I think I took it for granted. Being a photographer, sometimes, it's easy to look past the things that couple's planning their wedding day struggle with. One of those very important things....choosing the right photographer!
Recently, I've had multiple brides tell me: "finding a photographer was seriously the hardest thing we've had to decide on." Oh.My.Gosh! I felt bad. I was thinking in my head "oh no!? Someday when I'm getting married I already have a list of photographers." || hello, silly!!! It's because you ARE a photographer. duh! || At the end of our conversations, I heard them say "and then I found you." Probably the best feeling ever! :) But, I felt a little bad, and somehow guilty.
Why? When I talk with engaged couples, we get into every detail how their day would go (from a photography perspective), they ask questions about timing, I ask them about their vision, and I assure them I'm there to capture all the perfect and candid moments. We get caught in conversation about how their photos will be cherished for so many years (and generations) to come. One thing I was neglecting to realize....they had to find ME first, and have that conversation. If choosing the right photographer specific to them was so important....I should be doing something to help couples find that perfect photographer!
How to choose a wedding photographer:
Wedding planning can be overwhelming especially when it comes to finding the right photographer! Start by asking yourself a few (important) questions, and write down the answers. It'll help you narrow your search.
1. What is your style? Are you drawn to neutrals, simplicity? Or colorful, deep, and moody?
If you're drawn to neutrals and simplicity you should look for a photographer with a timeless, bright, airy, clean style. If you're drawn to deep and moody, look for a photographer who exemplifies more mood and contrast in their past work.
2. Where are you located? is your wedding a destination, is it imperative your photographer won't have to travel far?
3. Budget. What is your "photography budget?"
I'm diving in head first! This can be a very sensitive topic. Be honest with yourself, your fiancé and your photographer. Have an idea for an overall wedding budget and stay true to it. Nothing is worse than finding a perfect photographer who is WAY out of your price point. I work very hard with clients to customize packages (if needed), people don't all fit in a box! But, remember $$$ isn't the most important box to check, either. -- Sure, someone who charges less might "capture" the moment...but is it that timeless, beautifully colored, crystal clear memory you want to cherish forever? -- Budget can be so, so tricky but asking questions never hurts.
4. What type of photographs are important to you?
posed, candid, fun, emotional, natural, landscape, architectural. start using those hashtags, or keywords when searching on instagram, facebook, or google. look for photographers who have past work that matches what's important to you and your fiancé.
5. Do you have family/friends who have worked with photographers and do you like their photographs?
sometimes word of mouth recommendations are the best. if a family member or friend had an amazing session, or wedding experience with a photographer find out! Even if that photographer maybe isn't right for you, photographer's have quite a network and might be able to help you out.
6. Ask other's about their wedding photographer experience
there is probably a friend or acquaintance you see on Facebook who has been married. reach out! ask about their experience with their photographer. things they liked and disliked. use that information to help guide your questions and conversations with a potential photographer.
When you find potential photographers- have a conversation!
I love popcorn (it's an obsession), coffee jump-starts my mornings, tacos and queso should be a food group, and most nights I very much enjoy a perfect moscow mule with extra lime. Maybe you like those things too!? You'll never know if you don't look around a potential photographers website or social media feeds. Feeling like you know someone, or could find common interests is a sure fire way to have a great relationship with your wedding photographer. Wait!? Relationship!? Yes, I love staying in touch (even working with later on in life) making friends with and having post- wedding meet up's with past wedding couples! Making friends is fun + we all more comfortable throughout the engagement session and wedding when we feel connected. Trust me-your pictures will prove it! :)
Happy planning + good luck finding that "perfect fit" photographer!