After your guests have gone home, the thank you cards have been mailed, and your dress has been dry-cleaned, the one tangible element of your wedding that’s left is your photos. These evocative images will be there for you to treasure always. Each shot will remind you of the love, laughter, and tears from your beloved wedding day, even decades after you’ve exchanged your vows.
Since wedding photos are so important, many couples worry about how to choose a wedding photographer. But with so many photographers out there, how can you find someone who’s able to accurately capture each tender moment, soft kiss, and beaming smile?
I promise it’s not as hard as you might think! Taking into account your style and personality, here’s how to pick the right wedding photographer.
Consider which wedding photography styles are right for you
After you’ve allocated your wedding photography budget, start by doing some research. Spend time looking at wedding photography websites to get a feel for what style of photo you like. It can also be helpful to ask friends for recommendations, since most people are glad to share the details of their own wedding photographer.
Do you love striking black-and-white images? Or a soft, ethereal style? Maybe an editorial vibe, like something out of Vogue magazine? From vintage-style photos to dark and moody scenes, you can find so many options out there.
One of my biggest tips for hiring a wedding photographer is finding someone who matches your desired style. You’ll be looking back at your wedding photos for years to come, and you want them to be accurate to your memories from the day. A single photo has the power to transport you back in time, instantly reminding you of the elation you felt during your first kiss or the sweet joy of your first dance.
Once you find a style of photography you love, look for local photographers who can deliver. “But how do I choose the right photographer?” you might be asking. Well, when you’re browsing portfolios and come across someone who makes you say, “Wow, I can completely imagine myself in that photo”, you’re on the right track!
Don’t stress – you got this!
I know how hard it is to make big decisions about your wedding, but try not to spend weeks agonizing over which photographer to choose. Once you fall down the rabbit hole of wedding photography Pinterest boards, it’s hard to get back up!
But honestly, you don’t want to stress over this, since wedding planning is already difficult. Narrow your search down to your top few, reach out to them for a chat, then make your decision. Trust in your capable photographer that they’ll take amazing photos, and then you can move on to the next element of your wedding planning process.
Trust your instinct
How do I choose a good wedding photographer after I’ve narrowed it down to my top three? Well, I suggest going with your instinct. In your heart, which person calls out to you the most?
On your wedding day, you’ll be spending pretty much all day with your photographer near, so they need to be someone you trust, feel comfortable with, and enjoy being around. Ask yourself: would I happily go out for a glass of wine with this person? If not, they might not be right for you.
Book an engagement shoot to get to know your photographer
I highly recommend going for a “test run” with your photographer. By booking an informal couples’ photoshoot or an engagement shoot, you’ll not only get an extra set of photos, but you’ll also have the opportunity to get to know your photographer ahead of the wedding day.
Since many couples tend to feel nervous or uncomfortable in front of the camera, booking a shoot before the big day will help you relax and feel at ease. That way, your photographer will feel like a familiar friend on your wedding day, rather than a stranger.
If you’re not able to do a pre-wedding shoot, consider at least meeting them for coffee or a Zoom chat so you can get to know one another and talk about your wedding plans.
Ask the tricky questions
While not everyone feels comfortable talking about money, it’s essential to understand exactly what you’re getting from your photographer. Don’t be afraid to ask them for details, such as how long they’ll shoot for, when you’ll get your images back, and whether or not there are any additional expenses to consider. This will avoid any surprises down the track and ensures you know what to expect before, after, and during the wedding.
Your photographer is also a photography expert, so feel free to ask them any questions about your wedding lighting, photo style, or posing tips. Wedding photography is definitely a team effort, so the more prepared you and your photographer are, the better photos you’ll get.
Any honest photographer will be more than happy to take the time to chat with you beforehand.
What makes a great wedding photographer?
The answer is simple: find someone who makes you feel comfortable. If you feel relaxed, safe, and happy around your photographer, you’re going to loosen up, act naturally, and forget they’re even there. This will result in genuine, natural wedding photos that capture your love authentically.
Knowing how to choose a wedding photographer style isn’t always easy, but with a bit of research and time, you’ll find the perfect person for your big day. I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions – I’m always so excited to share the adventures of your wedding day, creating natural, meaningful images that will help you relieve your wedding memories forever.