Anyone with a reasonably good camera can take a decent photo. We know this because there are approximately seven million Instagram influencers sharing photos of their travels or their food or their newest cute accessory. However, 0/10 people recommend hiring anything but a professional to photograph your wedding. Your wedding day deserves a pro who has the skills, equipment, and hustle to create photos you love and capture your memories creatively, uniquely, and intimately. If you find yourself questioning hiring a wedding photographer, then read on, my friend.
Giving you the absolute best from beginning to end is my end goal, and this is a goal that only a professional can achieve. That’s why it has taken me yearrrrrs to perfect my business model (even though it continues to be ever changing). That’s why I’m always investing in my education and training. And, that’s why I’m writing this post for you. I want what’s best for you, I want your experience to be absolutely incredible, and I want you to walk away with kickass photos that you adore.
So, don’t let your choice of photographer be a regret. Like so many of the important things in life, hiring a wedding photographer is (or should be) a hefty investment. And, for good reason! This investment will not only be one of the most important for your wedding, but also for your life. Because, don’t forget, your wedding photos are what will live on after your wedding is long over.
Now, I know the decision about who to hire is not easy, especially if you’re in an area where there are approximately 1,378 wedding photographers to choose from. So, here are a few things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer.
Tips for Hiring a Wedding Photographer
During your research, keep track of photographers whose portfolios absolutely make your heart flutter. These are the photos that stop you mid-scroll and make you gasp audibly. Or the photos that make you laugh, cry, cringe, “awwww,” etc. Your love for a portfolio should 100% outweigh any price tag, so it’s best to not even look at the pricing info yet. Focus on the photos and your connection to them.
PRO TIP: Make sure you love the photos as a whole, not just bits and pieces of the photos. Oftentimes, people will see a photo they think the love, when in reality, they really just like the wedding dress or the background of a photo. Make sure you’re really analyzing the photos to make sure you like the coloring (bold, muted, dark & moody, light & airy), style (candid, posed, creative), and overall feel (emotion, space/environment, action, etc.).
Reviews are the real key here. They’re the binding force between clients and photographers, and the one thing you can be 100% sure of when you’re researching photographers. You can typically find reviews on photographers’ websites, Google, Facebook, and wedding sites like The Knot.
PRO TIP: Read through all of the reviews to make sure they aren’t only mostly positive, but also that they include info about what’s most important to you in a wedding photographer. Do you want an album? There should be some reviews talking about albums. Do you want an exceptional experience from the moment you book with them? You should see people talking about their experience. Your priorities should be reflected in their reviews.
Ohhhhh, this one is a goodie. If you’re not connecting with a photographer from the first time you talk to them, they’re probably not the right choice. Having a personal connection and vibing with them is suuuuper important. Remember, you’re likely going to spend most of your wedding day with them. And, if they’re true professionals, you’ll spend a lot of time working with them well before your wedding day.
So, make sure you like each other! Make sure your personalities mesh well! Make sure they’re someone who you want to be around for hours and hours on one of the most important (and exciting and stressful) days of your life!
Bonus: if there is a strong personal connection between you, your photographer will be able to curate a photography experience that is truly personal to you. Your photos will be more authentic. And, your memories will be so much happier.
PRO TIP: Always always always meet with your favorite photographers before booking, whether in person, virtually, or over the phone. This is the only way you’ll truly know if you like them as a person! When you meet, your conversation shouldn’t just revolve around wedding photography. A professional who truly cares about their clients will want to spend at least a little bit of the meeting talking about you and your interests and your relationship.
Ick. This is the one no one likes to talk about.
I know photography is expensive (well, good photography is expensive). It has to be, because you’re not only paying for a product (the photos), you’re also paying for a service, an experience, knowledge and direction, editing time, archival products, etc. There’s a lot to consider with photography besides just the photos.
I also know that most people don’t have an unlimited budget to spend on photography. I didn’t for my own wedding! I get it! BUUUUUTTTT…
Photography is the ONLY thing (aside from a spouse) that you have left over after the wedding is over. Ok, maybe you have a guest book, or a dried bouquet, or some decor, but photography is the thing that stands the test of time. It’s the thing you’ll share with the world. It’s the thing that you’ll pass down through future generations.
Your wedding photos aren’t just for you, they’re for your grandkids.
So, back to budget. It’s helpful to have a starting point for your photography budget, but to also be open and flexible with that. Know that photography is an investment for life and that sometimes you have to adjust plans to get what you absolutely want.
PRO TIP: If you find a photographer you love whose prices are a little higher than expected, consider other parts of your wedding that you can cut. Do you really need 17,000 roses all over the reception area? Do you really want a $2000 veil or a 12 tier wedding cake? Decide what’s truly important to you and make adjustments to your plans as needed.
Trust Your Gut
In the end, you just have to trust your gut. It rarely lets you down. Go with a photographer you truly vibe with and, of course, whose images you love. It’s as simple as that.
I truly believe there is a perfect photographer for every wedding, every person, and every budget. I’m not that perfect photographer for everyone, but I’d love the chance to see if I’m the perfect photographer for you! Let’s chat, get to know each other, and see if we love each other! And, if not, then I’d love to help you in your journey to hiring a wedding photographer who is absolutely perfect for you.