The wedding day is almost here, and you’re so excited to finally become Mr. and Mrs.! Your friends and family have been brimming with anticipation all year, and they can’t wait to celebrate with you. While some aspects of your wedding will be decided by tradition or the venue, there are some things that you get to choose completely on your own. After all, you’re paying for them — why not give yourself the best wedding possible? One way to make sure your wedding photos are exactly what you want them to be is by choosing a great photographer from the start.
1) Look For Recommendations From People You Know
Ask your friends and family members if they have any recommendations for wedding photographers. These people already know you and will be able to tell you what kind of experience they had with a photographer. Their experiences can help you decide which one to choose for your engagement session and wedding day.
2) Meet Face To Face
When it comes to engagement photography, meeting face-to-face is not only essential—it’s crucial. You want to meet your photographer before hiring them for one of life’s most important days (and that goes double if you’re having a destination wedding). Before they can take photos of you on your big day, photographers need to build trust with their clients; getting to know them through in-person meetings helps cultivate that relationship.
3) Ensure They Do Portraits & Weddings
When you’re searching for a wedding photographer, look for someone who does both. Portraits capture your engagement photos and show how you look together in just one setting; weddings capture all of your family and friends, which makes them far more interesting than traditional portraits. Wedding photographers will also know exactly what to do when it comes time to capture your big day. You’ll get an idea of their skills based on their other work, which means you can spend less time checking references and more time enjoying your engagement.
4) Pick Those That Are Passionate About Photography
Once you’ve decided that you want to go with a professional photographer, ask to see their portfolio. Look for someone who seems passionate about their work and excited to be doing what they do. If they aren’t enthusiastic about your engagement photo shoot, they likely won’t put any effort into it. Trust me, you don’t want an unenthusiastic photographer if you can help it!
5) Research Their Works
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, make sure to check out their work! This should be one of your top priorities. Often, wedding photographers are more than happy to show you their portfolio. If not, Google them and look through images that they’ve posted on social media. Make sure that their style meshes with what you’re looking for and that they have experience photographing at weddings similar to yours.
6) Check Their Availability
If you’re having a destination wedding or one out of town, make sure you check with potential photographers to make sure they’re available on your desired date. If they don’t accept those types of gigs, maybe it’s time to start looking for another photographer. It may seem like a bit of work at first, but trust us: You’ll want someone who is as excited about your wedding as you are!
7) Understand How Much It Will Cost
As with any type of photography, it’s critical to understand how much your wedding photographer will cost. Many photographers charge by the hour, and others by a flat fee for packages that include an engagement session or wedding-day photos. Other factors that can impact your wedding photographer costs include travel time (for out-of-towners), shoot days (number of hours), photo print sizes, and extra services like second shooters.
8) Look Out For The Package Terms And Conditions
When you hire a photographer for your wedding, be sure to carefully read all of their package terms and conditions before booking. Make sure that everything is clear and that you understand exactly what they offer and how much you’ll have to pay. Ask lots of questions if anything seems unclear – don’t sign anything without knowing exactly what it is first!
9) Be Prepared To Book Them In Advance
Have a favorite wedding photographer?
Book them ahead of time. You don’t want to spend your valuable time searching for a professional photographer when you should be finalizing your invitation list and sending out save-the-dates. Plan in advance and book your wedding photographer early, so you can enjoy every moment of planning your big day without having to worry about who will capture it all on camera.