An Insider’s Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

February 7, 2018

Planning a wedding can be very overwhelming for both the bride and groom. Re-arranging, organizing, and planning exactly how your perfect day will go can be a daunting task. Once you have made a finalized decision about one wedding detail, it is time to make another important decision. As a professional wedding shooter, I have witnessed couples that range from those that are very laid-back, wanting to make things simple, to those who are little more creative and involved in how they want everything to be precisely handled.

Perhaps the most important item that should be on your wedding checklist: choosing a wedding photographer you will trust with your wedding-day memories.

You want frame-worthy pictures to forever bring back memories of that day!

Selecting the right wedding photographer is very important because once your wedding day is over, you will depend upon their work to remind you of your day and show you all the details you were too busy to notice the first time around.

A good photographer helps you remember these special moments. When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, there are some rules and tips you should be aware of. Don’t just select any photographer. Conduct some type of research before making your final decision when booking a photographer. After all, what seems like a bargain now may prove to be costly in the long-run. You don’t want to be one of those brides that cry when they see their wedding pictures. (Unless they are tears of joy, of course!)

  • Closely examine the photographer’s portfolio: Once you have narrowed-down some photographers that you are interested in, be certain they can show you a range of samples of their own work. Make sure these samples are what you are looking for. This step is critical for choosing a wedding photographer, and so many people tend to forget to do this before putting down a photography deposit. You should also make sure the samples that were taken are from the same photographer you are meeting with. Many times, some companies have more than one photographer. Always ask, “This is your work?…And, you will be the one shooting at our ceremony?”
  • Schedule a meeting: So many of today’s brides make rash decisions, which can lead to disappointment. A professional photographer will always be willing to meet and discuss the details of your wedding. Feel free to ask lots of questions. Both you and the photographer should have a mutual understanding of what everyone wants.
  • Know what you are getting: Not all photographers will post their packages online, but they should be willing to discuss details of their offerings anytime. If they seem deceptive, they probably are, so let the buyer beware! Many photographers make tons of money working overtime and charging a premium for it. Make sure you know how much time they will spend shooting your wedding, and how much you will be paying for that. You should make sure this will be enough time to suit your needs and get the images you want while you are choosing a wedding photographer. Most companies offer packages. Pricing will often vary, and it can be difficult to figure out the exact price of their service until after the wedding. So, ask for an itemized invoice. Your invoice should spell out exactly what product you are getting, and what the price of that exact item is.

    Photojournalistic style of wedding photography.
  • Examine their website closely: Nowadays, every wedding photographer has a website. If they do not, I would be suspicious. It is virtually impossible to be in business without one. But, not all sites are equal. Like photographers, some are more professional than others, and it is only logical that the ones that care enough to present themselves the best will also present you in the best possible way as well.A professional photographer’s website will have answers to common questions that prospective customers, like you, might have.You can read about the photographers that work there, and find detailed information about almost any topic related to wedding photography. Finding a photographer with an information-loaded website such as this can really help you learn about the company beforehand. This will also make your selection process simpler as well, even if you decide to go with someone else.
  • Know what style of photography you are looking for:
    • Traditional: This type of style usually has posed shots which will include the family, the wedding party and other standard events that are taking place. The traditional style can be found as being similar to what you will find in your parent’s album. These photos can be seen as very classy or even dated.
    • Photojournalistic: This specific style has been known to be a more recent trend of modern weddings. The photojournalistic style has also been called the “story-telling” style that depicts the exact story of the wedding. This style grasps the event, capturing photos with great impact. This style has no limit on the images that are shot.
    • Combination/Alternative: With these two styles some photographers blend them both together, making it as formal as you want it to be. This style can also document all of the small details throughout the day. The types of images shot will vary, but it will add a special effect which will give your photos an exciting and unique look just as your wedding day.

      Make time for some posed pictures too!
  • A perspective on what is important: When it comes to your wedding photos, remember that these are memories which you will cherish for the rest of your life, and you want them to be as close to perfect as possible. Selecting the right photographer is very beneficial for you. Make sure you and the photographer get along. Ask yourself if this person can help enjoy your day and not aggravate you, your family, or your friends.

The process may seem overwhelming to you now, but after the rings are on and the dress is off, you’ll be going home to beautiful, lasting memories. So, start out by getting to know your photographer for who they are, choosing the right photo style, browse your options, and you’ll be on your way to getting the wedding photos you’ve always dreamt of. If you’d like to simplify the task of planning your wedding you can consider hiring the services of a wedding planner. This guide may be helpful.

These are just some tips that should run through your mind while you choosing a wedding photographer.