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How to Find the Best Wedding Photographer For You

Filed in Planning Tips — February 21, 2024

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding the Wedding or Elopement Photographer of Your Dreams!

Congratulations on embarking on this incredible journey towards your dream wedding! As you start your wedding planning journey, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the perfect photographer to capture those magical moments. After all, your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and the memories captured will be cherished for generations, at least that’s the goal! So, let’s dive into a step-by-step guide on how to find your dream wedding photographer.

Step 1: Dive into Instagram for Style Inspiration

Instagram is a treasure trove of inspiration. Dive into the platform to explore different photography styles and discover accounts that resonate with your vision. Use relevant hashtags, such as #WeddingPhotography or #ElopementPhotographer, to find a variety of portfolios. This will not only help you define your preferred style but also introduce you to talented photographers you might not have stumbled upon otherwise. Remember, the goal is to find a photographer whose work you have fallen in love with! This is your wedding day and you want to be able to get amazing photos from someone whose work you truly admire, with a style of editing and shooting that aligns with what you want your end product to look like. 

Step 2: Begin with Google Research

Start your search by unleashing the power of Google! Look for local photographers or those familiar with the area of your chosen wedding venue. Using location-specific keywords will help you narrow down your options and find professionals who are well-acquainted with the scenic spots for breathtaking shots. Remember, many photographers (like me) also travel for weddings, so don’t automatically assume they’re out just based on location. 

Step 3: Research and Explore

Once you’ve identified potential photographers, delve into their websites and social media accounts. Take the time to explore their portfolios, paying attention to the consistency of their work and the emotions captured in each frame. This is where you’ll get a sense of their style, creativity, and the story they tell through their photos.

Step 4: Connect with the Vibe

Your wedding photographer is not just a service provider but a crucial part of your special day. Connect with the photographer’s tone, personality, and values. Read through their website, blog posts, and social media captions to understand who they are beyond the lens. You’ll want someone who not only captures beautiful images but also understands your vision and makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Step 5: Get Personal

After making your initial inquiries, consider reaching out to your list of photographers for a personal conversation. Whether through email, phone call, or a face-to-face meeting over a cup of coffee, gauge how well you connect with them. Communication is key, and finding a photographer who understands your vision and is genuinely excited about your wedding day will make the experience all the more enjoyable. Most photographers love getting to know their clients in advance, and it’s a great way to get a feel on how you feel around them. Remember, the goal here is to feel like they’re someone you could be friends with, because you want to be able to feel yourself with someone who’s going to have a camera pointed at you all day! This will help you to feel less awkward in your photos! No one wants to accidentally hire a photographer who they don’t get good vibes from, so make sure you can check this box before you sign the contract or make any payments! 

Step 6: Ask Questions

 Hopefully at this point your photographer has given you organized information leaving you with very few questions, but if not, then here are some important questions that you should have answered before hiring a wedding or elopement photographer….

these questions should be answered for you on their website:

“Do you travel for Weddings/Elopements?” 

“Do you charge extra for travel?”

“What’s Your Specialty?”

“What is your shooting style/What to expect when working with you?”

“How will I receive my photos from you?”

“What are your starting prices or average investment?”

these questions should be answered in their Pricing Guide:

“What all is included in your services?” 

“What print products can I get from you? (For example, prints, metal prints, canvases, albums, etc).

these are questions you should ask in your email correspondence or consultation meeting:

“Can I see a recent full wedding/elopement gallery?”

“What precautions do you take to make sure my images are safe?” 

Also, make sure that they do have a solid contract as well! Their contract should be written to protect you all from unwanted scenarios and will outline exactly what to expect from them. 

Step 7: A Note About Photography Styles

We talked a bit about this during the first step involving research, but I wanted to make sure to really hit this point home: You want to hire a photographer whose style you absolutely adore, and I want to put it this way for you, and remind you that Photography is a subjective  art, just like any other, and it’s up for interpretation of the artists as well as those who are looking at the art.

Keeping this in mind I wanted to give you analogy about hiring a photographer, just like I would give advice about hiring a tattoo artist. Let’s say you find an image of a watercolor tattoo that you absolutely LOVE, but the artist is in a different country, and you decide to take this image to another artist in your town. Now let’s say this particular artist has a different style, and creates AMAZING black and grey portrait tattoos. If you hire this artist to then perform this watercolor tattoo on you, it’s probably going to come out a lot different and you are going to walk away with a permanent piece of art that leaves you feeling regret and disappointment.

Just like with tattoo artistry, wedding photography is a permanent piece of art, that cannot be changed once it’s created. It’s important that when you want a certain style, that you hire the correct photographer for that particular style! Trust me on this! Choosing someone different because of the ease of their location or the fact that they are more budget friendly is only going to lead to a lifetime of disappointment in your wedding photography, and nobody wants that!!

Step 7: Budget Should Be the Last Box to Check

While budget is undoubtedly a factor, make it the last box to check. Remember, this is your wedding day, and the memories captured will last a lifetime. Investing in an experienced and talented photographer who aligns with your vision is worth every penny. Prioritize your connection and comfort with the photographer, and then discuss the financial aspect. 

Step 8: The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself When Hiring Your Wedding Photographer

Ask yourself this very important question before hiring your wedding photographer: “If I take all the wedding photographers I interviewed and made their prices all the same, which photographer would I hire, and why?” 

When you’re able to answer the above question without hesitation, then I believe you have found your dream photographer my friend!!!! 

In conclusion, finding your dream wedding photographer is a process that involves a combination of research, intuition, and personal connection. Your wedding day is unique, and the right photographer will help immortalize those precious moments in a way that resonates with you and your partner.

I am beyond thrilled for you to embark on this journey and find the perfect photographer to capture the magic of your special day. If my work and personality checks all these boxes for you then I’d be thrilled to chat! Fill out a contact form here, and let’s get started on creating memories that will last a lifetime!

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