Let’s say you’re engaged (some of you probably are). You’re starting to plan your wedding and you start to realize just how much there is to plan for a wedding. You keep getting all kinds of advice from other people who have already planned their weddings. However, one of the most common things that these people will say is “Don’t skimp on your photographer,” or “The biggest regret is not investing more in my photographer,” or “After all is said and done, your wedding photos will always be there – make sure they’re good.” It was said to me when I was planning our wedding and I’ve heard friends say it to friends numerous times. I’ve even had my own brides tell me that they’ve heard this many times (ps. the photo on the right is a preview for Wednesday’s post :)).
Being a wedding photographer and a former wedding planning bride, I’ve put together a mini list of things that you should look for when finding your wedding photographer:
Every photographer has a different style and technique. I love romantic, warm, bold, colorful photos. Other photographers love soft, matte, film photos. Make sure that the style you’re looking for matches the style of your photographer. Don’t hire a photographer that has hazy, film photos and want your photos to be bold and bright. Take a look at poses – do most of their photos have you looking at the camera or are they mostly you and your love looking at each other? Or is it a mix of both? Do they look natural or too posed?
Some people don’t think about this when they’re booking their photographer but personality can make or break your photography experience. Keep in mind that your photographer will be around your closest friends and family throughout your entire wedding day. They’ll be talking to them, giving directions, etc. When I meet with my clients for the first time I’m interviewing just as much as they are and I want to work with brides and grooms that I feel connected to. If you don’t feel like you can trust your photographer or just don’t get a good vibe, my advice would be to keep searching.
Turn Around Time
This is another thing that some people don’t research enough when looking for a photographer. How long will it take your photographer to finish your wedding photos and have them delivered to you? To some people, it doesn’t matter. It can take 4 months and it’s not a big deal. However, I guarantee that after all the excitement of your wedding is over with and all that’s left is writing Thank You cards, you’re going to be incredibly anxious to see some photos. I was the same way – I was even checking my Facebook on our honeymoon. Make sure to ask your photographer when you can expect your weddings photos to be in your hand. For me, turn around time is huge. I make sure that when my brides and grooms are just getting back home from their honeymoon and settling in that they receive a cute little package with all of their beautiful photos. I have their photos done on their one week anniversary and then wait to ship them until I know they’re home and ready to open their package.
This is probably the first thing that people look for when searching for a photographer. However, I have this added last on my list. Why?? Because the first 3 things I just wrote are much more important. I have heard so many horror stories from friends, friends of friends, friends of brides and grooms, etc. about their wedding photographer and their wedding photos. They didn’t do their research on anything but pricing – the wedding photographer that they chose fit in their budget but they were unfortunately left disappointed. I’m in no way knocking the idea of sticking to your budget. I was the same way – we had a certain amount that we could spend on a wedding photographer and since we were paying for it ourselves, money was very tight. Your favorite photographer might be too many thousands over your budget and sadly, you can’t afford him or her. The next step would be to find someone with similar styles, a personality that fits who you’re looking for, a turn around time that works with you and your fiance, and a price that won’t leave your wallet crying. If however, you still want that favorite photographer that’s out of your price range, start looking at things that you can cut throughout the rest of the planning. Maybe you don’t need those over priced ceiling drapings or the customized chair linens.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t just pick a photographer because they’re cheap. Make sure you’re getting what you want in a photographer and do your research. If they’re affordable and they fit all of your criteria, awesome!! If they’re affordable and you just don’t get that lovely vibe with them, keep looking. There are a million of us out there – one of us is bound to be what you’re looking for. :)