5 Tips to Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer
Your Instagram feed is quickly turning into a wedding photographer showcase, your Pinterest is overflowing with inspiration and ideas, and your head is starting to spin. There are so many great wedding photographers, how can you possibly narrow it down, let alone settle on just one person to capture the most important day of your life?
I know how overwhelming it must be! There are lots of great wedding photographers out there, and between finding ones whose style you like, looking through their images, and asking for information on their packages and prices… it’s a lot of work!
When you’re deciding which wedding photographer is going to be right for you and your special day, there are a few key things you want to focus on. It can be easy to get dazzled by their beautiful work and just say “yes” but really, you want to carefully weigh this decision. Here are 5 tips to confidently find your dream wedding photographer without going crazy in the process!
Read Reviews and References
This one might be obvious, but you want to spend a little bit of time on this step. Look beyond just the Facebook reviews, and see if there are reviews for them elsewhere by typing their name into Google and digging around a bit.
You could even ask them for the name of a past client. It’s not weird; you want to know you’re choosing the right person and making a smart investment. Send the past client an email or a message on Facebook and ask them how their experience was with the photographer. Were they comfortable with them, and did they feel all of the promises that were made were ultimately fulfilled? Would they book the photographer again if they had the chance?
Make Sure You “Click” With Them (Sorry)
Personality isn’t the most important thing when it comes to your wedding photographer, but they should be able to fit in well with your guests and your event, and make people feel at ease and not uncomfortable. You can usually tell just from interacting with them online or over the phone whether it’s going to be a good fit.
Don’t feel limited by your zip code, either. You may not find someone you like locally, and that’s okay. It’s not that uncommon for a couple to pay a non-local photographer’s travel costs so they can shoot their wedding because they like their work that much. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and if you are going to display your photos like a work of art, spending a few hundred more isn’t a crazy thing to do at all.
Style AND Substance
The ideal wedding photographer for you will be the one that has a great balance of style and substance. Photography trends come and go, and even if you have your heart set on a certain style, you also want a timeless piece of art that you can display for decades. Can your photographer offer both?
Look through their galleries, and see if they’ve shot in the style you prefer. More importantly, make sure they’re consistently great at shooting in that style. See if they are able to switch between more styled shots and more classic shots. You will want a mix of both, so you’ll want a photographer that can seamlessly transition… but you don’t want a jack of all trades (master of none).
Let Your Guests Be Guests
So often, brides will choose a friend or family member to shoot their wedding. Even if they are the best wedding photographer you know, I would caution against this. Your guests should be able to be your guests, and they shouldn’t have to worry about getting the perfect shot or missing a key moment.
Sometimes, couples will forgo a photographer for the reception and hand out disposable cameras to their guests instead. This can result in some fun shots (for better or worse) but those cameras shoot such poor quality images that they’re really not good for much more than a laugh once you get them developed. You’ll end up throwing them in a box and maybe pull them out every few years to look at them, but they won’t be keepsakes and they definitely won’t be heirlooms!
Invest in Great Photography
At the end of the day, wedding photography is probably not where you’re going to want to pinch a few pennies. You get what you pay for, and when you go the inexpensive route with photography, you may end up with some big time regrets that will last a lifetime.
Here’s what I think. If the cake is not the absolute best or the beer is a little watered down, it’s no biggie. But your wedding photos last forever, and if they’re disappointing, they’ll be disappointing every time you look at them. It’s worth spending a little more for photos you love. Remember, it’s an investment!