Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most exciting days of your life so it's important to find a photographer that you feel confident will document the day perfectly for you! There is an absolute abundance of talent in the photography industry and it can be overwhelming trying to find someone you can trust to capture the day. Here are a few talking points to discuss with photographers when you're in the planning process...
1.) Make Sure You Love Their Style
The easiest way to start filtering out photographers is by choosing a style that you love. Do you love edits that are dark and moody, light and airy, warm color tones, vibrant, muted greens, true to life colors? My personal advice - choose a photographer who's editing style won't be out of style in 5-10 years. You want to love your wedding photos forever! Make sure they're timeless and not trendy.
Be sure to notice their style of shooting too! Do you love dramatic, staged, and posed portraits? Candid photos with real moments of love and laughter? Or do you appreciate a more traditional approach?
2.) Be Sure Their Work Is Solid From Beginning To End
Traditional wedding days are long, complex, and on a strict timeline, so it's important that you choose a photographer with plenty of wedding experience and who proves they can document the day well from beginning to end. You can find images on their websites, but sometimes the best way to get an idea of a photographer's style is to stalk their social media. Or simply reach out to prospective photographers and ask if you can see a fully delivered gallery so you can get an idea of what their work looks like from beginning to end of a wedding day.
3.) Read the Reviews
Pictures are proof of talented work, but what about a great customer experience? There's so much that goes into being a great wedding photographer - communication, professionalism, personality, reliability, etc. Take the time to go through reviews and find out what other couples have to say about their experience with the photographer team. If there aren't any reviews to read that might be a red flag. There are people who switch business names to drop bad reviews online, so find a business that has reviews that date back for years.
4.) Ask About Their Equipment
I'm not talking camera brands - Ask your photographer how many cameras they'll have with them, what kind of lighting they use at receptions (being a "natural light photographer" means they most likely don't have lighting for dark scenes like receptions), and if they have extra batteries for their equipment. I personally carry 3 camera bodies and 5 lenses on wedding days as well as 6 external flashes and backup batteries galore for all of those!
Next question - Are they backing up your wedding photos after the wedding day? I can't tell you how many couples have had their wedding photos lost because their photographer's computer crashed and their files weren't backed up. Make sure your photographer is backing up your images on an external hard drive or a cloud-based data service. As soon as I return from a wedding their photos go onto my computer and then on to 2 external hard drive devices.
5.) Get Things In Writing!
This might be a no-brainer, but please always always always get a contract from your photographer. This helps ensure you're both legally protected should either party not follow through with their end of the bargain. Be sure that the amount of time you've agreed upon is mentioned, whether you have a single or 2 photographers, whether or not you have a print release or prints included in your package, how long of a delivery time they guarantee (is it 2 weeks, 2 months, 8 months?) and most importantly the price and payment agreements.
Your wedding day is important no matter how big or small the guest list is! Whether you're planning a sunrise mountain elopement or a beautiful barn wedding surrounded by all of your family and friends, it's a day you'll always want to remember. Consider your wedding photographer an investment. You're investing in their talent, experience, and knowledge that will assure you have amazing memories to share and look back on your entire life.
Speaking of photographers... Hey there! I'm Carly D'Angelo-Hall - a photographer specializing in documenting weddings across the U.S. If you love adventure, experiencing new things, and if you like to live "outside of the box", let's talk about how I can help you create and capture the wedding day of your dreams! Visit wildnorthweddings.com to view wedding packages and check out our 5 Star reviews on Wedding Wire!