Now comes the hard part of finding a photographer that really fits your goals and dreams. It can be really daunting, especially when everyone has a recommendation and all of them have pretty pictures.
So what do you?
HERE’S THE TOP 5 THINGS TO LOOK FOR.
Of course price is going to play a big part in your wedding photographer choice, but it’s also very important to understand what a skilled professional’s rates are for wedding coverage.
Sadly, many non-photographer wedding sites like to tell the masses to skimp on a photographer by finding someone that’s just starting out and will only charge a few hundred…which doesn’t sound very smart to put so little into the only lasting memories from your ONE day.
Expect to see quotes between $3,000-$5,000 depending on the photographer and what is included.
The more you’re prepared for that price range, the less you’ll be focused on the money and more you’ll pay attention to the other details.
It’s so easy to take pretty pictures outside at sunset when everything is just perfect, but what if it’s really dark and cloudy?
How about if the priest has several rules for the photographer during ceremony?
What if the venue doesn’t have any ambient light?
Do you make the photographer timeline or do they sit down with you and work it together?
What do you do when the guests want to get in the way with their phones?
What about if the church is very dark?
What happens if it rains?
What do you do if the hotel sprinkler breaks and black water pours all over your white wedding dress hours before the ceremony?? (Which has totally happened…)
I could write an entire blog about the skills needed to be a wedding photographer alone!
The best way to go about it is: know your ceremony and reception location and make SURE to talk with photographers that know how to work in and light situations like that.
Don’t just get their word for it either. Have them show you galleries in those situations. It doesn’t have to be your exact venue, goodness knows there’s too many, but there’s always a similar situation to work in.
Trust your gut here, if you don’t vibe with your photographer, they’re not for you.
Your photographer will be with you for 8+ hours on your wedding day, plus all the additional meetings and engagement session beforehand, so shouldn’t you 100% get along with them?
This is an important time to decide if you prefer someone with a quiet fly-on-the-wall personality that you won’t see much of or the bold and wild one that will stand in the middle of your dance floor rave and capture those wild dance moves while jumping to the beat.
Neither answer is wrong, but only one is perfect for you.
Make sure you’re scheduling meetings with a few photographers that are in your budget with website images you love, and then focus on their personality and skills during the meeting.
When you’re looking at those portfolio’s, make sure to check out the social media posts as well.
I know, this is so much homework right??
We as photographers change and evolve constantly. I can say that my images from 3 years ago aren’t anything like my today images, so making sure you’re viewing recent work is extremely important in knowing you’re going with someone that shoots and edits in a style that you love.
Again, there’s no wrong answer here. This is your wedding date, so you do it precisely how you want to.
One last thing to think about before those consults with the photographers: the details.
Not THESE details…although these are cool too
You should make note of these details with each photographer:
- What is included in their pricing? Some packages include an engagement session, second photographer, and sometimes a set amount of hours. YOU decide what is most important in those.
- Turnaround times. Again, there’s no wrong answer, but if it comes down to two photographers and that’s a factor, it could be the tie breaker. If anything, it’s just good information to know.
- Contract. If a photographer doesn’t have a contract, RUN. Not only does a contract lay out all the details for you, it protects both you AND the photographer…so if they don’t have one, that’s a huge red flag.
Do you think Marie Diane Photography might be for you?
I’d love to meet!