Finding the right person to photograph your wedding can be stressful AF; it’s not easy trying to find the right person that you can trust to capture the most important day of your and your significant other’s lives! These are photos that you will want to cherish and look back on for years to come so how can you choose?! The good news is, I’m here to make this tough decision a little bit easier. Let’s discuss the top things to consider when booking a photographer for your big day.
Research, research, research–and then do a bit more research. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate with the wedding to-dos, but I promise this is super important! Without the proper research, chances are you’re not going to find a photographer that you feel passionate about working with. A good first step is to take to your social media accounts to see if any of your friends or followers have recommendations for photographers in your area. If you’re unsuccessful with word-of-mouth recommendations, it’s time for a good old Google search. Typically searching “wedding photographers in X city” will help generate some results. On Instagram, look at hashtags such as ‘#DallasWeddingPhotographer” or ‘#AustinWeddingPhotographer.” This will populate a mini portfolio of some of the photographers in your area.
Once you find someone you’re interested in, make sure to review their online portfolio to see examples of their past work. If you’re impressed with that, look for reviews from previous clients. And don’t be afraid to reach out to several photographers before finding the right match for you.
Each photographer has different specialties or categories that they excel in (for example, my specialties are engagements/weddings and boudoir). Some do portraits, some do newborns, some shoot for editorials, some focus on just weddings, and most specialize in more than one! When it comes to booking a photographer for your wedding, it’s crucial to find a photographer that has wedding experience. Each specialty is vastly different and calls for different equipment and shooting/editing skills. And while an experienced photographer can most likely capture anything, it may not be exactly what you’re looking for.
This is probably the most important point in finding the right photographer for you. My style can be described as vibrant imagery that never goes ‘off trend’ or out of style and it’s important to know that each photographer has a different style of taking photos–from high quality portraits to vintage film to saturated, rich colors. The options are truly endless and it’s going to be crucial for you to figure out what style of photographs you actually want. From there, you will be able to find a photographer that aligns with what you are looking for to ensure your final results come out just the way you want them to. If you’re not sure what style of photography you like, don’t be afraid to search on social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram! No matter how much you love a photographer’s work, if you’re looking for dark and moody photos, don’t book with a photographer who specializes in light and airy photos – similar to shooting specialties, photographers spend so much time perfecting their editing style that they stick to what they know and will not edit differently for a wedding. While it’s important to know that your photographer may not be able to recreate the exact inspiration shots if their style aligns with the photos you like, you’re sure to be happy with their end work!
A consultation with a photographer is where you will quite literally ‘interview’ them to ensure they’re the right fit for you and your wedding. After you inquire with me, we schedule a free consultation call to get to know each other and discuss your goals and vision for your wedding or engagement session. A typical consultation will be able to provide the photographer with more information about what you’re looking for as well as provide you with specific details about them. During the consultation, discuss specialties, styles, event packages, and fees to ensure you’re totally clear on everything. Not only will you get more information about the photographer, but you’ll also be able to see if both of your personalities are a fit. After all, you don’t want to book a photographer that you’re not comfortable shooting with!
All photographers are different, which means fees and charges can differ as well. Prior to signing on with someone, make sure to get all of the payment and fee information up front. Some photographers charge a flat rate, others charge hourly, and others’ fees include everything from labor to prints and high-res images. Most photographers will also offer package deals but make sure you’re clear on what those include. I offer my clients packages that can be customized, but you can get a basic idea of what that pricing would look like here.
When booking, remember the manual labor and time that goes into photographing an event like a wedding. Not only is it physically demanding during the event, but there are also hours and hours of work that go into the photos behind the scenes. So while you may be intrigued about someone who has very low fees, just understand that they may not have as much experience as someone who charges a bit more!
When booking a photographer for an event or shoot, the last thing you want to be is shy! Your photographer is there to help you feel good about the service and answer any questions you may have. Not only will being open with your photographer ensure there are no gray areas, but it will also help you establish a relationship with them. This means you’ll be more comfortable in front of the camera if you actually know the person behind it. Plus, creating a comfortable connection with your photographer leads to more chances down the line you’ll be able to work with them!
At the end of the day, it’s important for you to book with someone you feel good about. Not every photographer is going to be a perfect match with every client–and that’s totally okay! It’s all about trusting your gut and going with the person you feel will best capture those moments you’re going to want to remember!
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