Jan 4, 2023
Finding the perfect wedding photographer is no easy task. As a wedding photographer myself, I want to be honest with you – I may not be the perfect one for you. You and I just have to realize we are still humans and that we carry our unique personalities and preferences. Based on this, I want to provide an honest guide on how to find YOUR wedding photographer – one who will capture your special day in a way that reflects your unique style and personality.
I’m starting my blog like this because finding the right photographer should be a personalized decision between you and the person you hire. Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime moment, so it’s important that you have someone who understands your vision and can make it come alive through their photography.
I remember when I was planning my wedding back in 2016. My head was filled with ideas, wants, and ways to execute my dream-come-true wedding. Finding the right photographer to capture all of that in my head was of utmost importance and priority. So I would visit many photographers’ galleries and imagine what it would look like if this person took my photos.
And many years after, here I am, working as a wedding photographer in Seattle. With all the knowledge I gathered, I want to help you narrow down your search to find someone with whom you click – and feel confident about trusting your photographer with documenting one of the most important days of your life.
While it may seem like a great idea to hire the most popular photographer on Instagram with thousands of followers, this may not be the best option for you. You shouldn’t just hire any photographer without giving thought to what makes them right for your wedding – and that means more than just having lots of followers.
You must respect that a photographer has his or her unique style. The colors they prefer, the usage of lighting, the vibe and mood they are after, and the eye for composition are very different for each and every photographer. That said, you should not go to a ‘moody’ photographer and ask for ‘light and airy’ photos and vice versa.
To avoid this mistake, try looking at many photographers’ portfolios and see what style makes your heart happy. Follow your heart. Not the number of Instagram followers.
After you spent time researching various photographers in the area, you probably reached out to some and got a reply. What happens next?
With just some emails back and forth, it is very hard to know the true personality. Unless you know for sure that THIS IS MY PHOTOGRAPHER, take your time to meet and greet the photographer personally. Either in person or virtually, see the face, listen to the voice, say hello, ask how they are doing, talk to them about your goals and dreams and see if you are comfortable interacting with them.
One big question you can ask during this time is, ‘What kind of photographer are they’ because what will be the best for you can be totally different from what other couples are looking for. For some, a calm photographer with a documentary style who can capture the genuine scenery of the day will be a perfect photographer. For some, a party lover who will be in the midst of the dance floor, singing and celebrating with you wildly, will be the best person. For some, a photographer who poses you from head to toe will be the best fit. And for some, a photographer who’s strong in capturing candid moments.
So ask the photographer what kind of approach they take on the wedding day and why. I’m sure they would love to answer your question.
Now that you checked the photography style and the personality of your possible wedding photographer, what should you consider next?
The key thing to check is if the photographer is easily reachable and willing to have ongoing communication leading up to your wedding day. Wedding photography needs planning. For example, a big part of wedding photography planning is a good timeline. Creating a timeline for your wedding photography means discussing all the details in advance with your photographer and preparing for any potential changes that could occur during the event itself. This will help ensure that everyone involved knows what is expected and when it needs to be completed. It’s also important to consider any special requests you may have and how they fit into your overall timeline, such as requests for family photos or group shots that would require additional preparation time from both sides.
If you skip this ongoing communication part after signing the contract, you’ll end up worrying about your photographer showing up on time on the day of your wedding or being uncertain about whether your photographer understood what’s important to you.
To avoid these happening to you, it may help to read reviews from past clients thoroughly. Could you observe the interaction between the photographer and the past clients? Did any of the past clients mention how easy it was to communicate with the photographer?
Also, please look over your contract thoroughly before you sign it and make a deposit. If you have any questions, again, communication is the key. Feel free to talk to your photographer for much-needed reassurance.
In conclusion, finding a photographer that fits your style and personality is an important part of the journey of your wedding planning. You should take your time to explore all options, look at portfolios and be honest with yourself when assessing the compatibility between you and the photographer. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different, and what works for one person might not work for another.
I know I didn’t mention about comparing rates and wedding packages, because I personally believe those are secondary. If you chose a photographer who genuinely cares about you, what they offer will probably be designed to suit your need.
Above all, trust your gut instinct and make sure the connection feels right. Always remember to be respectful of each other’s work styles and personalities, as this will lead to a more successful collaboration and relationship.
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