How in the world are you supposed to choose a wedding photographer for your big day?! There are thousands of us in your area, all with different styles of work, different ranges of experience, using different equipment, possessing different personalities, with prices ranging from free to what amounts to a down-payment on a mortgage! Well worry no more - I am here to help. Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make about your wedding day. Guess who you spend the most time with at your wedding? Your photographer. Guess who will (or should) help you plan your day to ensure you have enough time for everything that you’ve always dreamt?! Your photographer. Guess who might become your best friend and will need to take pictures of you WHILE being your newest bridesmaid?! Just kidding… but it could be your photographer!
Here are my five steps to choosing the perfect wedding photographer for you, as well as some questions to be sure to ask them before deciding <3
1. Fall in love with their photos
Step one is finding someone whose photos you LOVE. I’m not talking “oh, that’s cute” or “oh, that’s nice” but “WOW, I NEED this person capturing our love!” Do a Google search for wedding photographers in your area, find some local FaceBook wedding groups, ask your friends or family who it was that shot their weddings. Once you see some photos you like - make sure to check out their website, Instagram, and FaceBook page. Are their photos more magazine, editorial-style with lots of grand romantic poses, or do they catch more natural, candid moments? What kind of photos do you want to see from your big day? Once you have found a photographer whose work you love, move on to step two!
2. Check their reviews
You may love their work, but you want to make sure that there is more to them than their photos! Check their reviews on Google, their FaceBook Page, Wedding Wire, etc. Check if they have testimonials on their website. See what their clients are saying about them. What do their clients love about them? Is that what you are looking for in a photographer? Are there any bad reviews? Are there any red flags (bad communication skills, late delivery, NO delivery, etc.)? Make sure they are legitimate, established, and loved by all! Then, move on to step three.
3. Are they available on your wedding day?!
This is the biggest question! Wedding photographers tend to book two to three years in advance, so before you get too attached, make sure they are available to capture your day! This is the first question you should ask when following step number four…
4. Fall in love with THEM
Okay, so you love their portfolio, their reviews are amazing, but now you have to make sure you get along with them! Send them an email, give them a call, shoot them a message. How quickly do they respond? Maybe they’re shooting a wedding and can’t get back to you for a few hours, but do they take days? Weeks? Communication is KEY when you’re booking your wedding vendors. You want someone who is reliable, punctual, and who will be there when you need them. Great communication skills should be the first thing to look for. If they respond in a timely manner, what vibe do you get from them? Are they chill, excited, passionate, curious, interested? Is this what you’re looking for in the person you will be spending your wedding day with? It’s sometimes hard to tell via email, so schedule a call or better yet, meet up for a coffee to chat with them about the details of your big day! It is SO important that you get along with your photographer. Can you have a conversation with them? Do they seem to love what they do? If you find someone whose passion is wedding photography, you better believe they are going to put their heart and soul into their work and give 110% on your big day AND during the editing process.
5. Are they within your budget, or worth going over?
You love their work, their clients love them, YOU love them, but can you afford them? This is a big decision because these photos will be the only way to remember your wedding day (besides the actual memories - but let’s be real, it goes by too quickly to remember it all!). Check if they have pricing on their website, if not - ask them about it! Better yet - give them your budget and ask what they can offer. If they check all of your boxes, and they are within budget, ding, ding, ding! You’ve found your wedding photographer! If they are a little over your budget…. won’t it be worth it? If you really can’t swing it, move on to the next great photographer on your list until you’ve found the one for you.
6. Questions to ask your wedding photographer (and my answers)
Are you free on my wedding day?!
Send me an email and find out :D
What is your style of photography? (If you don’t quite understand what their style means, google it!)
My style can be described in a number of different ways: candid, documentary, natural, and lifestyle.
How long have you been photographing weddings?
This is my fourth wedding season!
Do you have any reviews/testimonials I can take a look at?
I sure do! Check out my testimonials page or type Jenifer Boyce Photography into Google or FaceBook :)
Can I see a FULL wedding gallery? (Always check to see what you would be getting from your big day. Often photographers only post their very best work for the public to see - but you want to make sure they take great photos in lots of different situations. Make sure you see their photos from getting ready, first looks, ceremonies, portraits, receptions, and dances!)
Yes, of course! Reach out and I will send you a few similar to what you’re looking for.
How many photos will I be getting in total? (They should be able to at least give you an average range.)
Some photographers cap the number of photos included in their packages and charge you if you want more, but not me! I offer unlimited images which means you get all of the good stuff! On average I deliver 40-50 images per hour of wedding coverage on full day packages.
Will all of my photos be edited?
How long will it take to see a sneak peek? How long will it take to get the full gallery?
I always deliver a few sneak peeks within 24 hours of your wedding (usually the same night) so that you have something to share with all of those eager family and friends who weren’t in attendance :) I guarantee your full gallery in two weeks but always deliver sooner.
Do your packages include digitals, prints, canvases, albums, etc? What will I be getting?
My packages include digitals with full printing rights (so you don’t have to pay me for prints, canvases, albums, etc!) but if you’d like to purchase prints, canvases or albums through me, you are welcome to :)
Do your packages include an engagement session?
Yes! All of my wedding packages over $2,000 include a complimentary engagement session. It is so important to work together before the big day!
How many photographers do your packages include? If one, do I need a second photographer and are you able to provide one? What would that cost be if the second photographer is not included in the package?
My packages include just me as I shoot 99% of my weddings on my own, but I work with many great photographers who second shoot for me. I usually only recommend adding a second photographer if you and your fiance are getting ready very far apart from one another and/or the venue and I won’t have time to drive between you, or if two events are taking place at one time and I can’t be in both places at once! I charge an additional fee of $150/hour or $500/day to add a second photographer.
Do you have backup equipment? (This should always be a huge YES. Backup cameras, lenses, flashes, batteries, SD cards, etc.)
YES YES YES! This is SO important!
Do you shoot with a full-frame camera? (A full frame camera holds two memory cards at once so that all of your photos are automatically backed-up in case one of the memory cards malfunctions, TRUST me - it is always better to have a back-up.)
I sure do ;)
If you’re looking for more natural, authentic images, ask them how they will get you to feel comfortable in front of the camera?
I use “prompts” to elicit a unique reaction from my couples in the moment instead of giving them cold poses. This allows me to capture raw, authentic emotions as well as your unique relationship and personalities <3 Side note: I am also super silly, ridiculous, and nonjudgmental!
How much do you require for a deposit and when will the rest be due? (Make sure you ALWAYS get and sign a contract before sending any money!)
I require a 50% deposit and the rest can be paid up to one week before the big day!
I hope you’ve found this post helpful in your search to find your perfect wedding photographer! If you’re looking for more help with wedding planning, be sure to check out Wedding Wire’s Wedding Planning Tools :)