How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer; From a Photographer’s Perspective

There are many tricks and turns to deciding what is best for you and this post is just here to either reiterate what you already have on your list or add a few more. I have asked both Brides and Pros too and with their responses I have been able to list what you should consider when finding the right person to capture your perfect memories.

It is no surprise that all the responses of the Brides were found in those of the Photographers but not the other way round. It is believable because as a Bride the only time you know or research about Wedding photography is when planning your wedding, but for the photographers themselves, it’s a job…they are on it all day everyday!

Thanks to our Professional Photographers who have contributed to this piece, EWAM hearts you!

How-to-choose-your-wedding-photograperOriginal Photo from Cydney and Kiel’s Wedding by Volkel Image

Personality

This is the first one, not necessarily because it should be the first step in finding a wedding photographer but because out of all the 6 Wedding photographers I asked, all mentioned this point. This addresses “How well you connect with your Photographer.” For wedding photography, let’s be honest there is a high tendency to be shy or uncomfortable (except you are an actor/actress) especially during the posed photos as opposed to the candid ones when you are not really aware. To overcome such shy situations which may make your photos look awkward, one of the best tips is to find someone who you connect and are comfortable with.

“He might be the greatest artist in the world but he could also be a diva!”- Jide of Alakija Studios.

“Remember the photographer is using his or her expression of art to display a story of the bride or groom. If you don’t vibe well with them or think their personality doesn’t match your style, your photos often will show that.” – Omar of Omar Carter Photography 

“A bride spends pretty much her entire day with her photographer so being with someone who rubs her the wrong way or makes her feel uncomfortable is going to take away from her day.” – Ashley of Ashley Reherman Photography

“If you don’t like your photographers as people, you aren’t going to be as comfortable, calm, or confident in front of the camera on your wedding day. Having that fun relationship with your photographers means that you are more relaxed which definitely shows through images and results in more candid, natural and fun images because you are truly being yourselves!” – Ashley from Jen + Ashley Photography

“Above all, get someone you’re comfortable with. Most of the moments you’ll want to remember are usually shy moments for some or most people. You don’t want to have someone you’re not comfortable with pointing a camera at you the whole day. ” – Yemi from NMT Photography

“Your wedding photographer will be about 4 feet from you ALL DAY on the biggest day of your life. You need to make sure you’re comfortable and you want your guests to feel comfortable too.” – Chloe of ChloeMoore Photography

Price

Price was the next most echoed point. Since I am a firm believer in budgeting, I would go ahead and say this should be your first step. Talk it over with your future husband or wife and set a budget. My consulted photographers have gone a step further in stressing the fact that the budget should be “reasonable.” I believe this word is very relative and would be based on the options you see around – you should have many options and then compare, this is part of your homework to get an idea what price range is “reasonable” in your area. In regards to pricing, Chloe of ChloeMoore Photography explains “To get the most for your money, don’t fall for gimmicks like wedding albums. If you own all the rights to the original photos, you can have your own album custom made for much cheaper than most photographers will do it for. Your money will be best spent on coverage hours and assistant photographers rather than prints and albums. Prices might seem high but remember that your wedding photos, video and hubby are the things that will last long after the wedding cake is digested and the dress has yellowed – you don’t want to skimp on it!”

Style

The style of a photographer is another point to be taken into consideration. Have you seen some photos where many seem to rave about but you are just not crazy about it? The reason might not be because the photographer does a poor job but the fact that his style is not yours. Ashley from Jen + Ashley Photography adds “If you swoon over soft, light filled images with lots of sunflare and natural lighting, then a photographer that shoots everything using artificial light and mostly indoors is probably not the best fit for your wedding. Make sure to peruse the photographer’s work and make sure that their style of imagery is a match for your wedding dreams.”

Professionalism/Legit-ness

Yemi from NMT Photography made a key point when he stressed the fact that there is a tendency for some photographers to throw professionalism out the window when they feel their skill or experience may just be good enough. I don’t know about you but I would not want to work with someone who has no bearing about what being a professional entails, things just need to be done by the book sometimes to make me feel more comfortable about where my money is going. I have also linked this point to the “legit-ness” of the photographer. Ashley and Chloe have both chipped in about the legality involved in choosing your Wedding photographer.

“But a photographer SHOULD be licensed, insured, tax-paying and taking care of business! It’s important to hire a photographer who is doing business the right way so that both you and the photographer can be protected no matter what happens!” – Ashley from Jen + Ashley

“Obviously, you want to deal with an honest upfront business person who will make your day memorable, joyous, and free from complications. Look through any contracts very carefully before signing them and paying your deposit to make sure everything is as agreed upon. Will the photographer advertised be the one there on your wedding day or do they send out another photographer in their place? Will they bring an assistant? How many photos will you get? How many can be retouched? How long will it take for the photos to be ready?”- Chloe of ChloeMoore Photography

Reviews/References/Recommendations

You want to take into consideration what previous clients of your narrowed options have to say and not only what their websites or portfolios show. Ask around; Check reviews on Yelp, Google, Wedding Wire and more. According to Jide of Alakija Studios, “Find out what past brides are saying about the photographer you are considering. Don’t merely focus on what you see on his portfolio. That’s just 10% of everything.”

Experience &Skill

It is very possible to get only one of these two but in an ideal world having both would be pretty awesome. Experience speaks of how long the photographers have been covering weddings or the event of your interest. They say “Experience is the best teacher” while I don’t fully agree on the word “best” in that sentence, I do agree that is definitely helps and adds to it all. Skill speaks of how well the photographers are and I believe this can be determined by taking a good sample of his/her work. However, remember to choose wisely with these two because longer experience in the wedding industry does not always guarantee better pictures.

Flexibility

Omar of Omar Carter Photography adds that some photographers get very cocky and refuse to even try somethings they normally wouldn’t do. You should be careful about working with such people because it can end up being their vision as opposed to yours. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions like these during the consultation. “Can we try a train shot or can we try a trampoline shot?”.

SecondShooter/Assistance

Not everyone would agree with this but Ashley of Ashley Reherman Photography saw the need for this point to be considered. In her experience she explains that for a wedding, there is just too much going on everywhere for one person to handle. I do agree just by taking a look at my wedding and how it all turned out but I also would think that perhaps “how small” your wedding is might be a factor in deciding if you really need a second shooter.

Many thanks to all these Professional Photographers that have helped with this post! I am truly glad to know I have them to run to with questions like these from myself of even future EWAM brides!
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5 Responses

  1. A REAL Photographer

    Do you seriously believe any of this? What are these brides going to do…diplay their DVD on the wall? Albums and wall prints are HEIRLOOMS for crying out loud!

    Reply
  2. Gee| EverythingWeddingsAndMore

    Hahaha! Lisa hopefully no one would display their dvds on the wall..that would be extremely hilariois! lol. But the point was they can make their own albums and wall prints themselves, not to not have them at all.

    Reply
  3. Rainie Flores

    I totally agree with connection. You and the photographer have to connect. You’ve got to have a nice and smooth relationship going. It is important that you feel comfortable with your photographer. Of course, it is vital that they are professional at work. It is essential that they value time. The best way for me to choose will be to ask friends and relatives who have hired photographers in the past. They sure know some great ones.

    BlueWaterStudiosLLC.com

    Reply

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