How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Wedding, Wedding planning, Wedding Wednesday

Mar 11, 2020

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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

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How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Photography is a big part of the wedding day investment, so you want a photographer who is willing to invest in you. When the day is over you’ll have your best friend as your spouse, lots of fun memories and your pictures to always tell the story of your day.  Knowing  how to choose a wedding photographer, when you’ve never planned a wedding before can be hard.  Let’s  look at a few key things to consider when you’re looking at choosing a wedding photographer

 

What’s your Style?

Romantic summer wedding details photo by Simply Seeking Photography

 

What style of wedding photos capture your eye and draw you in?  Do you like classic photos, light & airy, bold & vibrant or do you prefer a more dark and moody style?  Talking to friends and family to hear their experiences and recommendations is a good place to start when choosing any wedding vendor, be sure to look at the images from any photographer they’re recommending.  Look at websites and social media pages of potential photographers.   This will give you an idea of the general style/look of their photos and what you should be able expect in the look of your own photos with them.

When you meet with a potential photographer, don’t hesitate to ask to see more of their work, they will have their very best work displayed on their website.  A sample album or wedding gallery will show you more than a blog post.   This will allow you to determine if you are  pleased with the consistency and quality of their work over a wide array of photos?

Choose a Wedding Photographer you’re Comfortable with

Magical Winter Wedding photo by Simply Seeking Photography

This is so important!  Make sure you hire a photographer you’re comfortable with.  As the bride especially, and also as the couple, you’ll be with your photographer nearly all day on your wedding day.  You want someone you’re comfortable with and enjoy.   The wedding day, can be stressful and it’s definitely a high emotion day.   A photographer’s personality that sets you on edge in the interview, will only increase the stress on your wedding day.  Having a photographer you’re comfortable with and feel you can trust will help you relax enjoy the day more.   As well as, help things run more smoothly.  Your comfort level with your photographer is a very personal decision, so trust your instincts here.

Liking both the photographer’s work and personality are important.  No matter how much you like a photographers work, if the personality isn’t a good match to yours it probably isn’t an ideal match.  In contrast, not matter how much you like a photographer, if you don’t like their work, you probably won’t be happy with your photos in the end.

The example that comes to my mind first is, I would never be a good match for someone who likes dark and moody photography.   Most photographers have spent years perfecting their style, both in editing and the way they capture images.  Expecting something different than the style of work you have seen by them, will only end in frustration for both you and the photographer.

Experience

This sweet couple entrusted their wedding to me, as my very first wedding!  I cannot thank them enough!!!

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Ask about the experience of the photographers  you’re considering. Experience in terms of both general photography and in photographing weddings specifically.    Experience in shooting is great; however, experience in being the leader shooter at weddings is key.  So much happens during the wedding day!  There are numerous key elements to capture, and different types of shooting required throughout the different parts of the day.  It’s important your photographer know, not just the technical aspects of the camera, but how to build trust and capture a wedding day efficiently and effectively.

When I photographed my first wedding, I was the lead shooter.   I’ve actually been a second shooter for a wedding.  I had taken portraits for the bride’s family and they asked me to capture their daughter’s wedding day.  I was fully transparent about my lack of experience and, they still wanted me.  Big warm fuzzies and huge case of nerves!  This was their one and only wedding day they were entrusting to me! 🙂  So I gave them a first wedding price and made it my job to learn everything I could about shooting a wedding between the time they hired me and the wedding day.

Today, I’m nearing the end of my 7th year in business and 4th  year of shooting weddings.  After shooting that first wedding I was absolutely hooked!  I love nearly everything about shooting weddings.  The details, seeing the relationships between the bride and groom and their family and friends, the sweet moments of a first look and bridal portraits…  So in addition to shooting weddings, I have invested in much more in-depth wedding photography education from one of the best wedding photographers in the country.  This education has helped me grow both is image style and quality, and also in how I serve my couples.

