You're getting married! Hooray! You've told your family and friends, you've picked out a dress, and now you're searching for a photographer to capture your special day. But where do you start? How are you supposed to pick just one when there are about a million to choose from? I know when I got married that I had NO idea where to start. It was so overwhelming! So, I've compiled a list for you of five essential questions you should ask yourself before booking your wedding day photographer.
1. First and foremost, DO YOU LOVE THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WORK?
This one is a no-brainer! Find someone you love! Chances are by this point that you already have a few dream photographers in mind, or you've been googling your life away to find the perfect look. The last thing you want is to look back on your wedding photos and to realize that you don't like the photographer's style. What do you love - bright and airy? Dark and moody? Colorful and candid? Find out what you're drawn to and find a photographer that fits!
2. IS THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WORK CONSISTENT?
How does the photographer's work vary from shoot to shoot? Do all their pictures have a different style, or are they cohesive? Knowing that a photographer provides consistent work will give you peace of mind that what you see is what you'll get with your wedding photos.
3. DOES THE PHOTOGRAPHER SEEM LIKE SOMEONE YOU COULD BE FRIENDS WITH?
You will be spending A LOT of time with your wedding photographer, from your pre-wedding consultations to your engagement session to your actual wedding day. It is SO important that he or she is someone you will get along with. A photographer's website and social media feeds can tell you a lot about them. Find out what makes them tick! If their interests are similar to yours, chances are you'll get along amazingly! And if you're still unsure, schedule a short in-person meeting before booking. Most photographers will be happy to meet you beforehand, as they will also want to see if you are a good fit. Getting along with your photographer is so important for a good wedding day experience!
4. WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-HAVES WHEN IT COMES TO A PHOTOGRAPHER?
Do you want someone who can jump in and take charge at a moment's notice? Are you looking for digital image files or printed products? Do you want a full wedding package with multiple pre-wedding sessions and all-day wedding day coverage, or just a few hours at a simple ceremony? Every photographer is different and will provide you with varying experiences based on their business model. Make sure you understand what each photographer provides and how they operate on a wedding day before making a commitment to someone who may not fit your needs.
5. DOES THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S PRICING MODEL WORK WITH YOUR BUDGET?
This one is also a no-brainer. Budget is obviously a huge part of wedding planning, especially for young couples who may not have the resources to have a huge, extravagant wedding. However, my recommendation (based on personal experience) is to give a little extra padding to you photography budget. If you find a photographer you love but they're a little bit out of your price range, don't dismiss them immediately. You will have your wedding photos for the rest of your lives, long after the cake is eaten and the flowers wilt. They are such an integral part of your day and will be something to cherish for years to come. Many photographers are willing to work with you to create custom packages, and even have payment plans if needed. Think of it of an investment in your memories!
I hope his list is helpful to you as you search for your dream wedding photographer. Best of luck with your choice, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!