We might be biased, but we think choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important wedding related decisions you’ll make (obviously WHO you marry is THE most important).
Nothing else will last from your wedding. Everything will be eaten, or worn out, or be returned to a rental supplier. But your photos will outlast you. Your great-grandchildren will have your wedding album and your children (their grandparents) will tell them who everyone was.
Realizing this is is kind of scary. It’s scary to us as the creator of these precious heirlooms and it is scary to you as someone trying to hire a stranger for such an important job.
So we’ve decided to help you out with a list of 5 things to consider when choosingp a wedding photographer.
It’s important to us that the couple’s we work with are a good fit. It makes them happier and it makes us happier. So this isn’t a guide that’s gonna sell you by saying “Make sure they’re just like us.” You might read this and decide we AREN’T for you.
And that’s great. We want you to have wedding portraits you love and a photographer you connect with even if it isn’t us. We’ll all be happier in the end.
Look at a photographers blog or instagram, flip through a real, tangible album (crazy, i know!). Don’t like what you see? You never will. Don’t try to talk yourself into it. Move on. You’re gonna regret it.
What people like in photography is subjective.
We love warm images, that are on the darker (but not “moody” side), untraditional posing (we almost never say “Look at the camera and smile!,” being in the middle of the dance floor with all the action filling up the picture, catching tender moments people don’t know we’re photographing, and creating tender moments by guiding a couple through an experience.
But some people love dark and moody images with tones that look desaturated and vintage. Others like bright and airy with tones that are almost pastel.
Maybe they want the “photo journalistic” approach of being completely hands off and never directing at all.
Or they’re looking for traditional stand and look at the camera portraiture.
And that’s OK!
Just make sure what you’re choosing a wedding photographer with similar taste. Or you’re both going to regret it.
This one isn’t subjective at all. Do you trust your wedding photographer?
Will they show up on time? Have back up gear? Get your wedding images to you in a timely manner while clearly communicating what that is?
You don’t have to look hard to find horror stories about wedding vendors dropping the ball. Wedding planning is stressful enough without having to baby sit your vendors.
When choosing a wedding photographer, find one you can trust and relax on your wedding day knowing that everything is being taken care of.
3. Core Values
What is important to you on your wedding day?
Make sure this lines up with what your photographer thinks is the most important.
Do you want to have a pinterest worthy wedding that get’s featured on wedding blogs?
Will your wedding be a wild party where everyone jumps in the pool at the end?
Or is it going to be an intimate elopement in the mountains or on the beach with only your immediate family?
All of these come out of what your core values are. And a photographer with different core values won’t be able to capture these things the same way you’d like.
We’re not interested in pinterest. We’re interested in people. Flowers and table settings and centerpieces and altars don’t get nearly the attention from us that college roommates and childhood friends and old sunday school teachers get.
We remind each other constantly that “the photographs we take are meaningless without the people in them.” Do you agree? That’s great! Give us a call. Do you disagree? That’s great too, but don’t give us a call.
Because when you get your wedding photos back you’re gonna be like “Why is there 40 pictures of my grandparents dancing?” And we’re gonna be like “Why wouldn’t there be?”
But I also have heard people complain that their photographer sent them 400 pictures and 150 of them are different angles of tables and flowers. That isn’t bad, they just have different core values.
This one might seem like a no brainer. Obviously you can’t hire a wedding photographer that isn’t available on your date.
But they should also just in general be “available.”
How many weddings are they photographing the same weekend, week, or month as yours?
Can they manage that while also taking care of you? How much care do you need? These are all personal decisions.
Some photographers can handle 100 weddings a year with the same quality (we can’t). Some couples don’t care if they don’t meet their photographer until the wedding day (our’s do care). But you’ll need to consider what your needs are and what a photographer’s capabilities are.
Do you need someone who will help you plan? Someone who will make suggestions on engagement session wardrobe? Or do you need one who just gets the schedule and shows up? Whichever it is, choosing a wedding photographer available for that kind of relationship is essential.
You’ll spend more time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day than your new spouse. We usually show up before your make-up is on and leave after you’ve driven away. If you don’t get along with us, it’s gonna be a long day.
We think we’re pretty likable, but we’re open to the idea that someone might not.
Only you can know if you get along with someone. So talk to your photographer on the phone or meet them in person. Don’t just look at their portfolio and prices and book them over e-mail. And always remember: INSTAGRAM IS NOT REAL LIFE.
What if they smell funny? Stand way too close to you when they talk? You just flat out don’t get along and you don’t really know why? Those are all acceptable reasons not to book a photographer.
Have questions about choosing a wedding photographer?
Go ahead and contact us to set up a chance to meet up with us get the most important step in choosing a wedding photographer out of the way.