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
Hey, gorgeous! You planning a wedding?? Can I help?
I love talking about weddings, even after photographing them for over 10 years! Let's start with 3 considerations when selecting your wedding photographer. These are important. Ready??
But first, Stephanie + Dakota say hello! Ok, fine, I (Erica) am actually the one saying hello, but if they were here, I know they would, too! We work with the sweetest couples + our connection is one of the best parts of my job! Ok, for real…wedding planning.
I remember from our wedding planning days, the transition from
‘YEAY, WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!’ TO ‘WAIT…I HAVE A WHOLE WEDDING TO PLAN!’
Hopefully this guide to selecting a wedding photographer reduces that wedding-overwhelm at least a little. 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?
First, you’ll want to gather names. Ask everyone – your venue, coworkers, family, friends. You’re looking for people who LOVED their photographer. Search your venue or wedding style online. Check out their portfolios online, scroll instagram, and hit up WeddingWire for reviews.
CREATE A LIST OF 5-10 PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU’RE DRAWN TO. THEN LOOK AT THESE 3 THINGS:
There are so many styles out there – light and airy, dark and moody, highly styled, photojournalistic, and so on.
Which edit style speaks to you?
Are you interested in high posing, no posing, or somewhere in between?
Are details important?
Are the photographer’s images consistent?
If 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 a photographer’s images 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 appreciated the darker “dramatic” style, but it wasn’t what she pictured for her bright summer-in-the-garden wedding. Photographer style should match your vision for the day.
HINT: It doesn’t happen too often, but we sometimes talk with couples who haven’t narrowed in on 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 want a strictly photojournalistic style with zero posing/interaction, your wedding photographer will be have a huge impact on your day. FOR REALS. They’ll be there while you’re nakey + getting into your gown, while you wait for your first look and ceremony with butterflies in your belly, and they’ll be directing your family & wedding party for portraits.
It is SO important that you really like the person behind the camera, and that they share the same goals! They’ll lower (or raise!) your stress, keep your wedding on schedule (or throw it off!) and impact how much time you’ll be able to spend with each other and your favorite people. In addition to finding someone you like, make sure they can handle any concerns you may have. Family drama? Calm under pressure? Snarky, happy, organized, good with large crowds? You name it, its out there.
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.
#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 pictures of the details, or more logistically, offer say, a photo booth. I would say our difference is catching real moments really photogenically (connection/emotion/love). The kind where you’re like, this isn’t staged but its so beautifully natural. That’s us.
HINT: If this is important to you, look at the eyes of the subjects in a photographer’s portfolio. You’ll be able to tell if they’re posing or genuinely enjoying the moment, and if they’re comfortable…or not…in their eyes.
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! Woot woooot!
#3 UNIQUE DIFFERENCE
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 less than it actually is in your area. Boston + San Francisco are more expensive than the national average, for example.
Do your research and know what is realistic. Talk with your dream photographer about options. There’s a clear bias here of course, but your wedding pictures are so important. Besides your spouse, its the one thing you’ll have after the day is over.
Was this helpful?? I hope so! Want more info on our services?