When choosing a wedding photographer, sometimes the options (and not to mention prices) can be overwhelming. Words like vintage, photojournalistic, contemporary and artistic seem to be thrown around a lot, and you are already beginning to see the drastic differences between the work of many wedding photographers. And you are probably thinking, “How will I ever choose a wedding photographer?!”
Well, I am writing this article to assist you in doing exactly that – I’m here to help you choose the perfect wedding photographer that will suit your individuality perfectly! My first word of advice is to visit the websites of many photographers. Get a feel for the styles that are out there. If you have friends who have used a particular wedding photographer and you loved their work, visit their website as well. Look through their galleries, read their blog. Blogs are a great insight into a photographers personality. If you are absolutely in love with the photographs on their website, then it is then time to visit their pricing page.
Wedding photography can easily be one of the priciest investments that you make in regard to your wedding day. However, once the party is over, your wedding photographs will be the only tangible product you have left to document all of the time, effort and money that you poured into your wedding. In my opinion, if you go with a photographer who cannot effectively capture the beauty of your wedding, then much of the money that you did choose to invest will not be remembered. Bottom line, your wedding is going to cost you some money, but wedding photography is not the place to cut corners. Look at your budget, decide what you are able to spend, and remember that your wedding photographer is the only one that can make your wedding day last forever – how do you want it to be remembered?
Once you have decided on a wedding photography budget, you can then eliminate any photographers that are completely out of your price range. Depending on your budget, this may cull your options quite a bit. It may even narrow it down to just one photographer. However, if there are more than one, it is time to revisit the work of each photographer within your budget, and make a list of the ones whose work really resonates with you. Pick only the photographers that excite you and inspire you! If you like somebody’s sense of humor in their blog, but are a little less than impressed by their photographs – scratch them off of your list! Their portfolio contains the best of the best of their work – if you do not L-O-V-E love it, then the odds are that you will not love them as your wedding photographer.
It’s important that you be really thorough in this process. Try to narrow it down to two or three photographers. Once you have done this, I’d recommend checking the internet to find reviews from other brides. It’s worth the time it takes to consider the experiences that other brides have had with each particular photographer.
After reading the reviews, you should have either one, two or three photographers whose work you love. It is now time to make contact with them. The first and most important question that you need to ask is if they are available on your wedding date. So I suggest e-mailing them, asking if they are available on your date, and be honest with them. If you have one or two other photographers that you are looking at as well, it’s okay to let them know. Tell them you love their work, and that you’d really love to meet them to see if they are going to be the best match for you. Most likely they will set up a consultation so that you can get acquainted, and ask any questions that you may have.
At the consultation, just remember to relax and be yourself. This person, if you choose them to document your wedding day, is going to be by your side throughout almost the entire event, and you need to make sure that you can be comfortable with that. Some things you will want to discuss with them is their level of experience, whether or not there will be a second shooter, what is included in their wedding packages, and (very important) to see a few examples of entire weddings. It’s not terribly difficult to grab a handful of great images at a wedding, however, it is incredibly difficult to attain an album full of great images at a wedding. So ask to see several weddings from begging to end. Most likely they will have a few albums or slideshows that will allow you to see their style of wedding coverage from start to finish.