How to Choose (Your) Wedding Photographer

You just got engaged.....Congratulations! You should feel nothing but euphoria, and yet, in the back of your mind you’re already thinking, what venue are we going to use? What about a wedding planner? Florist? Photographer? The list feels endless. No worries, I can at least help you with a few of these decisions.

Obviously I’m biased, but I do feel that choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make with regards to your wedding day. For a few reasons!

  1. Their ability: What if your priority was the venue, décor and details, and your photographer was awful at their job, that your venue, décor and details looked horrendous? A good photographer will understand how to work with the light that has been set up at your venue to create a distinct mood and will take photos that will allow you to look back years from now and remember exactly how you felt that night.
  2. Their personality: You will spend probably MORE time with your photographer on your wedding day than anyone else, including the groom!! They better be awesome, someone who you don't care if they see you in your underwear! It’s important to meet your photographer prior to booking them. What if you are quiet, shy and totally introverted, and your photographer is loud and obnoxious and totally cray? It’s important to find someone that you will click with, or you may end up feeling uncomfortable on your wedding day. 
  3. Their style: Spend some time perusing through some photographer’s blogs or portfolios. We all have slightly (or dramatically) different styles; bright and airy, matte or vintage, dark and moody, or very natural, to name a few. Some of us have a more documentary style, some of us use posing to create dramatic images. Find someone that has a body of work that really speaks to you, and makes you feel something.
  4. Their package: What is more important to you? Quality? Price? How about both? Do your homework, get several quotes if you are unsure. Make sure you aren't skimping on quality because you can't afford it. Think about cutting your budget in other areas, I promise, you won't regret getting a better quality professional photographer when you look through your photos. Afterall, that is what you have "left over" after the wedding!

So you have booked your perfect photographer, now what? Here are some frequently asked questions by brides to be:

  1. Do you recommend an engagement session? I highly recommend doing engagement photos, if possible, with your wedding photographer. This allows the photographer and the couple to get to know each other a bit before the big day, and it allows the photographer to learn your angles, so that you will both look your very best in your wedding images.
  2. Do you want a shot list? Only for family portraits. We will always do our best to capture all the little details of your day, but I always ask my clients for a list of family configurations. This not only helps to speed this part of the day up, but can also reduce stress and awkwardness if there are separated parents involved. Try to keep this list to immediate family only. The longer we spend on family portraits, the less time we have to hang out with the bridal party or just the two of you! There is always an opportunity to get photos with aunts, uncles and cousins at the reception!
  3. Do I feed you and your 2nd shooter? We always appreciate a warm meal after working all day! Some photographers will include this in their contract, and will stipulate if they don’t receive a warm meal, they will be given a 30-60 minute break to leave the venue to find dinner elsewhere. Feed your photographers!! They work hard and need nourishment :) I generally eat pretty quickly and get right back to work.
  4. How long will it take to receive my images after the wedding? This will vary a lot from studio to studio. Some photographers literally take 3 days, some take 2 months. I don't think this matters, as long as you are aware ahead of time. Nothing is more frustrating than being promised something, and not having it delivered in that timeframe. That being said, we're all human, so a little grace during busy season is certainly appreciated.
  5. How much time should I allow for portraits on the wedding day? Your wedding planner will be able to sit down with you and offer advice with regards to your timeline, but generally we need about 30 to an hour for family, bridal party, and then the bride and groom portraits.
  6. Do you recommend a First Look? I leave this decision entirely up to the couple. Some couples are very adamant about seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, and I think that’s a beautiful thing! However, I've shot weddings that have utilized the First Look, and it’s priceless. There is no one watching except the camera, so the emotion can be so genuine! It also helps to get that “out of the way”, so to speak, so the nervousness dissipates for the remainder of the day!

I hope I've helped you with your decision making process. Feel free to contact me for more information on our wedding packages. I'd love to hear from you!