Finding the Right Wedding Photographer: Tips and Tricks
(photo of Becky and Brian. April 15, 2023 by Tom Keene, San Gabriel Mission Church)
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you want to make sure that every moment is captured perfectly. This is why choosing the right wedding photographer is crucial. A great wedding photographer will not only capture beautiful memories but will also help make your day stress-free and enjoyable. With so many photographers out there, finding the perfect one can seem overwhelming. But don't worry, we're here to help you find the right wedding photographer for your special day.
Start Your Search Early
The first step in finding the right wedding photographer is to start your search early. As soon as you have a date and venue booked, start researching photographers in your area. Popular photographers can book up quickly, so it's best to start your search at least 12 months before your wedding day. Since Covid, it seems to be a trend that couples are waiting to the last minute to find their photographer and other vendors. These can leave you with those that others would not hire since they are still available. Using a company with multiple photographers is the best best, especially if they are established.
Research and Compare
Once you have a list of potential photographers, it's time to do your research. Look at their portfolios and websites to get a sense of their style and the quality of their work. Make sure you like their style and that their work speaks to you. Also, read reviews and testimonials from their past clients to get an idea of their customer service and professionalism. Companies that hide their pricing are explain that each event is unique so your pricing is going to be unique is a sure fire way to find yourself paying more and more and more.
Meet with Potential Photographers
After you've narrowed down your list, it's time to meet with potential photographers. Set up a consultation to discuss your vision for your wedding day and to get a sense of their personality and working style. Tip, their reviews should give you a window of what they are like. Make sure you feel comfortable with them, as you'll be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding day. In today's busy world, meeting face to face has become less common. Phone calls and video chat are the new way to connect and for some email and text. Find what works best for you and expect your photographer to fulfill your needs with upfront and quick responses.
Ask for References
When you meet with potential photographers, ask for references from their past clients. Ask to see their most current projects. If it is months old, expect to wait months to see your images. This will give you an idea of their level of professionalism, reliability, and customer service.
Discuss Options and Pricing
Before you sign a contract, make sure you understand the photographer's pricing and other options. Ask about additional fees, such as travel costs, and what's included in their options. Make sure you know what you're getting for your money. For many, clever named packages are the expectations. But in the last 5 years, specific hourly rates and options to add or remove what is wanted is expected. Finding a photographer with a great package, that you need to add time to, remove albums, add engagement sessions or any other tweaking can be a bit mind numbing. Selecting exactly what you want and not paying for what you don't will save you time and not try your patience. It is also the best way to compare apples to apples when it comes to final pricing.
Don't Skimp on Quality
While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest photographer, don't skimp on quality. Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you want to make sure that your memories are captured perfectly. A great photographer may cost more, but it's worth the investment to have beautiful photos that you'll cherish for a lifetime. Less expensive may or may not always lead to poor quality. If the photographer does their profession as a full time job, you may find they are more flexible. Those that are working around other jobs during the week, often have higher prices, longer wait times and less ability to openly communicate. You are not their first priority, their other job likely is on their mind. Know the background and ask if this is their full time work or not.
Look for Experience
When choosing a wedding photographer, look for someone with experience shooting weddings. Weddings can be unpredictable, and an experienced photographer will be able to handle any challenges that may arise. Make sure they have ample equipment, lens options, back up cameras, back up team members in case something happens.
Consider Personality and Style
Your wedding photographer will be with you throughout your entire wedding day, so it's important to choose someone with a personality and style that you click with. Make sure their personality meshes well with yours, and that their style matches your vision for your wedding day. If they can make you smile, they will get great shots. Your guests will also love them too and that puts them at ease as well.
Finding the right wedding photographer can seem overwhelming, but by starting your search early, researching and comparing, meeting with potential photographers, asking for references, discussing packages and pricing, not skimping on quality, looking for experience, and considering personality and style, you'll be sure to find the perfect photographer to capture your special day.
Now that you know what to do... where do you start? We recommend you read our article about how we compare. Then head out and see if you really never needed to leave our site to begin with. Have questions? Text Tom anytime. 714-394-4263