So, you are getting married (YAY) and you’ve looked through the dozens of photographers in your area and maybe even some you love that would travel to you… whats next?
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you can make for your wedding day.. after everything is said and done and your beautiful, meticulously planned, once-in-a-lifetime day has wrapped up the only tangible thing left is those precious memories… in the way of photographs.
Please, please, please folks… Choose wisely.
So how do you choose your photographer? is it their poses.. are they highly posed or more prompt based? Is it their editing style that you initially were taken by, is it the way they do night shots after dark with their couples? First off, I always suggest you start with an email, write them and ask about their availability for your wedding day. Ask about their packages and make sure they are within your budget. If they are not that’s ok. You can always write them back and let them know your budget.. ask if there is anything they can do for you that falls in your budget, and if not perhaps they can recommend someone with a similar style who may be having a sale or offer photography services for your budget. I am a big believer that there is a great photographer for every budget. I have (whenever possible) accommodated folks and have done what I can to reduce my packages to meet my potential clients budgets. Sometimes that just can’t be done, and that’s ok too.
Ask yourself how does the photographer engage with their audience.. what does this tell you about their personality, their character, their humour… does it feel like it will match you and your fiances personality style? Do they have reviews on their business page? (real talk- the only people who turn off reviews have something to hide) Do they seem like they come with an ego or do they seem to be easy going? Can you see different lighting conditions in their photos? ( ie bright and sunny, rainy, snowy, darker venues, maybe this includes night photos) are they adaptable to changing lighting conditions or are they only showing wedding photos with perfect lighting conditions (real talk… we only show our verrrrrrry best work online) Do you see yourself represented in their portfolio? Perhaps you are a same sex couple, or you’re a plus sized bride or groom. Do you see people that look and feel like you represented in their work? Maybe youre a mixed race couple, do they have photography examples with different skin tones? Is their language inclusive? (ahem, non gendered wedding contracts)
Once you have this figured out and have narrowed it down to your top 3 photographers reach out to them, let them know that they are in your top 3 choices for wedding photography and you would love to meet up in person with them, again double check they have this date available (things change and they may have booked this date since you last spoke with them) Ask for an in person consultation… Skype will work just fine for out of town clients or photographers.
You do not have to book with the photographer on the spot, this is a meet and greet… for both of you, a chance to see if you will be a good fit… for each other. Use this as a way to feel them out (not literally, that may be strange.. but energetically for lack of a better word) See if you “click” (Hah.. see what I did there) I truly believe it is equally as important to really love your wedding photographers portfolio as much as you love THEM! Most people don’t realize this but chances are you will spend more time on your wedding day with your wedding photographer than almost anyone else, its imperative that you feel comfortable with them and in front of their camera as how relaxed and at ease you are will totally come out in your photos. Also, you should know that your photographer is (hopefully) doing the same thing…. feeling you out, making sure that they can tell your love story in the best way they know how, making sure your personalities suit each other. When I first started photography I said yes to every single wedding inquiry I got because I was just so darn happy that I got one.. Now I am more selective, I only shoot weddings I really feel connected to. I would rather turn a potential client down than to not do them justice with their photos. Annnnnd lets be honest, weddings can be stressful enough. I want to really connect with my clients and look forward to documenting their day so I am a bit choosey on who I take on as clients.
So go.. meet.. drink a beverage.. chat.. look at some of their work. Perhaps they have shot a wedding at the venue you are using if so you can ask to see that gallery. If not that’s not a big deal. We can typically adapt to shooting at new places fairly easily. I always suggest seeing 3 weddings, three full weddings.. from getting ready, to later in the evening when its darker… do these images speak to you? Do you see consistency in their images online and in real life? Did they tell the story of the couples wedding day? Did you love their editing style?
Ask them some important questions (more on that in our next blog) then go meet the 2 others you have short listed and do the same… chat it over with your partner.
Do you keep coming back to one photographer? Do you keep coming back to a certain set of photos? Do you feel you vibe with one better than the other? At the end of the day you should really feel it.. trust your gutt! If you still don’t feel it perhaps you can meet with one more!
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post important questions to ask your wedding photographer before you book them!
Anything else you think we should know, or add to this blog post feel free to leave it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading,