With so many wedding photographers ready to photograph your big day, how do you find the one right for you? Here are my top three tips to finding the right wedding photographer for your big day.
1) Pick a style that fits you!
There are several types of photographers. Most common are traditional, classic, and photo journalistic.
A traditional photographer is going to base their shots on a composed list and will spend a lot of time posing people.
A classic photographer will have a balance of posed and candid shots.
A photo journalistic photographer will still take posed photos, but a majority of their shots will be natural, candid shots. Due to my initial training as an Air Force public affairs photojournalist I tend to fall more in this category.
There are still several other types of styles, but these are probably the three major ones. However, if you get a photographer who says they are a natural light photographer, but your wedding will be inside (especially low lit), then don’t be afraid to ask if they have photos of indoor weddings they have done.
2) Get an idea of what your budget is!
Prices for wedding photographers can range drastically depending on the area you live in, their experience, the equipment they own and how established their business is. Even if photography is a priority for you, if your budget is $5,000 for your entire wedding, then you may not want to hire a photographer who is going to charge you $3000. However, if you get a price quote that seems too good to be true, then chances are it is. The reason wedding photographers charge so much has a lot to do with the weeks that are spent editing the photos in combination with the cost to run their business (i.e. business insurance, software subscriptions, equipment…etc). If someone is only charging you $50 an hour then the quality of your images are likely to suffer. That’s not to discourage those on a small budget. I’m sure if you were to really go on a search there are several brides and grooms who would be able to find an up-and-coming photographer who is just trying to build their portfolio. You may be able to find a student photographer with basic camera gear looking to get their feet wet in the wedding industry. Just don’t expect the same quality photos you would get from someone who has been doing weddings for several years and who charges $2000-$4000 a wedding. Make sure to look at their portfolios!
3) Find the person who fits your personality!
Don’t just look at the photographer websites on the first page of Google! There are a lot of great photographers in your area who just don’t have the time and money to boost their websites SEO. I once had a client book me and when I asked how she found me she said she found me on Google. I was extremely surprised because I am probably on page 20 of Google and therefore most clients hire me through Wedding Wire.
But look past the website! Don’t pick someone because they have a pretty website. Like I mentioned, many photographers, especially those just getting their own business established, are not web designers and/or cannot hire a web designer. Really look at their photos and get to know them! Every photographer has their own style of shooting and editing. Not only do I shoot for my own photography business, but I get subcontracted by others. When I am subcontracted I do not do the editing. If you were to look at the photos that I edit and the photos provided by one of the other businesses I have worked for you would think the photos were from two different photographers.
Read their about page and set a one-on-one consultation! The style of their photos is just as important as their personality. The wedding photographer will be spending all day with you! And if you’re a bride hiring a female photographer then that photographer is likely going to see you half naked while you get your dress on. Make sure you hire someone who you are comfortable around and are at ease when talking with because this person is going to have a camera all up in your face for several hours (not really…we also shoot at a distance, but you get what I’m saying).