Congratulations on getting recently engaged!
Your new engagement ring looks so beautiful on your finger, doesn’t it?
Naturally, you need to start planning your wedding in earnest. It’s time to turn those ideas you had about a dream wedding into reality.
Eventually, you will find the right wedding venue and then it’ll be time to find a wedding photographer. If you’ve never used one before, you’re probably wondering how to pick a wedding photographer.
Well, there are many things to look for when selecting a professional wedding photographer. Here are a few useful pointers on how to find a wedding photographer you can rely on.
Do Your Homework
Begin your search by browsing through several local listings and reading reviews from couples who wedded recently.
Carefully review the blogs and websites of potential photographers to see pictures of other weddings they have shot. This will give you a clue about their style. The website’s design may also provide clues about the photographer’s responsiveness and personality.
If possible, check out their social media pages as well. Do they have positive feedback from clients? How does the wedding photographer respond to clients?
Choose a Style
There are plenty of skilled photographers on the market, each with their own unique style. Check the portfolios of local photographers and gauge what instinctively and instantly catches your eye. This will help to narrow down your options.
Here are some examples:
Some photographers like to hark back to the pre-DSLR era and shoot film. This is quite a popular trend among wedding photographers.
This method comes with obvious limitations but if you don’t mind, you can get amazing rewards.
These heavily focus on posed pictures with a preplanned list. They’re great for large parties and couples who want fewer surprises (if any). A traditional photographer usually captures everyone at the wedding well.
These are like traditional photographers in terms of coverage but they have updated shooting styles. They provide more stylized results which can include unorthodox posing, extreme angles, unusual backgrounds, and dramatic lighting.
These capture the day’s moments with little or no prior planning. They emphasize energy, emotion, and fleeting moments. Things like capturing a genuine smile are often preferred to wedding ceremony rituals like cutting the cake.
The focus is usually on the newlyweds at the expense of, sometimes, the entire wedding party.
Ensure Your Personalities Match
The wedding photographer’s interpersonal skills are just as vital as their technical skills and creativity. Do they get along with their clients and wedding guests? Are they outgoing, charismatic, personable, honest, and professional?
You’re going to spend the whole wedding day with this person on one of the most important occasions in your life. Choosing someone whose personality matches yours is vital to your wedding’s overall experience.
Go for an Experienced Wedding Photographer
Once you’ve checked off personality, technique, and creativity, the next thing to look for is experience. Is the photographer actually a professional or do they do this part-time or on weekends? How many weddings have been shot by the photographer?
Although experience is vital, there are some inexperienced photographers out there who are also very good at their job. In cases where you’re concerned about the photographer’s experience but love their style, ask to see their entire portfolio.
Go for Quality over Quantity
A question many people ask is ‘How many pictures will I get?” This question is sometimes followed by “XYZ said they’ll take 1000 photos”.
First off, if you need a thousand photos, then you should probably look for a videographer instead of a photographer.
You need to know that wedding photography is a form of art, so only go for the best shots. Not a bunch of snaps. There’s just no way to guarantee quality in 1000+ images.
Would you rather get 1000 snaps or 200 perfect images?
Ask to See an Entire Wedding
When talking to different wedding photographers, they’ll provide a variety of their best photos. If you like their work and decide to interview them, be sure to ask for 2-3 full wedding albums they gave to couples.
It’s best to get an entire album that’s beautiful and tells an amazing story, instead of just 4-5 impressive photos.
Once you’ve got a shortlist of potential photographers based on their reviews and work, it’s time to get in touch with them to learn about their pricing and availability.
While a photographer probably won’t respond immediately, you should get some sort of response within 24-48 hours.
You’ll want to ensure that the wedding photographer you pick is accessible and replies to your messages on time.
Discuss the Pricing
Some photographer costs include everything such as prints, high-resolution images, and albums. Others have an hourly or flat rate, then charge separately for any albums or photos you want.
Many photographers will give you a price list with different packages offered at different prices. Be sure to understand what is included.
Ask the photographer how long they’ll be with you (7-9 hours is perfect) and whether there’ll be another photographer as you’ll get better shots this way.
Finally, also ask when you should expect to get everything, from a sneak preview of images (usually within days) to prints (normally up to 3 months) to the album (up to 12 months).
Trust Your Instincts
Once you’ve assessed each photographer’s fees and portfolio, and narrowed down your choices, it’s time to decide. Remember that this person will be spending the whole wedding day with you, so make sure you feel really comfortable with them.
Do you both like this individual? Is there a connection between the three of you?
Final Words on How to Find a Wedding Photographer
With these useful tips on how to find a wedding photographer, you’ll be so much closer to finding the best professional to capture the special moments of your big day.
Once that’s out of the way, you can now focus on the most important thing: sharing your most important day with the love of your life!
For some useful posts related to lifestyle, beauty, style, and health, be sure to read the pieces on our blog.