Follow these steps to find the perfect photographer to capture your special day:
Step 1: Settle on a Style
Before you can begin to search around for a photographer, you will need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer; as that will help determine what kind of photographer you will want at your wedding. Do any of these appeal to you?
Documentary: These are candid or spontaneous pictures of people, decor and the action. You will rarely see people staring at the camera–the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story.
Portraiture: If you prefer class portraits (think: your parents’ wedding album), go with a traditional photographer who specialized in portraiture. These are posed shots of the two of you, friends and family in front of various backgrounds. That’s not to say there’s no room for creativity in this style!
Fine Art: This style is similar to documentary, but it allows the shooter greater artistic license to infuse their particular point of view and style into your photographs. So while their shots reflect reality, it’s the photographer’s reality. Usually, the object (or couple) is in focus and the background appears to be blur.
Edgy-Bold: This type of photography is marked by tilted angles and unconventional framing. So instead of a straight-on shot of the couple exchanging vows at the altar, the photo might look a bit tilted.
Keep in mind that many photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots and will do a mix of black and white and color images. But if there is a specific style you would like for your wedding, be sure to find a photographer who specialized in it.
Step 2: Do your homework
Start your search by reading review from recent brides and browsing hundreds of local listings. Review potential photographers’ websites and blogs to check out their photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will help give you an idea of their style. Their design may also help give you a sense of the personality. Check out Facebook, if possible and blog comments to see how the photographer responds to comments.
Step 3: Set up interviews
This is not a decision that can be made based on looks and photos alone–you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their sites and their fees are in your ballpark range, give them a call to see if they are available for your wedding date. If they are already booked, try to see if they have an associate they can recommend or another shooter with similar style. Set up in-person meetings with 3-5 potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, style and what you envision.
Step 4: See a few full wedding albums
Don’t base your decision solely on what you see in a photographer’s highlight gallery or album. You won’t get a well-rounded idea of their work by only seeing some of the best pictures that they use for promotional advertising. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve shot so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection might look like after the wedding.
Step 5: Review Albums with a Critical Eye
Look for key moments you want captured: Did they get photos of both the bride and the groom when they locked eyes for the first time? Look for crispness, good lighting, photos of both families… It’s also important that the photographer capture sensitive moments, not only of the bride and groom but of your friends.
Step 6: Make sure your personalities mesh
Don’t underestimate the importance of liking and bonding with your photographer. You will be spending a lot of time together! Is the photographer excited by your vision? When they make suggestions, are they clear and respectful? To get the best photos, your photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments. Your photographer should ask a lot of question and be a good listener.
Step 7: Confirm your shooter(s)
Unless you specify, the lead photographer may not be the one shooting your day. So be sure to be specific as many larger studios have more than one photographer on staff. You need to make sure that the photographer you interview is the one who will be shooting your wedding as every photographer has a different style and personality! Also, include in your contract who will cover for the photographer should something happen on the actual day. Check whether the photographer will bring any assistants, and how many?
Step 8: Compare packages
You will not be able to nail down an exact dollar amount until you are sure of what you want, how many albums you need and where your photographer is located, and packages range from $2500 all the way up to $15,000+ on the higher end of the spectrum. When you interview your potential candidates, ask for a general range based on the photographer’s standard “shooting fee” and package, plus their standard rates for the type of album you think you’ll want and the amount of coverage you’re hoping to book them for.
Step 9: Ask about your rights
Most contracts stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken at the wedding, even the ones of you.In other words, the photographer can use them promotionally. That also means you can’t just post the digital proofs they send you. Unless you negotiate otherwise, if you want to print the images yourselves or order an album from another source, you’ll have to buy the rights of the images.
In light of all of these tips, I would like you to consider the following two photographers.
I love their style of photography and I would definitely consider using them for my wedding and future milestones.
Take a peek:
This photoshoot recently caught my eye this week and I fell completely in love with it! Tell me what you think for this engagement photoshoot:
Rebekah Westover Maternity Photoshoot for the beautiful Rach Parcell Pink Peonies