There are so many big decisions to make when planning a wedding – from selecting your venue, caterer, dress, decor, (insert the 1,000 others) and of course photography. Although it’s a super exciting, sweet season in you and your fiancé’s life, there’s a lot to get done. And sometimes little time to do it. We’ve definitely been there ourselves and have learned so much between shooting weddings and planning our own. (with a four month engagement, omg why!)
One of the first decisions you’ll want to make when you begin your wedding planning is who to book for your wedding photography. Photographers may book a year or more out from popular dates, so the earlier the better on snagging your ideal candidate! Before that though, you’ve gotta decide who that dream photographer of yours is. To help you throughout the search, we’ve got four questions to ask yourself along the way. These are really important questions to keep in mind throughout your researching process to find the photographer that’s the best fit for you!
Here we go:
1) Am I in love with their photography style?
Before you even chat with a wedding photographer to discuss availability and pricing, you should make dang sure that you not just like, but are crazy about their photography style. What I mean by that is the overall way they shoot and edit their work. Take a scroll through their instagram or website. What colors and tones stand out to you about their photos? Are the colors rich and full of contrast? Or are they soft and light? Do they have an overall coolness or warmness in tone? Do you like how the couples are posed in the images? Are they laughing, moving, and playing? Or are they serious, embracing, and being romantic? Basically, can you see yourself in their images?
There are a hundred and one various photography styles out there. And it’s really important to align yourself with a photographer that captures photos in a style that you envision for your wedding. A way that feels very “you.” Don’t expect a photographer to change the way they pose, shoot, or edit to accommodate a different style that you might actually prefer. Photographers work really hard to figure out, hone in, and excel at a certain style, which is why it’s mutually beneficial to find a photographer who’s style already feels like a match made in heaven for you!
2) Could I see us actually being friends?
Booking a photographer for your wedding day is a bit different than booking other vendors. Wedding photographers have a unique role that involves being present for so many intimate moments that sometimes your own mother or maid of honor may not be! And when you find a photographer who feels as much like a friend as a vendor, you can feel comfortable having them around for all those up close and personal moments. Hitting it off with your photographer on a personal level helps you let your guard down, be your goofy self, and be fully present throughout each part of your day. Feeling confident in and comfortable with your photographer, not just in their work but in who they are as a person, makes a world of difference.
You can certainly get a great sense of a photographer’s personality when meeting over the phone or over coffee to discuss your wedding. But before that, you can also learn a lot initially through their online presence to determine if they have BFF potential. Their photography website, personal instagram, blog posts, Pinterest boards, etc. From those initial discoveries, does it seem like you’d genuinely enjoy their company? Do you have any similar interests? Do you find yourself actually wanting to meet up with them over coffee to get to know them better and find out more about their photography business? If so, you’re on the right track to clicking with your wedding photographer.
3) Is it apparent they’re an expert in their field?
Everyone of us gets better at our job with much needed experience. But it’s important to know that your main photographer for your wedding day already has a lot of that experience, growth, and tools under his or her belt. And when making such a huge investment on your wedding photography, you definitely want to make it count and know you’re in good hands. Don’t just check out their main portfolio but also their blog posts, about me section, and reviews too. Can you tell if they’ve just started out or have been shooting weddings for many years? Do they have positive reviews from past clients on their site? Will they provide their wedding couples with other services outside of the actual photo taking, like timeline planning? Do they share tips and advice for wedding couples on their blog or social media?
Keep in mind that the greatest photographers are those that do more than take amazing photos. They know how to serve their couples well, with and without their camera in hand. They can be flexible and handle any changes that may happen on your wedding day with a smile. They listen to your wedding needs and dreams when you chat. They are a wealth of experience, advice, and empathy right there waiting for you. And they have previous couples singing their praises to prove it! Making sure your photographer has a high level of expertise in all areas will give you the peace of mind you need.
4) Do I feel like I can trust them?
Adding up the three questions above brings us to the final, most important question to ask yourself in finding a photographer you fully trust. Your wedding is one of the best days of your life. And when it’s all said and done, those cherished photographs will become heirlooms for you and your family. They are what you’re left with to look back on that sweet, special day for years and years to come. Trusting your photographer to capture it genuinely and beautifully is so important. Without that trust, you’ll be stressing over whether they are doing their job instead of focusing on enjoying your wedding like you should! Photographers can tell if that trust isn’t there too, which is never a good feeling.
Ask yourself when combining all of the questions above if you feel you could completely trust them with your wedding photography. Do you trust them enough to leave the Pinterest shots alone and let their own creativity shine through? Are you confident that they’ll knock it out of the park on your big day? Are you comfortable letting them lead the way with photos while you set your intentions solely on getting married and soaking in the joy of your wedding day? Do you see them operating with a heart of passion for what they do and who they serve? When you establish that trust between you and your photographer, it will shine through your images in the most magical way.
I hope these 4 questions to ask yourself before choosing your wedding photographer are helpful for you! I know there are many big decisions when it comes to weddings. So fingers crossed we have made this one a little easier for you. If you have a bride-to-be friend who might find this useful, please feel free to share! And as always, we’re here to chat and answer any questions you have at firstname.lastname@example.org.