 

What’s Included in the Wedding Photography package?

One of my all time favorite engagement photos!

 

What is included in the wedding package.  Ask for specifics including:

  • Is an engagement session included?
  • length of wedding day coverage?
  • is additional coverage available and what is the price?
  • resolution and number of images delivered?
  • are printing rights included?

During an interview with a potential couple, I was asked if I limit the number of images I will edit or deliver.  I’ve never even considered this, so I was shocked to learn that some photographers do limit the number of images they edit and/or deliver from a wedding day.   This is a great question to clarify as you are choosing your wedding photographer.

 

Image delivery

Images can be delivered in a multitude of ways: prints, CD, USB drive, online gallery.  Regardless of  image delivery system,   it’s important to make sure you will have printing rights and full high-resolution images.  Low resolution or images sized for social media will look great on Instagram, but won’t print well to hang in your new home. If you’re images are being delivered strictly through an online gallery, ask how long you will have access to the gallery.

 

Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum wedding photo by Simply Seeking Photography

 

Turnaround time

How soon after the wedding you can expect your images to be delivered?   As a guideline, four to six weeks is pretty typical time frame for wedding photography.

 

Contract and Payments

Does the photographer provide a contract? This is important to protect both you and the photographer.  Most contracts cover emergency situations, cancellations and expectations of several areas for example:

  • What type of deposit is required to reserve your date?
  • What type of payment plan is expected?
  • How are payments to be made?

This is a good place to talk about that all important budget. Is your dream photographer in your budget?  If not, look at your list of priorities.  Is there another area that you could save in to be able to hire your dream photographer while maintaining your overall budget?   When Joe and I  got married we invested in our rings and our photos.  To us, those were the things that were most important and the things that were going to last, along with our love, of course!  Together with your future spouse, you’ll need to decide what is most important to you.

 

Additional Fees

Ask about additional fees that may be charged.  If you’re photographer isn’t local, expect some type of travel fee.  Some photographers my charge extra for holiday coverage.

 

What is the Photographer’s Approach to Wedding Photography?

I think it’s important to understand a photographers approach to wedding photography, before you hire them.  Some questions to help you gain an understanding of a photographer’s approach to weddings are:

  • What is your shooting style?
  • Can I request certain images be taken?
  • How will you know what images are most important to me to be captured on the wedding day?

These questions should be a good starting point to help you gauge the photographers approach to the process.

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

 

Your wedding day!

Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision.  Your wedding photos will preserve the memories long after your wedding day and tell your love story for generations to come.  It’s well worth taking the time to research and contact different photographers to determine which is the best fit for you as a couple.  Once you have put in the work, you can relax and trust in your photographer to capture all the special moments on your wedding day.

 

Recently engaged?  Check out wedding planning tips here:  Top 5 Things to do When you Get Engaged   and  The Next Steps: What to do After You Get Engaged

To learn more about the Simply Seeking Photography wedding experience click here:  The Wedding Experience 

blessings,

Julie

 

Venue | Orchard Ridge Country Club

Florist | R. Geary Floral Design

Dress | David’s Bridal

Tuxes | Louie’s Tux Shop

Rings | Bradley Gough Diamonds

Bride’s bracelet | Esty -EmmieMaeBridal

Bride’s shoes | TOMS

Event Coordinator |All in the Details

Model | Haley Geiger

Bridal Gown | Blush Beauty and Bridal Boutique

Florals | Bridal Blooms

Hair & Make-up  |Something Blue Stylists

 Venue | Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum

Wedding Gown  |  One Fine Day 

Florals | TL Beck Floral Design Studio

Wedding Dress | Jessica’s on Main

Hair & Make-up | Lexi Rae Hair Studio

Groom’s attire | Macy’s

Ties Groom  | Men’s Warehouse

Rings | Vierk’s Fine Jewelry

Bride’s ring | Kay Jewelers

Bow Ties | JC Penney

Make-up  |  Christa Rife 

 

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