Researching and deciding on the right person to photograph your wedding is an important step in the wedding planning process. With so many talented individuals to pick from, ranging in experience, style and price, it can feel like a difficult task. Thankfully, choosing a photographer doesn’t have to be so overwhelming, and by following these simple tips you’ll be able to find the perfect match in no time.
DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET
Before you start looking at photographers, it’s important to determine your budget. There is no point falling in love with a photographer’s portfolio to then realise they are $3,000 out of your budget. Luckily there are talented individuals in all price ranges, so once you’ve set your budget, you’ll be able to begin your search.
EXPLORE WEBSITE AND BLOGS
A photographers website is your first impression of their work, so it’s important to take a look around. Read their bio, explore their portfolio, and see the latest work on their blog. Many times photographers will list their starting price, so look out for that, and be sure to really read through the information on their site. This will give you a much better idea about their business, what it’s like to work with them, and an overall sense of their style.
A quick search for reviews can reveal a lot about your prospective choices, both the positives and negatives. If you consistently hear the same adjectives being used to describe the photographer it’s a good indicator that these are traits you can expect to experience.
Once you’ve determined the leading contenders, it’s time to reach out and see if they are available for your date. If they are, then it’s the perfect opportunity to schedule a meeting. Many photographers will also send you full pricing info at that time, make sure to read all the details so you’re prepared to ask them any questions you may have.
TIP: Most photographers start to take bookings up to 12+ months in advance so be sure to start researching soon after you’ve set the date and booked your venue.
We recommend meeting with 1-2 photographers in person, as each will have their own style, personality and approach. Someone can seem like the perfect fit online, but this meeting will really give you a look into what working with them would be like. Were they late to the meeting with no phone call to let you know they got stuck in traffic? Did you like their personality and click straight away? These are all important things to keep in mind since you’ll spend a large portion of your wedding day with your photographer. If you already find them annoying during a 30-minute meeting, that’s a good indicator they may not be the right fit for you.
NOT EVERYONE IS EQUAL
Every photographer prices himself or herself differently, and although it might be tempting, you can’t compare apples to apples. Just because two photographers price themselves similarly doesn’t mean they will give you the same final product, experience, customer service, and attention to detail. Keep these things in mind as your considering your top choices. Does it take several days for them to respond to your emails? Are they clear about when you can expect? Do you get an overall sense that they will take care of you in a personal and professional manner? It’s not just about the photography and its not just about the price, but the overall experience each person will bring to the table.
TRUST YOUR GUT
When you’ve weighed all the pros and cons, it really comes down to choosing the professional who you both trust and feel comfortable with. Don’t stress about your decision, photography is one of the many aspects of your wedding day; so don’t be afraid to trust your gut to help make the final call.
So what about the photographers you didn’t choose to work with? Don’t forget that behind every business is a person, who deserves to hear from you. Even though it might be slightly uncomfortable, be sure to let any vendors you’ve contacted know that you have chosen to go in another direction. Taking that minute to say “we appreciate you meeting with us, but after much consideration, we’ve decided to move forward with another photographer” is the kind and considerate thing to do.
The best advice that I can give is if you have found your perfect photographer don't delay in booking them in! Most photographers including myself, can't hold your date or 'pencil you in'. To be fair to everyone, we can’t ‘hold’ a date without taking an official booking. Typically, photographers run on a first come/first served basis but remember this also benefits both of you. By securing your wedding photographer you have a guarantee that they will not entertain enquiries from other parties for the same date. It’s always in your best interest to book your wedding photographer as soon as you have chosen the one you love.
Good Luck x Raquelle