6 Tips for Finding the Best Wedding Photographer for You
There are seemingly endless options when it comes to finding a wedding photographer. A search on the popular wedding planning site called The Knot, for example, will show you that there are over 1,000 options when searching for a Bay Area photographer on their site alone. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the choices, so I’ve put together six tips to help you find the best wedding photographer for you.
Decide on Your Desired Style and Budget
Before you even start looking, its best to decide what sort of style you are drawn to, and what budget you are willing to spend.
Ask yourself “how important are wedding photos to me?” since photography tends to be a “you get what you pay for” sort of situation. It’s typical for couples to spend 10-15% of their wedding budget on their photographer.
There are 3 main photography styles: light & airy (this is me!), dark & moody (those earthy tones), and true-to-life (usually means minimal color editing- the sort of colors you’d see if you snapped a photo yourself. This is a bit of an old-school style, in my opinion).
Ask Your Family & Friends for Referrals
I know there are tons of places you can start your search for a wedding photographer- but my personal favorite is to ask a trusted friend or family member if they loved their wedding photographer. This helps you weed out a lot of the unknown variables- the biggest one being “is this photographer professional or not?”
Look at Photographers Who Have Photographed Your Venue
If you don’t have any friends or family who were married recently, or aren’t impressed with their recommendations, another safe place to start is by seeing which photographers have photographed your venue already.
Head over to Instagram and see what photos your venue is sharing, take a look in their tagged photo section, or even ask them for a referral list. It’ll be nice to see how these photographers have already captured the day for another couple at your venue.
Take Note of Your Photographers Personality
This one is HUGE! Choosing a photographer is such an intimate decision because not many other vendors are going to be right by your side from the time you are putting your shoes on in the morning, to the time you are kicking them off on the dance floor at night. You must pick someone you click with.
Do you prefer a quiet, low-key photographer who doesn’t provide much direction? Or perhaps you’d love a gal-pal cheerleader type to help calm your nerves on the big day and take over when you need a minute to process (me again!).
Finding the best wedding photographer for you means finding someone you’ll be happy to have as a part of your Happily Ever After team.
Ask For a Sample Full Gallery
There are so many different ways to capture various parts of the day, so be sure to ask any potential photographers for a full sample gallery. Take note at how the images make your feel and what their focus seems to be.
Are they focused more on candids? Are there tons of pretty detail shots? Do they do a good job at capturing the big and small moments of the day or do the galleries seem lacking?
Take Note of Your Photographers Deliverables
There is a surprising amount of variety as far as what you actually get for your money when booking a photographer. Be sure that you completely understand the two most important things: how many photos you’ll get and when you’ll get them. Some photographers deliver in 30 days (like me!) while others have in their contracts that they can take up to 6 months to deliver (yikes!).
But beyond this, also see what else your photographer offers to make this an amazing experience for you. Do they offer planning guides, engagement sessions, and timeline assistance (all things I do!)? The best wedding photographer for you may offer so much more than just pretty photos- so be sure to ask!
Finding the best wedding photographer for you
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