If you’re just engaged and landed here on this blog, welcome! i’m going to share with you a little insider intel on how you should go about looking for a wedding photographer. You might be surprised to find that not all are created equal! So while it might be tempting to just find an online directory of wedding professionals and send them all the same “how much” message (please don’t, we hate that) here’s a better way to do your homework to find the right wedding photographer or engagement photographer for you.
ASK YOUR FRIENDS, BUT DO YOUR HOMEWORK
A lot of people will turn to their network of friends to find out who their photographer was, and that’s not a bad place to start. I have photographed a lot of weddings that were directly because of the work I did at a sisters or bridesmaids, etc. wedding. It’s always cool to go to these weddings and see friendly faces and be treated like a long-lost friend! Just realize that what your friend thinks is a cool photo or a reasonable rate may not be what you think is.
Keep in mind that what your friends liked might not be what you want. Imagine if your idea of doing posed portraits for hours on end is a nightmare, but your friend loved that part. Photographers all have different styles, and if you haven’t spent time looking at wedding photos other than a few weddings from friends, do a deep dive into photographers in the area.
Look at the photos and really compare them. If you see a lot of journalistic and candid photos and very few posed photos shown, then that’s what you should expect on your day. Most photographers will do a mix, but not all. read through their sites and get a feeling for their particular style and see if it matches what you want!
This is going to fly in the face of all the wedding planner advice that tells you to budget first. How can you budget if you have no idea what the market is charging in your area? If you budget 2,000 for a photographer and find out that 4,000 is the average, you’re going to be pretty limited in finding the right photographer for you. Instead, reverse engineer that thinking! Contact a few photographers whose work you like and ask for pricing, so you have a starting point.
I can’t stress this enough, personality matters. Other than the person you marry, you’re going to be spending more time with your wedding photographer on the day than you are with anyone. I think of it this way; if i’m not a guy you’d like to hang out on a regular day, why would you want me to be your photographer on one of the most important days of your life? Make time to meet with your photographer! If you’re not in town then Zoom/FaceTime with them! There’s no reason in this digital age that you can’t meet with your photographer before the wedding.
Finally, don’t make the mistake of thinking more “stuff” in the package is better than the photography itself. If your budget is limited, then invest in a good photographer first, then worry about the albums or wall prints after the wedding. Never hire a photographer based only on a “deal” they are offering.
Need more tips on booking a wedding photographer? Shoot me a message and tell me about your day!