So you just got engaged. Congratulations! Before you’re able to catch your breath — yes, that gorgeous sparkler actually is on your finger, you’re not just dreaming — everyone will be asking you when you’re walking down the aisle. Once your wedding date has been set and the location determined, your next task should be finding the perfect wedding photographer to meet your needs.
Most photographers specialize in a specific category of photography. Some are passionate about photographing children. Others pride themselves on their portrait skills. Still others love posing families, snapping sleepy newborns, or being on the sidelines at sporting events. Me? I love wedding photography. I love everything about it — the planning, the details, the passion.
When it comes time to choose your photographer, remember this: wedding photographers come in all shapes and sizes. I mean that figuratively, because no two photographers are the same.
Just because your sister had a veteran photographer hellbent on posing each and every shot doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with the same for your big day! Yes, your family’s opinion is important, but don’t let it dictate your hopes and dreams regarding photography.
If you’re a younger bride out shopping for a photographer at studios with your mom, chances are the type of photography she’s interested in is more traditional than the current trends. There’s nothing wrong with that, but with digital photography, and the Pinterest era, your options are truly endless. Tell mom that just because you’re more interested in the stylized, modern trends, doesn’t mean you’re going to skip out on important family portraits — all good wedding photographers should make sure to include family formals in their shot list.
Choosing your Wedding Photographer
So how do you find the perfect wedding photographer for your taste? What questions should you ask each candidate? Remember that this is your day, and your photographer is lucky to be a part of that and should cater to your every need. First, consider what your answers are to the following list of questions.
01. Your StyleTOP
In the past, formal photos were the way to go. In recent years, photojournalistic, or candid, photography has become more popular amongst brides and grooms. Are you more interested in the posed, romantic shots you see on Pinterest? Or do you like the candids… your dad wiping away tears of joy, your mom laughing with the wedding party, the impromptu dancing. Once you know the style of photography you like best, picking a photographer will be much easier. Many photographers will tailor their style to meet your vision. I’m one of them!
02. Color? BW? Both?TOP
What do you want your memories to look like? Make sure if your photographer decides to turn some images black and white that they also keep a color option. What looks great above the mantel might not be what you want in your wedding album.
03. Two Vs. OneTOP
If you’re a photo buff like me, and photography is the most important part of your wedding vision, you might consider hiring two photographers to capture your wedding. This can be helpful to get two perspectives at the ceremony, with one photographer up close and the other at a distance. Another advantage is that one photog can focus on candids, while the other poses the wedding party. Be careful when booking a 2nd photographer, as many primary photographers have clauses in their contracts prohibiting other photogs from working the same event.
04. Package DetailsTOP
Besides photography, what else do you want your photographer to provide? Be it a CD of all your images (high-resolution so you can print with a copyright release), prints, canvases, or a wedding album, ask prospective photographers what comes in their packages before booking.
05. Wedding ThemeTOP
Do you have a theme for your wedding? I photographed vintage and rustic themes in 2012, and they were some of the most creative couples ever — perfect for unique, memorable wedding photos! Before you start shopping for a photographer, think about how you imagine your wedding to look. Will you have an outdoor reception in a forested clearing, complete with mason jar cocktails, hanging paper lanterns, and rustic decorations, like Miquela and Jon? What about a country theme, with your bridal party clad in cowboy boots, a red barn as a backdrop, and a Stetson on your groom’s head, like Lindsey and Travis? Your wedding is your time to shine, so make it 100% y-o-u. Just make sure you pick a photographer that’s open-minded and up for the challenge!What other questions do you have regarding choosing the perfect wedding photographer?Leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!Happy planning!