What remains from your wedding day? Pictures. Pictures become your most prized possession. Sure, you’ll keep a few trinkets, clothes, customized robes, etc. that you’ll save, but photos from the day will take you back to the moment you said, ‘I do.’ So, when pictures hold such great importance, it’s just as important to choose a great photographer to perfectly capture those moments. How you know you’ve chosen the right wedding photographer, is the moment that you receive them, you immediately want to share them with friends, family, and on social media.
Choosing a photographer to cover your wedding is a big decision. Unlike other vendors, you can’t taste, hear or get a preview of what your pictures will come out as until after the fact (this is where the importance of engagement sessions come in, we will go into that in a later blog post). So, how do you decide who to be your wedding photographer and where do you begin your search?
We realize many may be operating within a budget. If a budget is important to you, than before you begin knocking on doors, you need to decide a budget. Deciding your budget is the most crucial step as it’ll be one of the key motivating factors that helps you choose your photographer for the day.
HERE ARE A FEW TIPS ON WHERE TO BEGIN YOUR SEARCH:
- Ask around. Talk to family and friends who may have gotten married in the last 5 years. Ask to see their wedding pictures, albums, etc. Ask them how their overall experience was. If you like what you see and hear, contact that photographer.
- Wedding Wire and The Knot, are both really great places to begin your search as well. You can contact multiple photographers at once. You can find and filter photographers that fit your budget and style. It’s also a great place to compare and contrast photographers.
- Social media, most importantly, Instagram. Most vendors use social media to market their business. Checking out different photographers Instagram pages and other social media pages, is a great way to understand their style of photography and again, compare to other photographers as well.
SO NOW, LET’S ASSUME YOU’VE BEGUN YOUR SEARCH. BUT HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU CHOOSE WHO TO CAPTURE ONE OF THE BIGGEST MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE?
1. SETTLE ON A STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
You’ve been checking out the portfolios, websites of different photographers for a while. You may have noticed that the style of photography of some appeals to you and others not so much. Different photographers have different styles of capturing and editing. You may like more natural, candid-style, or perhaps, more studio style is your kind of grove? Or maybe you want a mix of it all? Settle on a style by checking out different photographers’ websites and social media pages. This will really help you decide what kind of style best fits your personality.
Reviews are important. Check out the reviews and specifically, look for how the personal experience was of past clients. Also, notice a pattern in reviews as well. Especially, if there are negative reviews. Look for whether past clients, have complained about one thing repeatedly- this can help you understand what to avoid. Google, Yelp, Wedding Wire and TheKnot are great places to check out reviews.
3. COMPARE PACKAGES
Once you’ve narrowed down your search by deciding on a style of photography and someone with good reviews, contact them. Ask them for information about the different packages they offer. Most photographers use their packages as a base line and are more than happy to customize their packages to best suit a client’s needs. Compare and contrast to the different things different photographers offer within a certain price range and your budget.
4. SET UP MEETINGS- HOW IS THE PHOTOGRAPHERS OVERALL VIBE?
Now, your list has narrowed down to a handful. Remember you will be spending the most important day of your life with this person, so you want to make sure you feel good around this person. Same goes for the photographer. Many photographers also like to make sure they feel good about their clients. You want someone that is easy to talk to, makes you feel comfortable and has an overall friendly persona. Some moments can get awkward on the big day, so you don’t want to feel nervous around this person.
At MKEshoots, we strive to become your friend. We don’t just limit ourselves to being your photographer for the day. We become your bridesmaid, best man, whatever you need us to be—we’re there. So, you want to look for someone that holds similar views. Trust us, when that piece of hair comes out of place, or that tie is crooked, or your leg is just weirdly positioned, you want your photographer to jump in and fix it, when no one else notices these things.
5. EXPERIENCE—HOW EXPERIENCED IS THIS PHOTOGRAPHER?
Depending on whether you’re having a small, big, cultural, religious, beach, or home ceremony, you want to make sure your photographer is experienced in the areas you’re looking for. Check out their portfolio on their website or ask them to provide you with albums, or links to their portfolio so you can better grasp how experienced they are.
6. ASK ABOUT THEIR CONTRACT
Okay so now you’ve found your dream photographer. Their style, experience, personality, price, etc. all fits perfectly with what you’re looking for. Most photographers have detailed contacts that outline certain things. You want to take a good look at their contract and make sure to read about any additional costs you may be covering for transportation etc.
7. THE WEDDING DAY
Be open with your photographer and share with them the timeline of the day. Remember, they’re a pro. You don’t need to provide a detailed list of shots for them to cover. Instead, share ideas of what you’re looking for. Most importantly, convey to them any family relations or anything along those lines they should be aware of or anything they need to put extra emphasis on.
Don’t stress! You did your research, you choose someone you trusted and liked their work thus far. So, let them do their magic, so you only have to worry about saying ‘I do.’