to know what style and type of images you’re looking for, so you can choose a photographer who can meet your specific needs.
*We tend to fall into that classic, traditional style with a mix of candid and posed photos. We like to think of our style as warm, candid, and elegant.
Can you see yourselves in the photos?
Looking at website after website, gallery after gallery, and Insta after Insta can cause some serious brain fatigue and make you feel drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed which can cloud your judgment when it comes to choosing a photographer. There’s a better way. As you are looking through a photographer’s photos, ask yourself “Can I see myself (and my fiance) in these photos?” “If I were in these photos would I look like myself?” Example – if you come across a photographer that has a lot of styled, posed, fashion-y type photographs and that’s not your style then you’ll know the answer to these questions really quickly.
Make sure you’re a good fit
Sometimes personalities mesh perfectly and you become instant friends. Sometimes you and another person are just too different to work comfortably together. If you and your photographer don’t mesh, your wedding day may be awkward or just no fun and that’s the last thing you want. You can tell a lot about a photographer in how they write. Be sure to visit their About page and read through it carefully. Visit their Instagram and browse through their posts paying special attention to their captions. Photographers share certain photographs and write about those photographs for a reason. Personally, I share a lot of ‘moment driven’ photographs of people having fun and celebrating as well as moments that tug at your heart a little. I do that because that’s what I love to shoot. Weddings are emotional and I love to capture all those rich, palpable feelings. I also love to photograph all the pretty details like the dress, the cake, etc. but moments are my jam. So pay attention to the photos a photographer posts. They will give you important insight into their personality and help you understand if they are the type of person you’d like to work with.
*I can’t emphasize enough how important fit is. Remember, you will be with your photographer ALL DAY on your wedding day and before you wedding day if you are doing an engagement session and even after your wedding day if you have an album in your package. Bottom line – you will be spending a lot of time with your photographer so make sure they are someone you have a good rapport with.
Meet with your photographer before you hire him/her
Hi, Captain Obvious again 🙂 I think this goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyway – make sure you meet with your photographer in person before you hire him/her. Obviously, nowadays meeting over Zoom or over the phone are acceptable options if an in-person meeting isn’t feasible, but, whatever the medium, make sure you talk to your photographer live before you hire him/her. There is no substitute for a live conversation when you want to get to know someone. The added bonus of an in-person meeting is having the opportunity to touch and feel the physical products that they offer that you may want in your package (items like wedding albums, engagement albums, prints, frames, wall art, etc.)
Our next article in this series will be “Questions to ask your photographer in your consultations”. Included in that, will be a tip on what NOT to say when sending your initial inquiry email to your photographer. That alone will make your photographer hiring process a lot smoother. We’ll be posting that tomorrow so check back for those so you can have a meaningful interview with your photographer.
Until tomorrow, Happy Planning 🙂