Choosing your wedding photographer is arguably one of the most important choices you will make in regards to your wedding. They will be capturing the images that will be your primary memory of the day after it's over, and they're one of the vendors that you actually work close with on the wedding day itself. If you don't enjoy their photography style or their personality, then it will be much harder for you to enjoy your wedding day both in the moment and when you look back on it through the images.
I know that a large photography budget isn't possible for every bride, but today I wanted to round up some essential tips for choosing a wedding photographer that will work well for you. The best part is that these tips can be applied to any wedding budget, you just may have to look harder in some instances!
Determine Your Budget.
I think this is the most important place to start because I have had friends that have fallen in love with a photographer out of their price range and ended up stressed and in tears because they couldn't figure out how to make it work. Save yourself the heartache by determining your budget first and only exploring portfolios that are in your price range.
To determine your budget, you should first figure out what people in your area have been spending. Wedding forums or your married friends are great places to start. Photography costs surprise some people, so knowing a reasonable price range to budget within will greatly lessen your potential headaches.
Remember, it's not a bargain if you hate your wedding photos.
The photographer doesn't list their price on their website? Look at enough of their work to determine if you like their style enough to inquire about the price. But don't fall in love until you have your answer! Once you have your answer, then you can really dig deep and decide if they really are who you want to hire.
Check out their website and review their work.
Does their style resonate with you? There are many different styles of photography, so make sure the style resonates with you and how you want your day captured.
Reach out to them. See if your personalities mesh.
I'm not saying you need to become besties with your photographer, but you will be spending a large part of your wedding day with them around so it's important that they make you comfortable. If their personality is stressful for you pre-wedding day, it's very likely that they will be even more stressful for you on your wedding day.
Ask to see a couple of their complete wedding albums.
This will give you a fuller picture than their highlight posts. It will also help you know what to expect from types of images to how many images you can expect.
Don't be afraid to ask for reviews or see if you can speak to one of their past clients.
They should have testimonials listed on their website, but don't be afraid to ask them for more, check around online, or ask if you can email one of their past clients regarding a specific question you have about them. They should be willing to help you in this area.
Confirm Who Will be Photographing Your Day.
If you are partnering with a larger photo studio/business you will definitely want to ask which photographer will be in charge of your wedding day. Once you've found out who it is, ask to see specific examples of this shooter's work. The album you fell in love with might be the work of a similar, yet different, photographer.
If you fall in love with a photographer out of your budget, look at their packages and see if by removing things like albums you can bring the price down.
Now, I'll be honest, we didn't get a wedding album when Michael and I got married. And I have yet to design an album like I keep intending to. It just keeps getting pushed aside. So I really recommend getting on from your photographer if they offer them, even though it does cost a bit more. However, if money is really an issue, see if they'll be willing to cut out some of these extras from their packages so that you can afford to hire them. They may, or they may not. There's no harm in asking.
Understand Your printing rights.
Some photographers sell the rights to print the photos separately. Understand what you're getting for your package and what rights you will have in regards to the images later.
What other factors do you think should go in to choosing your wedding photographer?
P.S. Were these tips helpful for you? If so, you may be interested in tomorrow's newsletter. We're talking about the reasons why you really should get engagement photos taken (especially by the same photographer doing your wedding) because even though it might cost a bit more, it could save you a lot of heartache.