Did you know that in the U.S. alone, there is a estimated 100,000+ wedding photographers? (Source: SLR Lounge) Choosing your wedding photographer can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. So we want to share 5 things to consider when choosing a photographer that will help narrow down your choices and perhaps make it easier to make your decision. We know that there are plenty of tips like reading reviews, looking at the price, and others that are commonly suggested.
However, the 5 tips we would like to share is to get a deeper look into the potential photographer that you would like to hire for your wedding. Thoughts that will help you think if they are the right fit for your wedding.
Why is wedding photography so important?
There are so many elements that come together to create a wedding that is beautiful and uniquely yours. Your wedding dress, the florals, the hand written vows, and so many other things that you will choose and put together so that your wedding is what you hope for it to be. But one of the most important aspects is to be able to keep those beautiful moments in some sort of tangible way.
Of course we can etch those memories and feelings into our hearts, but to have pictures to show to your family, friends, even future generations keeps those memories even longer.
5 Tips to help you choose your wedding photographer
Photo source: Pixieset
1. Ask to see a full wedding gallery
Usually we only see the best work on a photographer’s website or Instagram. Especially when aesthetics and curated images are necessary when creating a beautiful page or profile, what can be seen is only a glimpse of the work that the photographer has done.
Our suggestion is to ask your photographer for a full gallery of a real wedding that they have shot. When looking through all these pictures, you will have a better idea of the overall style and also the emotions and feelings the photos bring out.
Photography: Jen Huang Photo
2. Have they been featured on a publication?
In addition to looking at the Instagram profile of photographers, another way to understand more of their work is to see if they have been featured in a publication. There are endless number of publications online and in print, but some of the ones that are most popular and credible include: Martha Stewart Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Magnolia Rouge, and Wedding Sparrow.
One of the reasons why being featured in a publication can reflect your photographer’s work is because these publications see an abundant amount of wedding submissions every day – Style Me Pretty receives 400-600 weddings every week. So to be chosen to be featured means their work stands out among the rest.
Quick tip: an easy way to see if the photographer has been featured is to search on Google by simply typing (name of photographer) (publication). For example in our case as a wedding planner it will be: Honour and Blessing Events Martha Stewart Weddings. The results will pop up with the feature and you can take a look at the wedding.
3. Review from vendors
Not only for hiring a photographer, but when we buy products or looking to try a new restaurant, one of the most common things we do is to look at reviews. It is important to look at reviews from past couples to understand their experience.
However, we find it very helpful when looking not only at client reviews, but also at fellow vendor reviews. What vendor reviews can give you is a different perspective and understanding of how the photographer works on the day of the wedding. Many vendors have worked with various photographers and they know who will go the extra mile to ensure they capture the best and most meaningful moments.
Vendors also see what happens behind the scenes that many times the clients are unaware of; the good and the bad. Asking a fellow vendor you’re hiring for their thoughts is somewhat like knowing what a chef thinks about a particular restaurant.
We feel that for any vendor, not just a photographer, the level of professionalism you can expect on the day of your wedding and the days leading up to it, can be seen in the first 2-3 interactions or meetings you have with them.
Especially for things like, how quickly they respond to emails (a general standard will be within 24 hours), if they are punctual for an in person meeting, and the language they use when communicating. If a photographer changes meeting appointments often, are slow in communicating with you, chances are, it will be hard working with them for your wedding.
Photography: Nadia Hung Photography
5. Well Rounded
There are so many kinds of photographs that a photographer will capture on the day of your wedding and it’s important to find someone well rounded. When we say well rounded, we mean they are able to take portrait, family/guests photos, detail shots, the decor and overall landscape/architecture at the wedding.
The skill set for each of these photos are very different and many photographers will be more skilled in one area more than the others. However, it is important to find a photographer who is well rounded so that they can fully capture the wedding with different perspectives. This is also where it ties back into our first point of asking to see a full album, as this is when you will be able to see how well they capture different people and things at a real wedding.
Choose a wedding photographer that you love
We hope these 5 things will help as you consider who you should hire as your photographer. Hiring a photographer that you love will take some time and we suggest that you don’t rush into it. Spend some time looking at their work, get to know them, and see if they are the right fit for you. The time you spend looking for that one photographer is more than just for the wedding day itself. When the wedding is finished, a new chapter in married life has begun…these photos are what you will share, cherish, and reminisce through many years to come.