January 2, 2019
Happy New Year future Brides + Grooms!
Engagement season is in full swing, which means people are starting to shop around for wedding vendors and start the fun (and stressful) wedding planning! Photographs will be what you have left after you plan a wedding, so biased or not, it’s one of the most important vendors you’ll choose during your planning process. I thought I’d kick off 2019 with a blog that will hopefully help future Brides and Grooms with tips from my experience on how to choose the perfect photographer!
Photographers Style |
First things first: Find out what style you like. That will immediately help in your choices by narrowing it down to people who have the style that makes you melt. Some photographers are more moody, some are light and bright and everything in between. Sounds simple, but it’s so important to make sure when planning out your day that the person you choose to capture it will do so in a way you envision. Don’t pick someone that you like and then expect them to drastically change their style (yes, it happens).
This is something I could go on and on about, but I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. When you’re going through wedding planning, it’s essential to create an overall budget for your day and a breakdown of what you can spend with each vendor. A lot of times, people are doing this once and don’t truly know the costs that can be associated in planning a wedding. When you’re shopping around for photographers, you will see people who cost $500 and you’ll see people who cost $5,000 (give or take). Price can depend on what they’re including, how many hours they’re working that day and most importantly, the experience of the photographer. Photography is a very expensive and time consuming business to run, and those of us who are legitimate businesses will be more expensive vs. someone who does it on the side as a hobby. At the end of the day, photos will be what you have left. I may seem extremely biased, but photography is not a place to cut that budget down. Be realistic about what you’re wanting and the cost it could take to get it.
Photographers Personality |
As a wedding photographer myself, I feel that it’s really important to have a personal connection with my clients. I want them to know my personality and get to know theirs to make sure we’re a good fit for both our sakes. Let’s just get real here – there are people who can clash with your personality…. and that shouldn’t be someone who is going to be with you every step of the way the day of your wedding. If you are comfortable with your photographer and their personality, you will most likely feel more comfortable in front of the camera with them directing you as well. Make sure that when you’re choosing someone, you feel like you can really connect with them and you just click!
Lighting + Full Galleries |
So you’ve found the style you love, you’ve found a personality you love…. great! Now it comes down to true skill. As photographers, we all share our favorite work on social media. Things we feel can truly represent us at our best. To make sure your photographer can handle any lighting situation, my biggest advice for any couple on the search for someone is to ask to see a real wedding gallery from start to finish (or really, even a couple!). This way, you can see the photographers style in all sorts of different lighting situations. Getting ready, natural light outdoors and the (usually) dark night receptions. It’s so important to make sure that regardless of the weather or the lighting, whoever you choose is able to give beautiful images. Ask, ask, ask for those full galleries!
Do Your Research |
I can not stress enough how important it is to make sure you’re doing all the research you can on your wedding vendors. These are the people you are trusting to be a part of the biggest day of your life! Read reviews on Facebook, WeddingWire, The Knot…. wherever they have them and anywhere they have them. You can even reach out to past brides on their personal experiences, too!
Don’t Wait |
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with sweet couples, don’t hear from them for a couple of weeks, then they contact me wanting to book but someone else has already scooped up the date. Normally, photographers book anywhere from 9-15 months in advance. If you think you’ve found the photographer that’s a perfect fit for you, don’t wait and miss out! Usually photographers book “first come, first serve” and usually (not always) will only need a deposit to get you on the calendar!
Please for the love of your sanity (and mine), have a contract between you and your wedding vendors. I know this blog is about photographers specifically, but extra little tip, get one from ALL of them. No matter how big or small. You’ll thank me later. More importantly, READ the contract. I know, I know. Borrrrrrrringggggg! I never read terms and agreements on anything, oops. BUT, this is a little different. Your contract should answer tons of questions and it should also not only protect the photographer, but also you! This is where you will be able to see all the terms and what you’re agreeing to by agreeing to work with your photographer.
Turn Around Time |
This should be something that’s written in your contract, but if not – ask! Some photographers do more weddings than others, some have busier day to day personal lives and honestly all sorts of factors that could depend on how quickly you get your wedding photos back. Make sure you know in advance the usual turn around time to get your images back so it’s something you can prepare for and understand their individual editing process.
Overall, you need to feel like you can trust whoever you choose. Like I’ve mentioned a few times in this blog, this is someone who’s going to be with you pretty much every step of the way on the biggest day of your life. It needs to be someone who feel you don’t have have to worry about and can keep your focus on other things.
I hope this helps any couples who are in the process of trying to find the perfect photographer! Wedding planning in general can be really overwhelming, but it’s also super fun. My last piece of advise it to try and enjoy the ride. Don’t stress over the little things and find incredible vendors that will take over the day for you so you’re able to relax and enjoy all your hard work!