I love wedding season, not just because I'm a photographer and wedding season is a huge part of my job, but I love it because weddings are just beautiful. They are celebrations of love. They're the beginnings of new families. They are full of hope and excitment. What's not to love?
Actually, there are things not to love about wedding season. The biggest thing is that for so many brides the prep for a wedding is stressful. There's so much to organize, figure out, plan and coordinate and even if you hire a wedding planner there are still details that only the bride can do. So many brides I work with are stressed when it comes to talking about photography and that always breaks my heart. I want brides (and grooms!) to feel comfortable and happy, to feel like if nothing else they are going to have perfect photos for their day.
With that in mind I came up with my top tips to anyone looking for a wedding photographer to help them with their investment.
1. Meet with photographers before hiring them.
One of the best ways to find any services is through the recommendation of others. I see it all the time on various pages and groups, people asking for leads on one service or another. I love to see all the people chiming in with their experiences and suggestions. It's a great place to start, but the flip side of that is that even if everyone suggests a photographer, that doesn't mean they are the right one for you. You need to meet with the photographers you are considering. It gives you a chance to get to know them, find out what their working style is, what their personality is. You want to have a good relationship with the person who photographs your wedding because the better you work together, the more intimate and special those photos are.
2. Make sure you love many pieces of your chosen photographer's work and not just a few.
Most photographers shoot a lot of different types of sessions beyond weddings: family, lifestyle, glamour, etc. Make sure you look at their entire portfolio and love many different types of photos in it. Why? No two weddings are the same. Maybe you've planned a gorgeous light and airy outdoor wedding, but at the last minute it has to move indoors to a poorly lit space. You want to make sure that your photographer is good at both. Or maybe you decide that you want to do something nontraditional. You need to know that your photographer has a wide range of skill and talent.
3. Be honest. With yourself about the importance of your photos and with your photographer about your budget.
A lot of people get sticker shock when it comes to pricing wedding photography. It isn't and shouldn't be cheap. But cost also shouldn't stop you from getting the images you want most from your big day. That's why this is a two-in-one tip. First, know your budget. If you only have $1000 to spend on photographs, know that and express that. That will help you narrow down photographers to work with, but will also give your prospective photographer an opportunity to show you what you can get with your budget. And that's where being honest with what is most important to you comes in. Many bridal packages include an album, but if a beautiful canvas is more important to you than an album, you need to know that and need to let your photographer know that because they can help you pick the right products and, if they know you want something specific, they can go to your wedding looking for shots that will fit even better your dream products.
Coming soon, my business partner and makeup artist Nicole will share some tips about selecting a makeup artist for your wedding.