January 26, 2021
Choosing a wedding photographer is an important part of the wedding planning process. In fact, in my opinion, it’s one of the MOST important parts. Your photographer isn’t just another vendor, they are the person who will be witnessing and capturing some of the most important moments in your love story. Choosing the perfect photographer sets the groundwork for making sure your memories are preserved beautifully but also has a huge impact on how your day runs and how you feel when look back on your photos. Do not make the decision lightly and be sure to consider a few key factors.
First, decide what photography style you prefer. What look and feel do you want your photos to have? As a photographer, I can say that we all have our own unique style. In shooting, in editing, in posing. There is a lot that goes into how we produce the final product and it should be consistent. While no two sessions or weddings are going to look exactly the same, you should be able to look at a photographer’s work, across the board, and have a pretty good idea of what your own photos will look like. Make sure that when you look at a photographer’s work, you can envision own photos looking similar. Choose a few qualities that you love in photos and inquire with photographers that match that vision.
Make your decision based on more than budget. Your wedding budget is important and sometimes there is just not a lot of wiggle room but it should never be the only thing you consider when choosing a photographer. Unlike a lot of other vendors, who are providing a product, photographers are also providing a service and so much of what you get is the photographer themselves. Get to know them, personally. Consider what sets them apart, how they run their business and what they value most in their client experience. Photography is a very personal service. We pour so much of ourselves into our work and into our couples. And yes, it is an investment. A quality photographer will usually come with a higher price tag but there is so much that goes into loving and serving clients. It’s so important to go with someone that you feel a connection with and mesh well with both professionally and personally. A photographer may produce beautiful photos but if they did not make you feel comfortable and at ease during your time together, that is likely what you will remember every time you look at those pictures.
And finally, be proactive. Photographers often book popular dates more than a year in advance! While a date and a venue should be the first things you solidify, your photographer should be a close second. If you are dead set on a particular photographer and you know they book far in advance, it’s not a terrible idea to get a feel for their availability even before setting your date. Most photographers also book on a first come, first serve basis with a retainer and contract requirement, so be sure and ask about their booking process to secure your date as soon as you are ready to make the commitment.
I sat in a group meetup once and the woman speaking, read a quote. “You are not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s ok!” That has always stuck with me, especially as I have grown this business. I cannot serve everyone. I certainly cannot serve everyone well. And I don’t need to. I will never be a fit for some people, professionally, personally, style wise, financially… but I am a fit for MY people. There is a perfect fit out there for you and it might be different for every couple. Maybe I’m it for you, but if I’m not, that’s ok too. The important thing is that you know how to find it for yourself. And when you do, I think you will know and I think it will make all the difference.