I know it doesn’t look like it yet in New York, but wedding season is coming! It may have been snowing on the First Day of Spring, but trust me, the flowers and the color are going to come back, and the beautiful wedding stories that are yet to be captured!
For all the newly engaged brides preparing for their wedding, I wanted to help you from experience with a really important part of the day. Choosing your photographer. I know I’m biased, being a wedding photographer, but I know this decision is SO important! Wedding photographers have the opportunity to give you a sweet gift of memories you can cherish for the rest of your life! We can stand back from the day and see it from another perspective, capture moments that you may never see, and translate the emotion and spirit of your day in a way you can re-live.
I know you want to find a photographer who captures emotion and spirit in the way that you value most! Their work should resonate with your heart and touch you, and their portfolio should reflect the types of wedding that you envision.
For example, I’m a wedding photographer who works with fun-loving, head-over-heels, relaxed and creative couples. If you’re planning an elegant evening affair in Manhattan, I’m probably not your girl. And that’s okay. Every photographer specializes in something, we each have a niche that speaks to us and inspires us and makes us want to keep creating beautiful work. For me, it’s the beauty of natural landscape together with the beauty of joy-filled couples. And for each of us, it’s different. We have different why’s that informs the type of work that we do. And you’ll get a sense about what a photographer is about from looking at their website and blog.
As you start your search, you’re looking for a photographer who captures the type of wedding you see yourself happing, the type of images that you can see yourself inside, and has the type of online presence and personality that you can connect with!
But where in the world do you find this person? Where do you start?
- Ask your friends and other wedding vendors. Recommendations that come through people you trust are great to try first. Ask people you know who were recently married, and had the type of wedding that you envision having, about their experience with their photographer. Ask wedding vendors for photographers they love working with. (But remember, you have to connect with this person, and shouldn’t rely on another person’s opinion alone!)
- Google search – blogs. Look up the venue where you will be getting married, and you will find blogs of photographers who have photographed there before. And you may find wedding blogs that feature weddings at your venue and the photographer who captured the story!
- Try Wedding Wire / The Knot, or Local Wedding Magazines. Without getting overwhelmed, search for photographers in your area and dig deeper only if their images jump out at you.
Compile a list of photographers whose style you like and whose work “fits” with the vision for your wedding day. Then, go onto their websites, and do further research. To decide who you would like to meet with, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I attracted to the style of their work? Does their style capture how I would like to remember my wedding day?
- What is the vibe you get from their online presence? Their portfolio, advice they post on their Facebook page, the content that they write in their blog, and their reviews and accolades from previous clients, can all help you discover if they might be a good fit for you.
- What is the value this photographer is offering? What do they include in their packages, and what does the overall experience of working them appear to be like?
You probably can’t answer that last question just from a photographer’s online presence, so emailing photographers would be helpful to gather the remaining information about their packages. Make sure they’re available on your wedding date!! Then, after considering carefully, narrow down your list of photographers to a few people you would like to meet with. Contact each of the photographers and schedule a meeting with them.
Before the meeting, compile a list of questions that are important to you. If I were meeting a photographer, the categories of questions I would ask them are:
1. CLIENT EXPERIENCE. What does the experience of working with you look like, from now through the wedding? How do they approach engagement sessions? How do they approach each part of a wedding day? Do they work with another photographer? What kind of lighting and equipment do they use? How do they deliver their images? Do they blog images? How long is the turnaround time for images and albums?
2. BACKUP PLANS. In case of emergency, what backup equipment and backup plans do you have in place so we are covered on our wedding day? In case of inclement weather, how does the photographer adjust the locations and their approach?
3. THEIR STORY. If you haven’t done online research about this, ask your photographer questions about them. What is their story, and what makes them passionate about what they do?!
When you meet with the right person, you’ll just know. The experience that they explain to you will be one that you want. When you talk with them and have conversation, it will flow and your personalities will connect
I can’t even say how important this is!! You should connect with your photographer as a person! Not only because you’re working with them for over a year. On your wedding day, you want to be able to have the kind of trust in them that helps you to be at ease throughout the day. Their presence should help you open up behind the camera and be yourself. You need to trust that your photographer will do their very best for you – so you can do your job, and be present to enjoy every moment!
Hope this post was helpful! Feel free to share!
Photo Credit: Thank you to my fabulous friend Rina Kay – Rina Kay Photography!