How to Choose a Photographer

I was chatting with a photographer in the industry the other day about one of her potential clients. This potential client has a very different photography style in mind for her wedding than the photographer uses or shoots and before the client left, she said something along the lines of “this isn’t going to be like anything else in your portfolio” to the photographer.

Believe it or not, there are some very different styles of photography, and as much as you want to, you can’t pick a photographer based on price. I have couples tell me all the time that the photographer is the most important vendor to them so you have to choose wisely. {This can apply to any vendor, but it’s easier to show the differences in photography, versus lets say, a DJ} I’ve also had some couples in the past that were very unhappy with their photos which totally breaks my heart, especially when they’ve told me that was most important to them. So I’m here to help (or try to)!

When you start looking at photographers, look for a few different things…

  1. Lighting & Style : Light and airy versus moody
  2. Portfolio : Ask to see one or two wedding galleries
  3. Delivery : Number of images, delivery time, delivery method (i.e. disc with all images or online gallery only)
  4. Price : Make sure they fit into your overall budget
  5. Reviews : Check to see what other people have said about their services

1. Lighting

Can you tell the difference between these photos?

Captured by Ashley Monogue Photography
Captured by a sea of love
Captured by a sea of love

 

Both photographers are amazingly talented, but they have very different styles. Can you tell? One is light & airy and one is more moody – click on the photo to check out their websites to get a better idea of the different styles. When you’re on the hunt for the right photographer, make sure you like the photos on their website because those photos are more than likely, their favorites and the ones they’re most proud of.

2. Portfolio

Since the photos on their website are more than likely their favorite images, I would recommend asking to see one or two of their wedding galleries (sometimes they will have these on their blog or in their portfolio) so that you can get a good feel for what to expect when hiring them. Pay attention to certain things like how they shoot formal family photos after the ceremony, how they shoot special details or if they even shoot details, whether they focus on the bride and groom or tend to shoot everyone involved, poses, lighting, etc. If you don’t like what you see in these, then that is a big red flag and you should keep looking. {Note: Be sure you’re looking at the photo and not the content}

3. Delivery

There are a number of different ways that photographers deliver images to you after the wedding. Some make you pay for each individual image and others give you the rights to all of the images. Some only edit a specified number of images and others edit them all. You’ll also find that some deliver the images via disc and some choose to have you download them from a website. If you want to learn more about my opinion on this specific category, please feel free to shoot me an email.

4. Price

Pricing varies widely for photographers, but like I mentioned before, you can’t choose a photographer solely based on price. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not recommending you choose a photographer that doesn’t fit in your budget, but I am recommending you dig a little deeper and make sure your styles & personalities align and you truly like their photos. Not everyone is going to be a good fit with certain vendors which is why I typically recommend a few of each vendor to my clients. Don’t settle or get discouraged. Keep on hunting for that perfect photographer (or vendor). This is your wedding after all and you definitely want a team of vendors that you love and trust that won’t make you go way over budget.

5. Reviews 

Like I just mentioned, dig deeper! Check out what their past clients have said and absolutely reach out to your other wedding vendors to see if they’ve worked with them or have any input to offer (if you don’t have a planner). Most planners are looking out for your best interest and truly want you to be happy with EVERYTHING so they will give you the down low on vendors you choose on your own or recommend vendors they know you will love and work well with.

I hope this helps in your pursuit to find the perfect photographer for your special day! Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have and don’t forget to embrace the day! 🙂

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