Hiring a wedding photographer comes with a bit more to think about beyond whether or not a person can take good photos. You may have found someone whose photography style you like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be the right fit for you and in some cases you might not be a fit for them either. Not everyone is going to align and that’s okay, but here are the six things to consider when you’re looking for a photographer for your wedding.
This one is obvious and often at the top of people’s list when they start their search. If the photographer you’re interested in lists pricing on their website and what you see listed is outside of your budget, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they offer customizations. Depending on what you’re willing to spend, some photographers may be able to work with you to create a package that fits your needs. If not, there’s a good chance they can offer you some referrals of other photographers they know and trust that would be a better fit; plus this might save you the time of starting your search over again.
Bonus tip: If there is a photographer that you REALLY love, try finding ways to rearrange your wedding budget by eliminating things like unnecessary signage or reducing the amount of florals. Flowers won’t last forever, but your photos will. 😉
Equipment and Knowledge:
In this day and age, where DSLR cameras are more easily attainable, the phrase “I have a friend with a nice camera” has become pretty common. If you’re getting married and photos are important to you, the equipment is only part of the equation. Friends with nice cameras only go so far if they don’t have a full understanding of how to use them. (Trust me, once upon a time, I was a “friend with a nice camera” and I have come a very, very long way from the eager novice I used to be.) Beyond that, taking the photo is only a small part of the job. The work you see produced by professional photographers is also often refined after the photo is taken in photo editing software like Lightroom or Photoshop, but that’s an entirely different blog post.
Professional equipment comes with a cost and a significant amount of education and practice. Make sure the person you hire to photograph such an important part of your life has the gear and the knowledge to make the price tag worth it.
Bonus tip: If you find a photographer who uses more than one camera to document your day, consider them extra prepared, because they know how important it is to have a back-up. 🤓
This is important, because many venues require vendors to have insurance in the event that anything were to go wrong. Accidents related to photography are rare, but if something were to happen during a wedding or photoshoot and your photographer doesn’t have insurance it could pose a problem not only for them, but for you as well.
Bonus tip: Check with your venue about vendor requirements and find out what they need/expect from photographers who work on-site. 👀
This is a big one, because you don’t want to fall into a situation where you book a photographer expecting a gallery similar to what you see online, but what you get is completely different. Do their photos have a similar style and flow? Do their reviews echo similar sentiments? Is their process clearly defined? These are all things that will tell you whether or not the photographer you’re considering has their sh!t together along with a body of work and a list of previous, happy clients to prove it.
Bonus tip: Ask to see a full gallery so you have an example of what a complete wedding looks like for further peace of mind. 📷
When you hire a photographer to capture any part of your life, you want to make sure you’re comfortable with them—especially if they’re going to be following you around on your wedding day. Initial meetings and conversations are bound to be awkward with the amount of questions that are asked so don’t write them off right away. Instead, consider the information you get from your first conversation and make sure you have a follow up once you’ve had time to digest everything. You’ll know in your second conversation if the person you’re speaking to is really a good fit for you to work with based on their communication style and how they’re able to relate to you.
Bonus tip: If you have friends or family members that can’t help themselves with things like off-color humor, make sure your photographer can roll with the punches after #UncleNoFilter hits up the open bar. 🍻
This is an additional thing to consider along with being comfortable with your photographer. Do your research and get to know what your photographer considers to be important. Read the about section and the mission and vision statements on their website. If they have a social media presence, look at the content in their posts. Even if the photographer you’re interested in hiring keeps their personal life private, you’ll still be able to tell what matters to them by what they share. Google them and look for blog posts on other publications too. What a photographer chooses to publish outside of their own website will give you a sense of what they’re proud of. Are they supportive towards companies, groups, or causes that you would support yourself? Would you be comfortable being associated with them, knowing they might share photos of you? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you have found your photographer!
Bonus tip: If you get a good vibe from your photographer that makes you think you could be friends with them, that’s a really good thing! 👯♀️