NUMBER ONE. If you have been engaged for less than 48 hours, take a deep breath and save this post for later and go enjoy your time being excited and happy to spend the rest of your life with your person.
Alright, now that we’ve got that covered, I’m guessing you’re here because you are ready to find that perfect photographer to capture your love story and the memories of your special day. I know it’s a big decision and you want to ensure you get the perfect person, well here are a few steps to help you decide who to choose!
- Understand what you’re looking for in a photographer. What kind of editing styles do you like? Look through someone’s wedding pictures on instagram and see what you’re drawn to – more documentary, more posed images? Darker or lighter? Make a list of your top 5!
- Decide your priorities and the wedding budget and then figure out where a photographer fits into that. Have a candid conversation with each other and make sure your photographer budget makes sense to what your priorities look like for the day.
- When looking for a photographer, ask your friends! It’s always good to get advice from the people you love and trust, especially if you loved their wedding pictures! They can help you understand the process more and they’ll have a better insight into how the photographer works on a wedding day.
- Hashtags! Instagram is the spot for photographers and a great way to see a lot of options is to #theplaceyouregettingmarried or #thecityyouregettingmarriedweddingphotogarpher or #thestateyouliveinweddingphotographer that way you can see a lot of different options and understand who is out there!
- A great majority of photographers LOVE TO TRAVEL. If you find someone you love that isn’t necessarily in your area, still reach out and see what their pricing/travel fees are! Most photographers love to make things like this happen (:
- When you are filling out a contact form remember to include your date, if you don’t have a date yet – just include the year you’re thinking with the season and what kinds of days you’re open to (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, just Saturdays, etc…)
- Now it’s the heart stuff: you’re actually communicating with a real human photographer. First of all, see how they are responding to you – are they wanting to learn more about you two as a couple? Do they seem personable? Are they just sending over pricing and a generic email with no interest in you guys as humans? Take a note of that from the beginning and proceed with caution or excitement!
- Request a time to chat on the phone or video call! See how you interact with them outside of just email. Do you think that they’d be a good fit for you and your future spouse?
- Ask them about a typical wedding day for them and see if their answer matches what you want! Do they seem more worried about their own portfolio and agenda, or are they more excited about hearing about your day and what you want out of it?
- If you want to, ask to see a full gallery! Totally a standard practice and all professional photographers should have no problem sending over galleries for you to look through. Remember – not every wedding day is the same and if you ask to see a gallery keep in mind that the couple who got married might have different priorities and expectations that you do! It’s important to remember when looking at galleries that your day will not look exactly like that specific wedding day. Instead, look at the overall day picture, candids vs. portraits, the editing style, and see if it matches what you are looking for. If the photographer is being weird about sending these your way, I would be wary to hire them for your wedding.
- Ask about their process – how do you receive files, how long does it usually take? These answers can range depending on the photographer and their process afterward your wedding.
- CONTRACTS. Always have a contract. I don’t care if your cousin’s best friend is doing the wedding – ensure you have one because it protects you and it protects the photographer. Also, read the contract before you sign to ensure you are on the same page! This is true with any vendor – contracts are necessary.
- They are here to help! Use them as a resource throughout the wedding process. Your photographer can be a great sounding board when you are deciding on things like, time of your ceremony, lighting, etc…USE THEM! They would absolutely love to help you make big decisions and it can be a stress relief to have someone on your team (:
- Communicate with them about your people! Let them in on any family or friend drama that would help them navigate the day even better. It’s great to tell them these things so they won’t say anything that might unintentionally upset someone.
- Last thing. Understand that pictures are important, but the most important part of your whole wedding day is that you’re marrying your spouse. That is the perspective we want to keep through this process (:
Wanting to see if I might be a good fit? I’d absolutely love to here from you here