Finding the right photographer can be one of the hardest things in the wedding process. Although there are blogs, social media posts, and endless galleries, there’s no “taste-test” that will tell you exactly what you can expect from a wedding photographer.
Looking through the tens of thousands of Pinterest boards with photographs from weddings, you can get a pretty good grasp of photography styles that pique your interest. Having an idea of what you like can help you narrow down which photographer to hire. If a photographer has tagged themselves with describing keywords, you should be able to seek them out by searching for the style you wish for. Styles can be categorized as classic, artistic, lifestyle, dramatic, and documentary.
Start your search by Googling “local wedding photographers” or use services like The Knot or Wedding Wire to find photographers in your area. Look through their reviews, websites, and galleries to see what other clients have said about their camera work, personality, style, and costs. Another way to find local photographers is to use social media or message recently married couples you may know to ask for recommendations or reviews. Using this method may cut down a lot of time you could spend searching the web for people.
After you have found a photographer that interests you, and you have looked through their work, the next step is to meet them. To save yourself time, make sure they have your wedding date available, then set up an interview.
The point of this interview is the test your personalities, remember you are going to have to spend one of the most important days of your life with this person or people, you will want to make sure you jive. You will also want to go over details and special requests to make sure the photographer feels comfortable and capable. Another good question to ask is if they have previously shot at the venue(s) you are using. These details can open opportunities for you to have more of an in-depth understanding of their experience and what they can do.
While you have the potential photographer with you, discuss the investment so that you can compare and contrast prices if needed. It’s important to ask what normally is included in wedding fees with their company. Photographers can often do everything from shooting the event to printing the photos. What will your wedding package include, and are there features you can cut that you might not want?
During this discussion, you should ask how long the photographer will stay with you at the wedding. Lastly, ask how long it will take for the photos from your wedding to reach you (some can take months and sometimes up to a year for albums).
Take some time to consider your options and give any sample photos another critical look. Compare packages and costs along with the personalities of each of the photographers. Once you’ve done this and you think you have the right photographer, go for it!
If you want to test out your chosen photographer, engagement photos can be a great way to do this. Not only will an engagement session be a perfect opportunity to bond with your photographer, you can get a first-hand experience with them. A lot of other questions will be answered too. How long does it take them to give you a sneak peek? Will they share on Social Media? How long until I get my photos? How well does the photographer stay in communication with you after the shoot?