Congratulations! You've just gotten engaged, and I'm sure your mind is racing with 1001 ideas for your Wedding Day. There is so many vendors to choose from these days and as a recent bride myself, I can relate with the feeling of being overwhelmed with choice. As a Photographer, I had long chosen my Wedding Photographer before I was even engaged. For many couples however, choosing a photographer isn't something they think about until the last minute.
When the time comes to choose one it can be extremely overwhelming to go through us all to pick which one is going to be right for you.
A lot of couples end up choosing whoever their friend or family member chose and word of mouth can really help with your decision. If your still unsure about which Photographer you want to choose for your day, i've put together a few little tips that can help make the process a little less stressful and help you feel at ease that your day will be captured how you envision it.
1. Start with word of mouth but don't settle
So your cousin got married recently and LOVED her photographer and tells you, you HAVE to use them because they are just so great!
Thats a great recommendation to start with.
Did you attend the Wedding? Do you remember seeing the photographer in action? How did you find their approach to the day? Have you seen the finished images, and what was your true opinion?
These are some important questions to ask yourself when you go with a recommendation from a friend or family member. If you genuinely loved the images from their wedding and you can picture yourself in them, hanging on your wall and not cringing back on them in 10, 20, 50 years then I'd say you have a solid start to choosing your photographer.
However don't settle, if you don't feel 100% comfortable with their photographic style. All photographers approach weddings differently so what may have worked for another couple, might not suit you and your partner. If thats the case, keep looking.
2. Have a budget in mind, and be realistic
You know the saying, "You get what you pay for", well its very true when it comes to Wedding Photography.
If you want good quality images from your day expect to pay at least $1500 upwards. It might seem expensive but thats just the reality of it.
If you find an amazing, out of this world photographer who you love and want to photograph your wedding, respect their prices.
I know it might seem like a profession where you can barter a cheaper price, but its really not. Photographers work hard on pricing themselves and if you want a Photographer who charges $10,000 for a wedding but you can only afford $2000 thats ok, but don't ask them to do it for you at a cheaper price.
Instead a great idea would be to say "I love your style, but unfortunately you are out of our budget, can you recommend anyone who could fit our budget of $X ?"
Photographers know other photographers and they will most likely be happy to point you in the right direction or alternatively they may offer to work within your budget, but don't expect them too.
Its far more polite than saying "We can' only afford $X, so can you cut us a cheaper deal?"
There's no shame in having a small budget, just be real about it. It will make your search much, much easier in finding the perfect photographer for your day.
3. Compile a list of whats important to you
Do you want lots of candid photos and hate posing? Do you want to feel like a magazine model on the day? Do you like light and bright images or images with lots of depth and shadow and mood? Do you want every small detail of the day captured or just the bridal party and guests?
If you write a list of whats important to you, then you can start searching photographers and looking at their galleries to see what their style is. Every photographer is different! But once you decide on a few key points it will make it a lot easier to start differentiating between which photographers styles you like and which you don't.
Which will lead to the next step
4. Pick 3-5 Photographers you like and follow them on social media
Photographers usually use social media ALOT.
We are constantly updating and shooting new things and our social media will most likely be more up to date than our website.
So follow them and get a feel for their style, and what they are doing. It will give you a good insight into their work style and keep you up to date with anything they might be doing (eg promotions, competitions, sales etc)
5. Make enquiries and ask to meet them
Once you have a few solid choices, send out your enquiries, find out if they are available for your wedding date, their price, what they offer and ask to meet with them.
Most photographers insist on meeting the couple first. If they don't want to meet with you, move on! Even if you love their work, if they can't set up time to meet with you then you don't want to hire them. Find a photographer who will be invested in your day from start to finish.
Have a list of questions ready to ask them and be open about your expectations. By this point, choosing your photographer will become a mutual agreement, your Photographer will also choose you.
If a Photographer tells you they don't think they can achieve what your asking, be courteous and trust them. I'm sure they will point you in the right direction of someone who can. Don't take it personally, as I have said, all photographers have a different style and WE know what we can and cannot do.
We want you to completely love your images, so its only fair to give you the option to choose someone else if we can't fit into your requirements.
6. Once you have chosen your photographer, book an engagement session
Booking an engagement session, is highly recommended these days from Photographers. Its give us all a chance to work together in a relaxed environment. During an engagement session we can discuss posing and what you feel comfortable with.
Its a great time to get to know each other better and build a relationship before the Wedding Day.
Its also a good chance (if possible) to go with your photographer to where your actual wedding photos will take place and together you can choose locations and discuss ideas for the day.
As a Wedding Photographer I offer complimentary engagement sessions with all my Wedding Day Collections and its been such a great way to build relationships with my clients.
Have you chosen your Wedding Photographer yet? What are some tips you have for couples on choosing their Photographer? If you haven't yet chosen your Wedding Photographer and are interested in hearing more about what I have to offer in my Wedding Day Coverage, i'd love to hear from you Until next time