If you’ve ever explored our wedding planning tips, you probably already know how strongly we feel that your wedding photographer isn’t just another vendor. That being said, we also know that when you’re ready to choose your wedding photographer it can seem daunting and overwhelming. But it really doesn’t have to be. We’ve broken it down into six simple steps that will take you from choosing your photography style to booking the perfect photographer.
1. Choose Your Wedding Photographer Style
If you’ve never thought about your wedding photography style, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most couples don’t realize how many different wedding photography styles actually exist. But, just like you need to know your wedding style before you can start picking out flowers or decor, you need to know what photography styles you love before you start looking at photographers. You can’t choose your wedding photographer if you don’t know what you’re looking for!
Wedding Photography Styles In A Nutshell
Fine art wedding photographers are actively creating art while capturing the story of your day. Every moment has the potential to turn into a photograph that could be a stand-alone piece in an art gallery.
Photojournalists are there to blend in and capture the wedding day as a whole, not just the planned moments. Photojournalism got its start in newspapers, so these folks know how to blend in and snap a shot you weren’t even aware of.
A traditional photographer appreciates a wedding’s staples and will capture them for you with art and grace. You can expect a modern take on the posed photos in your grandparents’ wedding album.
If you love the look of photography in magazines like Vogue, GQ, and Harper’s Bazaar, then you might like your wedding to be photographed with a similar feel. Editorial allows photographers to shoot creative, dramatic, over-the-top images.
Moody and Dark
These photographers edit their photos to mimic film imagery–or they might shoot both film and digital. If you love bright, bold colors and want your photos to look exactly how you remember your wedding day, then these artistic, interesting perspectives of your wedding day might not be your style.
If you and your partner love to travel and explore and are looking for someone who will follow you anywhere your travels take you, then finding a photographer who describes themselves as an adventurer is a must.
Photographers don’t just shoot one style. In fact, most wedding photographers incorporate many of these styles into their work in one way or another. It makes it more fun for them and more interesting for their clients. So, keep that in mind when you start looking at portfolios and consider how much of each style you’d like reflected in your wedding photos. That will help you choose your wedding photographer.
2. Browse Our Vendor Directory
We’ve made it our priority to connect couples with wedding professionals who can take the wedding photos they’ve always dreamt of, which is why our wedding vendor directory contains carefully curated lists of wedding photographers–and other vendors–from all over the world. You can search in your region or, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you can search any region around the world.
Within our directory, you can see each photographer’s portfolio, get access to their website and social media accounts, and even contact them directly through our portal. We recommend you grab a pen and paper so you can make notes of all your favorite photographers and the reasons you love them so much. Trust us, you’ll want notes when it comes time to write some emails!
3. Thoroughly Research Your Prospects
With so many professionals’ websites and social media accounts to pour over, it can be tough to know what you’re even looking for. The first thing, of course, is that they have a website. If the professional is simply using Facebook for their entire business, that can be a red flag that they may lack experience or professionalism. Once you’re on that website, there are a couple of important pages you should browse to choose your wedding photographer.
Look Through Their Portfolios
The first is their portfolio, which will give you a feel of what they believe their best work is. Here you can get an idea of the types of weddings they enjoy producing or capturing, as well as a feel for their overall style. You may notice a pattern in their work. If it resonates with you, keep them on your list. You may also find that there isn’t a common style throughout the work you’re finding in their portfolio. This may mean that they are versatile and can adjust and tailor their work to different clients, or it may mean that they don’t yet have a strong sense of what they’re best at. If you’re interested in seeing more of a certain style, make note of what you liked in their portfolio when you reach out and ask if they have similar work you can take a look at.
Look At Their Blogs
The second aspect of their site you want to peruse is their blog. One of the things you’re looking for here is that it has been recently updated, showing that they’re actively booking clients and putting out exceptional work. Another thing you should look for is yourself. No, obviously, you won’t literally be on their blog, but you should look for couples and celebrations that feel like they could be your own. If you’re able to see yourself in this professional’s work, it’s a good chance they’re a fit for your wedding.
4. Email Your Favorite Photographers
Once you’ve found at least three photographers who you would like to contact, it’s time to reach out and ask some questions. Keep in mind that this email is the beginning of a relationship with your future wedding photographer, and you’re making just as much of a first impression as they will with their response. Don’t just blast the same generic email to every photographer you find online. Get to know them, their work, and what you love most about their business. Then tailor each email to the photographers you’re genuinely interested in.
With this first email, you’ll want to be sure to ask the following questions:
- Is your date is available?
- What are their latest pricing, packages, and contract information?
- Can they provide several testimonials?
Don’t Be Afraid Of Phone Calls, Either
You might also want to set up a phone consultation, during which you can ask about their approach to their work, what makes them love shooting weddings, and find out what you can expect from them on your wedding day and throughout your time working together. Photographers know this is a big decision, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable and well informed!
5. Set Up In-Person Interviews
The only way to truly get to know someone is to meet them, which is why in-person interviews are a must when you’re trying to choose your wedding photographer. In this interview, you’re really looking at how comfortable you feel with each photographer. Like with any interview, the interaction with them is just as important as the questions you ask. Would you feel comfortable having this photographer follow you around with a camera all day? Do they share a similar design aesthetic?
Besides bringing some basic questions to the interview, it’s a good idea to bring along a wedding mood board with some details you’ve envisioned for your day. You want to know if they can execute your vision before you hire them. This one is all about expectations. If the answer is no, you’ll get a better sense you’re looking for after meeting with a couple of photographers. Remember, you don’t have to choose your wedding photographer just because you met with them.
Need some help coming up with questions?
We’ve got a whole list of what to ask—and not ask—your potential wedding photographer that you can use in all your interviews.
6. Trust Your Gut
You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down the choices, you’ve laid out your pro/con lists, now it’s time to trust your gut and make a decision. Which photographer made you feel the most comfortable during your in-person interview? Which photographer can you see blending in seamlessly with you and your guests on the big day? As long as your shortlist includes credible professional photographers who align with your vision and fit into your budget, you can’t go wrong. Go with your gut, make it official, and choose your wedding photographer.
Ready to start booking the rest of your dream team? Here’s everything you need to know about hiring your wedding vendors!