So you’ve got the ring, maybe even a reception venue, now it’s time to start planning! First of all congratulations! You guys have taken your first huge step towards the next chapter of your lives together and that’s super exciting. As you get closer to your wedding day you will have to make SO MANY decisions about your day. One of the biggest decisions you have to make is choosing the wedding photographer that is right for you. This person is in charge of preserving your wedding day memories for the rest of your life, so to say it’s kind of a big deal is an understatement! There are a lot of factors to consider so I made this list of 6 things to think about when choosing your wedding photographer. Let’s get into it!
This one is VERY important and probably the easiest one. Editing is a huge part of photography, it’s a lot more than just showing up to take your pictures. Photographers put hours of work into editing their albums before sending them out to you, and every wedding photographer has a different editing style. There are a wide variety of styles these days, from bright and airy to dark and moody and everything in between. When choosing your photographer it is SO important that you find someone with an editing style that you LOVE, you’ll be looking at these photos for the rest of your life after all!
Take some time and scroll Instagram. Lookup a hashtag like #Chicagoweddingphotographer or #___weddingphotographer for wherever your wedding will be. Look at the photos that come up and save a handful (5-6) of photos that you’re OBSESSED with. More than likely the photos you save will have similarities in terms of editing style and documentation style. From there, give the photographer a follow and start to look at more of their portfolio to see if you like what you see!
From there you and your partner are going to want to talk about what you’re looking for in a wedding photographer and what’s most important to you so you can choose someone that is able to provide you with the experience you want. Are candid shots more your thing? Do you want more of a focus on family and posed photos? Do you need your photos delivered quickly? Are you looking for someone that can get you to laugh? These are just some of the questions you and your partner should talk about when choosing your wedding photographer. This can really help narrow down your options and get you on the right path to finding your ideal photographer.
Once you inquire with 4 or so of these photographers take note of how they make you feel when they respond to your inquiry. Do they make you laugh, do they leave you hanging, do you feel comfortable talking to them? These are all super important to your experience so be sure to know what kind of experience each photographer offers.
Instagram and even a photographer’s website are highlight reels. Yes, they give you a feel for what the photography is like, but it is important for you to see a full wedding day gallery by the photographers you’re interested in so that you can be sure your photographer is prepared for every part of your wedding day.
Look for things like photos with flash, or indoor photos without flash to make sure you still enjoy their editing for those types of photos. Look at the getting ready photos and the reception photos, do you prefer your photographer staying on the outskirts of the day or being right in the center of the action? All of these things you can tell/think about by checking out a photographer’s full wedding gallery.
Your coverage amount is another thing to consider that really depends on what you want your wedding day to look like and what you want pictures of. If you want pictures throughout your whole day, all the ins and outs from getting ready all the way until you guys are partying on the dance floor, you better choose a photographer that is able to provide that! Or maybe you just want photos of your first look, the ceremony, and then some family/wedding portraits, that’s an option too but you’ll want to find a photographer that offers that kind of coverage.
Each photographer’s pricing and coverage are different so take a look at their website to see what they offer. You can check out my pricing page here as an example. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure that your options can provide coverage for everything you have in mind, and make sure to communicate your expectations with your photographer so you’re both on the same page.
This is arguably the most important thing to consider when it comes to choosing the wedding photographer that is right for you. Your photographer is more than likely going to be with you for the entirety of your wedding day, or at least a large chunk of it. This means that you should be looking for and choosing a photographer that you are going to enjoy being around for your wedding day.
If you and your photographer aren’t really vibing there is a good chance that it is going to affect your photos or worse your actual wedding day experience. Remember this is YOUR wedding day, this should be one of the happiest days of your life and you should feel great through and through. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your photographer before committing to them, if you’re really not feeling it when you’re on a discovery call with them there is no need to force it. Find a photographer that you WANT to be around on your wedding day!
By this point, you should have a pretty concise list of photographers that fit your needs and what you’re looking for on your wedding day, or maybe you think that you’ve found the one. Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of it all.
Once you decide on a photographer and what package you’re going to go with, read all the details of your package and contract before signing to make sure it is what you want. Is there an engagement session included in your package? What’s the photographer’s cancellation/reschedule policy? (especially important these days with Covid.) What is the turnaround time for your wedding album? There’s so much information in every contract which is why you need to carefully read it before signing off on it. Make sure everything you’re looking for is included and make sure everything in the contract is in order and sounds reasonable to you. If you have any questions you can also ask your photographer about them and they should be more than happy to answer!
Choosing a photographer for your wedding is one of the most important decisions that you’ll have to make for your wedding day. You only get married once and you only get one shot at wedding photographs so it’s SO important to choose the photographer that is right for you. Talk over your expectations with your partner, find some options that can provide what you two are looking for, and make sure you vibe with them and you should be set for an amazing wedding day experience!