Choosing a wedding photographer can seem like such a daunting task. Style, budget considerations, communication, albums, digital files, availability, the first look… We’ll touch on all these things and much more!
He asked, you said yes. Now what?
Congratulations, you’re engaged. Now you’re wondering what the heck do I do now? Well, we covered that in a previous post that you can read HERE. (Be sure to pay attention to number 11.)
Decide what style you like
Today’s wedding photography like everything else comes in various styles. You have traditional which is more posed, journalistic which is more candid, and then you might have a blend of the two. When it comes to your formal pictures you might like the traditional, posed, look at the camera and smile look, a glamour/fashion look, or maybe something really artistic and more of a landscape look where the photographer takes in the beautiful surroundings and you are a small part of the pictures. Depending on your venue location, your personal taste and what the end use (album, wall art, etc.) these are all things to consider.
Decide what your needs are
We all have different needs. While one bride might want a nice, leather bound album as a keepsake, another might be a scrap -booker and want just the digital files. You might be more interested in something for your wall like a large gallery wrap or a wall grouping. As for the coverage, is getting ready important to you? Are you doing the First Look? Are pictures of the entire reception important? How about the family pictures? All of these considerations affect the hours of coverage. Allowing ample time to cover all aspects of your photography will mean more in terms of investment, but planning enough time will make your day much more relaxing.
Know your budget
If you followed our suggestions on on Things To Do After Your Engagement you probably have a rough budget. Typically we find that our clients budget for photography is about 12-18% of their total wedding budget. Depending on how important pictures are to them it might be even higher. According to a post on Huffington Post, 21% of the brides said they would spend more on photography if they could do their wedding again.
Searching. The web is your friend
Use the web to search for photographers. By looking at websites you can get a feel for the photographer and their style. Think about these things: Do the images move you? Do you like the presentation? Is there consistency? Do you like most, if not all of what you see? Choose a style that you like and if they have pricing or at least price starting points add them to your list. If there is no price listed and you love their work, add them to your list anyway.
How much? Is that really the only question?
So you’ve never planned a wedding before, much less had to choose a wedding photographer. The only thing we know to ask is “How much?” It’s OK to ask for package and pricing information in your initial email but there are a lot of other things to consider when choosing a photographer. We suggest making an appointment to meet and discuss your wedding once you have narrowed your choices down to 4 or 5 photographers. A face to face meeting can reveal a lot of things (both positive and sometimes negative) that can help with your final decision. And remember the old saying, you get what you pay for.
How many pictures?
We’ve heard it all… even that one photographer is going to deliver 3,000 pictures on disk. Really? Do you think that’s a good thing? Who wants to look at 3,000 pictures? It doesn’t take 3,000 pictures to tell the story of your day and you will go crazy sorting through that many pictures.
Websites. Do they tell the truth?
Let’s face it. Photographers put nothing but their best work on their website. Sure, it’s impressive, but it might be a good idea to see more. When you meet with a photographer ask if you can see a whole wedding. That gives you a pretty good idea what you can expect as far as quality, consistency & overall style. Did they capture the day without gaps? Did they capture the emotion? Did they capture the ambiance of the venue?
Have they worked at your venue? Does it matter?
A lot of people ask and think it makes a difference if a photographer has photographed a wedding at their chosen venue in the past. Does it matter? We don’t think so. We are pretty sure the sun rises and sets the same and that our equipment will perform as well at any venue. It’s about being prepared… Visiting the venue prior to the wedding and planning concepts and an outline for your photos. A professional photographer can take exceptional photos no matter the location.
What do others say?
Ask other people what their experience was with a photographer. Check reputable website like WeddingWire and The Knot for client reviews. Ask your wedding planner or wedding coordinator for their opinion or suggestions.
It’s a long day. Do you “Click”?
You will spend more time with your wedding photographer than anyone else on your big day. That’s another reason we highly recommend you meet face to face. As human beings, our relationships are based on personal taste. We’re all different. While one person might find a photographer to be friendly and personable, you may not. If you don’t “click”, it’s going to be a long day and your uneasiness will show in your pictures.
Still undecided? Read on
Choosing a photographer for your wedding is a big decision. You can go to the venue, walk the grounds, taste the food. You can sample your cake. But what’s it actually like to work with a particular photographer? Want to find out? For a limited time we are offering a “Try Before You Buy” engagement session. That’s right. Make an appointment, we get together and actually do a real engagement session. No cost, no obligation. We’re confident that you’ll not only love your pictures, you might just want to book us for your wedding. Call today to schedule your session – 603.361.2216.
Be sure to read 11 Reasons To Choose Us.
Contact us for more information about available dates and pricing.
Planning a wedding is a huge task and we’re hoping to make it a little easier by having some of our favorite vendors share some information. (We also think they are some of the best in the business.) Be sure to check back every Monday for another installment which will include info about flowers, transportation, venues, entertainment, wedding planning and more!
Editor’s note: This article has been updated from the original post from March of 2013.