Choosing a wedding photographer is no easy task - your wedding is such a meaningful day to you and your family, filled to the brim with beautiful moments you want to savor for a lifetime. Who do you trust to document these precious and highly personal moments Are you going to hire the first photographer google gives you? The friend who snaps photos as a hobby?
Now, I’m not here to make you more stressed about choosing the right wedding photographer and leave a “book me now” slogan. That is far from what my goal is for this article. I want to help and give you direction in how to choose the right photographer for you.
Some things to consider as you search the depths of family referrals and google searches...
1) Budget. Having at least a loose budget can be very helpful when considering a wedding photographer (and planning a wedding in general). A budget will keep you from spending your yearly paycheck on a wedding, but also will prove beneficial as you cull through numerous photographers. Considering photographers can be stressful enough so minimize that stress by realistically considering what you are willing to invest and only target photographers within that criteria.
2) Look at the portfolio. Okay, stick with me on this one. You're probably about to exit out of this tab right now with how obvious and unhelpful this advice seems... but hear me out. It is so important to really look at the portfolio on a photographer's website. You have no idea how much time photographers invest in intentionally picking and choosing what photos they think represent their work. (It's quite the stressful process. Many cups of tea and chocolate zucchini muffins are needed for portfolio-building day, hah!) So if you aren't in love with the photos represented in the photographer's portfolio, chances are you won't be satisfied with your wedding photos. It's easy to form the thought: "I'm not absolutely in love with this photographer's photos but they're really inexpensive and I'll just ask for the unedited photos or give them an extensive shotlist to make sure I get what I want". This is a big no-no. Why? Keep reading.
3) Look beyond the photos. Photographers leave a part of themselves in their work (photography is, after all, capturing what you see through the unique perspective you have on life, is it not?), so if you're not satisfied with the photos on their website, chances are you and the photographer will have a very unsatisfactory experience. This is why being able to connect with the person behind the camera is so important. Does their personality mesh with yours well? Would you be happy spending 8+ hrs on your wedding day with this individual? What about the constant wave of communication for 6+ months leading up to the wedding? Connecting with your photographer makes the process and experience as a whole much more rewarding than finding someone who merely fit a budget or had a camera. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who felt more like an old friend than a stranger? I mean, these are your cherished memories from your wedding we’re talking about, right?
When connecting with a photographer happens, trust is bound to follow, making it a win-win situation. Trust is a vital piece of the puzzle. When a bride truly trusts her photographer it not only gives her peace of mind and one less thing to worry about, but it also allows the photographer freedom to do what they do best - document a special day in a way none other can.