Searching and choosing a Wedding Photographer can be a stressful and daunting task. I have broken down the process to choose a Wedding Photographer to help ease your headache.
Starting Your Search
First off you have to decide if you want a photographer that is based in the location you are getting married (if that is not the area you live in), or a photographer that is based in your area.
There are benefits to both and let me explain those. If you are getting married somewhere far from where you live, you might want a photographer that is based in that area. Some of the benefits are you won't have to pay travel fees for the photographer to come to your venue location. That photographer will also know that area well and can give great recommendations of where to take off location photos. A photographer from the area may also have worked with some of your vendors and have a good relationship with them. The downside to this could be if you want engagement photos you may have to travel to their location or you may have to pay a travel fee for them to come to you. If engagement photos are not important to you, then this may not matter.
Now let's discuss the pros and cons of choosing a photographer in the are you live in instead of the area you are getting married in. A lot of these pros are going to come down to travel fees. Not all photographers have these fees but a majority do, so it's important to consider this during your search. Having a photographer in the area you live in is nice if you want engagement photos. Another pro is you may know or can be connected with brides the photographer has worked with in the past to get an honest review on how it is to work with that photographer. Some cons would be they might charge travel fees and housing accommodations if the wedding venue is a significant distance away from the photographers area. They also won't know the area as well for off location photos.
Reviews can be a great way to learn about how a potential Wedding Photographer may work. Start by looking at their Facebook Reviews or Google Reviews. If they do not have reviews on either, search Facebook for bridal pages in your area. Brides are always posting on these pages to ask advice on vendors and this is a great way to get an honest opinion from couples that have worked with them.
Do Your Research
When I was looking for a Wedding Photographer for my wedding I found it helpful to look at all of a photographers social media's and their website. Photographers tend to post different images on their pages and website and looking at all of them gives you a good idea of what their editing and posing style is like. A lot of times their websites will have an About Me page and this can help you get to know them as a person. Knowing who your photographer is and what interests them is a great way to feel connected to them and feel comfortable in front of the camera.
When doing your research notice the way they pose their couples, their editing style, and their locations. These all can help you determine if they are the right fit for you.
Pricing and Packages
Finding someone you love in your price range is very important. Before you start reaching out to photographers, determine what your price range is and what you may be willing to pay extra for. What is important for you on your wedding day?
Once you figure out what is important to you and your partner then start looking at photographers packages on their websites and get an idea of what they offer. Do they offer albums or digital prints? How many hours of coverage do you want? Do you want a photographer that is upbeat and has fun with you on your wedding day? Do they offer a Second Shooter? Do you need a Second Shooter? Do they offer videography? What add ons or unique experiences do they offer to their clients? If they check all of your boxes, reach out to them and set up a meeting.
Contact the Photographer(s)
The next step is to reach out to the photographer(s) you are interested in. Finding out if they are available for your wedding day is the most important part when nailing down a photographer. The earlier you do this in wedding planning the best chance you have to get the photographer you want most. Something I like to do with my brides is set up a phone meeting right away. I find this is the best way to answer any and all questions they may have, explain my packages, and what other add on's I offer. These calls not only help me explain more about what I offer but it gives me and the bride a chance to get to know each other. Finding a photographer you click with is essential and it makes being in front of the camera less uncomfortable.
Go Over the Contract
Not all but most photographers have a contract. It is important when exchanging the amount of money that Wedding Photography costs to have a clear explanation as to what you are signing up for. A contract not only covers the photographer but it covers you as a client. It is a written agreement between you and the photographer that they will be there on that day, what kind of conduct they will uphold, and what is expect of the clients.
When choosing a Wedding Photographer it is important to choose someone who fits in your price range, shares your values, offers packages that fit your needs and wants, and someone you click with. You only get this day once so make sure you hire the right people for the job!