Finding a Wedding Photographer that You Can Love and Trust to Capture Your Wedding Day
While finding a wedding photographer seems as simple as a Google search, there is so much more to the process of finding a reliable and trustworthy wedding photographer. Trust me, you don’t want to hire just anyone to photograph your wedding. A wedding photographer will spend almost 100% of your wedding day by your side, so you’ll want to hire someone you love to be around! When you’re selecting your wedding photographer, of course, you should love their photographs. But, you should also love them as a person! If your personalities clash or you have different communication styles, your wedding day may not go as smoothly as you’d like. So today in this blog, I’ve rounded up 5 ways to help you find a wedding photographer that you can love and trust to capture your dream wedding day!
Ask your friends, family, and social network for wedding photographer recommendations.
A personal recommendation from a friend, family member, or those that follow you on social media just might be the most helpful and reliable suggestion. If you’ve been a bridesmaid, groomsman, or some part of the wedding party in a friend’s wedding and loved their wedding photographs, I encourage you to ask your friend about their experience with the photographer. If you receive a wedding photographer recommendation from someone you know, you should ask the person recommending some of the questions below, before you inquire with the photographer.
- Was the photographer’s communication clear from the start to the finish?
- Did the photographer meet all of the deadlines set in place?
- Did anything happen on the day of the wedding that you were unhappy with?
- Was the photographer respectful of the guests?
Choose what photography style aligns with your preferences.
I recently shared a blog post on wedding photography styles, so if you’re currently in the process of figuring out what you prefer, head on over here to read it! Whether you prefer light and airy, dark and moody, traditional wedding photography, or editorial wedding photography, it’s important to narrow down your wedding photographer choices by style, before you even consider them.
As a wedding photographer myself, I’ll share a tip for you! I would encourage you not to reach out to a wedding photographer and ask them if they can accommodate your preferred style of wedding photography if it’s not the style they specialize in. We spend years and years perfecting our craft, our style, and our editing skills. If a photographer that specializes in light and airy photography agrees to accommodate a dark and moody request, I’d be highly suspicious that they’re simply in it for the payment… Not because they can offer what you want.
Schedule an introductory meeting with the wedding photographer(s) that you’re considering.
Whether it’s a virtual Zoom meeting, a phone call, or even a coffee shop meetup, I highly recommend scheduling an introductory call with the wedding photographer(s) you’re considering booking for your wedding day. Not only does this time allow you to get to know the photographer’s personality (and vice versa), but you can discuss all of the details in terms of what it is you’re looking for. I’ve included a few questions below that you should absolutely discuss with your photographer(s) upon meeting them.
- First and foremost, do they meet your preferred photography style? If not, you should not waste time meeting with them.
- Secondly, do they have your preferred date available, and are they willing to travel (if needed) to the location where your wedding venue is?
- What does their wedding photography package cost look like? Is it within your budget? What does the package include? Are all of your wants going to be met?
- Get to know the photographer. What does their ideal wedding day look like? Do they prefer to work with a wedding planner?
- What does the contract look like in terms of working with this photographer?
- Ask for references, if you’d like. Similar to a job interview, it’s important to get to know how a photographer is perceived by previous couples or how this wedding photographer works with the staff at venues, other videographers and wedding vendors, etc.
Schedule a photoshoot with your preferred photographer as a test run. This can be an engagement photoshoot, bridal portrait, couples photoshoot, or even a mini session if they offer them.
Many times, wedding photographers will include an engagement photo shoot in their wedding photography package. If you’re unsure whether this is the wedding photographer you want to proceed with and you’re hoping to see them in action, schedule a ‘test run’ photoshoot with this photographer. While it will be an additional cost, it will absolutely be worth it in the end. You don’t want to shoot with your wedding photographer for the first time on your wedding day. Otherwise, it feels like a first date! Awkward, and introductory, and sometimes, everyone can be a bit shy. You want to feel as comfortable and confident on your wedding day, and knowing your photographer well will help this.
Get the details!
If you’re ready to sign the contract with a wedding photographer, congratulations! As a Seattle-based wedding photographer myself, I can promise you we get just as excited when we book a new wedding. My true passion lies in capturing memories for the couple I’m working for, and I love nothing more than photographing your love story. Before you sign your contract, make sure you understand everything within the contract. From content usage rights to cost, timeline and deadlines, photographer rights (typically this refers to things like breaks throughout the day, meals being served for the photographer, etc.), and all that’s included in the deliverables. If everyone is on the same page, you and your wedding photographer will feel confident working together.
There’s plenty that goes into booking a wedding photographer, but if you’re able to cover the 5 steps above you should be in a good place. I promise you, wedding photographers are not intimidating at all, we just like to see if we’re a good fit! I always book calls with my couples to make sure we have similar vibes. Otherwise, it’s a lose/lose situation for both parties involved. I hope these 5 steps helped you throughout the process of booking a wedding photographer! It’s truly one of the most important – and exciting – parts of wedding planning, in my eyes at least! 😉