Choosing who you want to photograph your wedding day is arguably one of the most important decisions you will make when planning your wedding. This is a once in a lifetime event and not a decision you should make casually. Not every photographer is going to be a perfect fit for every couple. Knowing the right questions to ask will help you find the perfect photographer for your wedding. Here are the major things I would consider as a wedding photographer if I was to hire a photographer for my own wedding.
Settle on Style
Wedding photography is a very personal thing and choosing a style to fit your taste is the first step in finding a photographer for your wedding. Go out and look at as many portfolios as you can and choose ones that intuitively resonate with you. If you are having a hard time narrowing down an exact style that resonates with you, try adding some of the adjectives below to a Google search:
- Fine Art/Bold/Edgy
- i.e. “Traditional Wedding Photography”
Start Reaching out Immediately
Once you find a few photographers with portfolios you really like, start reaching out to them immediately. Most well established photographers start scheduling weddings a year or more in advance on a first come first serve basis.
Set up a Meeting
Once you’ve narrowed down some of your favorite photographers and confirmed availability it’s time to go out and meet those photographers. This is super important. Just because you like their work, doesn’t mean you will like them! It’s very important to not only pick a photographer who’s work you admire, but also choose someone you mesh well with. You will be spending a considerable amount of time with this person before, during and after your wedding. Make sure you like them as much as you like their work!
I recommend choosing no more than three of your favorite photographers and starting there. Rarely should anyone need to meet with more than three vendors before making an informed decision.
It’s important to use this time to ask lots of questions. Each photographer will probably have a different opinion about how they would choose to handle different aspects of your wedding. It’s good to hear them all out and choose the one who’s philosophy makes the most sense to you.
Check out final artwork samples in person
when you meet with your perspective photographers in person, be sure and take the time to check out some physical samples of some final artwork. It’s one thing to view images in an online portfolio, it’s quite another to hold a final wedding album in your hands. This is how you can expect your final artwork to look when you receive it. You’ll know a well constructed album when you feel it. Compare products against other photographers samples with the mindset that these are family heirlooms that will be cherished for many decades, possibly outlasting you if cared for correctly.
You won’t be able to nail down an exact dollar amount until you determine exactly what you want. Most photographers make this easy for you and offer pre designed popular packages to fit your needs along with an A La Carte menu. Make sure you know exactly what is included and what isn’t in each photographer's package so you know you are comparing apples to apples.