today’s love story:
The 3 most important decisions when selecting your wedding photographer (or any other vendor for that matter!)
and all the magical moments that made it
Let’s get into the three most important decisions couples should consider when they’re selecting their wedding photographer.
I remember from our wedding planning days, the transition from “yeay, we’re getting married!!” to “wait…I have to plan a whole wedding?! Where do I even start??” Hopefully this guide to selecting your wedding photographer helps reduce that wedding-overwhelm at least a little.
Remember, one thing at a time. Also, these guidelines will actually work for most of the major vendors you’ll select, with slight tweaks of course!
When it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, where do you start?
Ask everyone for names – your venue, coworkers, family & friends. You’re looking for people who LOVED their photographer. Check their portfolios online, scroll instagram, and hit up Google or Pinterest to create a list of 5-10 photographers you’re drawn to. Then, here’s what to look for:
There are so many styles out there – light and airy, dark and moody, highly sharpened “larger than life” and so on. The first thing to look for is that a photographer’s portfolio showcases a consistent style. If their style varies from picture to picture, it may be an indication that they haven’t really nailed down their look. You want to look at the photographer’s work and be able to imagine your wedding day like what you see in their portfolio.
Consider your day when you’re looking at style. I recently talked with a bride who was drawn to the darker “romantic” as she described it, style, but that wasn’t what she wanted for her bright summer-in-the-garden wedding. The style you choose should match your vision for the day.
It doesn’t happen too often, but we sometimes talk with couples who haven’t narrowed in to their preferred style. This can make it challenging to advise them on us or the other guy (we don’t try to book every couple – just the ones who are the right fit for us!) when such a large question mark is unanswered.
Unless you are interested in a strictly photojournalistic style with zero posing/interaction, your wedding photographer will be have a huge impact on your day. They’ll be there while you’re nakey, getting your gown on, there as you stand waiting for your first look or ceremony, with butterflies in your belly, and directing your family & wedding party for portraits. It is SO important that you really like the person behind the camera!
Your photographer will definitely impact your mood/stress/happiness. In addition to finding someone you like, make sure they can handle any concerns you may have. Outspoken aunt? Calm under pressure? Snarky, happy, organized, good with large crowds? Figure out the energy that you want to share space with…and then hug your photog! If hugging’s your thing, of course…which if you’re considering us, it probably is.
The best way to find out if you like your photographer, is to spend a little time getting to know them, either on the phone or in-person.
3. Unique Difference
Lastly, find the photographer’s unique difference and make sure its in line with what you’re looking for.
For some, it will be their highly-styled portraits…for others, its that they specialize in details shots, or offer a photo booth. For us, its catching realness photogenically (connection/emotion) in the little moments & in frame-worthy portraits. If this is important to you, look at the eyes of the subjects. You’ll be able to tell if their posing or genuinely enjoying the moment, and if they’re comfortable…or not.
We also specialize in both photography AND cinematic wedding videography, which is another big differentiator. These days, most couples want both, and booking both with one team makes your life easy AND saves you a bunch of money. 20% to be exact!
Speaking of money…
I didn’t get into budget here. Obviously this plays a big role in choosing an vendor for the day. There are a lot of good-intentioned wedding planning resources out there that may have you believe that wedding photography will be significantly less than it is in your area. Do your research and know what is realistic. And talk with your photographer about options. There’s a clear bias here of course, but your wedding pictures are so important. Besides your spouse, its really the one thing you’ll have after the day is done.