How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer
Finding a wedding photographer is no small task! If you’ve started the searching process, you’ll know that there are SO many photographers out there with so many different styles and price ranges!! As a wedding photographer myself, I know that I’m not for every couple … and that’s okay!!! To get you started with inquiring with a wedding photographer, there are three things you must look for to start narrowing down your list.
Kinda obvious, but you need to like your photographer’s editing style. This means you need to spend some time looking through their work, either on their website or on Instagram. Get a feel for the tones (warm or cool? pink or green?), the exposure (is the sky washed out or is it true to life?), the colors (muted or enhanced?), and the actual images themselves (soft focus or sharp focus? wide, tight, or a mix of both? natural and informal or posed and formal?). Pro tip: Make a list of which of these things you like and don’t like so you can more easily find photographers whose style you love!
Okay so here’s the deal — photography is an investment. Why? First, you’re paying for a lot more than just the actual picture taking and editing. For example: camera equipment, computer equipment, other gear (bags, harnesses, cases, etc.), editing software subscription, business insurance, bookkeeping & accounting, transportation, props, website subscription, data storage, gallery delivery subscription, contracts & legal documents, weekends away from family, house spent planning/emailing/researching/calling/scouting … to name a few . Second, what’s going to actually last after the wedding day? The guests leave, the flowers die, the food gets eaten and beverages get consumed, the dress gets put away, the makeup gets washed off … but the pictures last forever. Photography is an investment into your future, so you can look back at your wedding pictures in 50 years and get those same butterflies you felt the day of.
So now that we got that down — do NOT break the bank on your photographer!!!!!!! You want to make sure you are hiring a professional whose pictures you love and who will keep your pictures safe, but that does not mean you need to spend $8k on a wedding photographer if you don’t have the budget for it. Plan to invest in your photographer, but don’t go into debt because of it.
Here’s something you might not have considered: your wedding photographer will be with you ALL DAY during your wedding. And weddings can be a bit more stressful than any other day. You’re going to want to have someone by your side who makes you feel GOOD. Who encourages you. Who gives you personal space. Are you someone who gets overwhelmed by loud people? Look for a soft-spoken photographer. Are you someone who doesn’t want to think on their wedding day and just wants to be told what to do? Look for a commanding photographer. This definitely involves more stalking, but trust me — us photographers LOVE when you stalk us before inquiring!!
This is also why it is oh-so-important to meet with your photographer (virtually or in-person) before booking them. Ask them questions, chat about life with them, make sure there are good vibes before dropping that deposit.
One more thing before I sign off — it’s totally okay to talk to multiple photographers. Your wedding pictures are a big deal so the task of choosing a photographer should not be done lightly! I do ask you one thing, however. Please, please, PLEASE do not ghost the photographers you inquired with but did not end up choosing. There are NO hard feelings!!! We would much rather know if we’re no longer being considered than spending a few weeks wondering if you’ll respond to our emails!
Okay, that’s it from me. I hope this helped! Feel free to share this with any other friends who are also struggling with choosing a photographer for their big day!! Sending you good vibes, friend – you got this 🙂
*photos taken by Abby Shepard, www.abbyashepardphotography.com