Choosing a Photographer

Alice Briggs

Choosing a photographer for your engagement and wedding photos is a crucial part of the planning process. You want to find someone who can capture the essence and emotions of your special day that is consistent with your personal style and vision. Here are some steps to guide you through this process:

  • Determine Your Style: Wedding photography comes in various styles, such as traditional, photojournalistic, editorial, or a mix. The traditional style is more posed, while photojournalism captures candid moments. Editorial style is similar to what you’d see in magazines, with a focus on high fashion type shots. Look through different photographers’ portfolios to see which style resonates with you.
  • Budget Consideration: Before you research photographers, decide on your budget. The cost can vary significantly depending on the photographer’s experience, the length of coverage, number of photographers, and extras like albums or engagement sessions.
  • Research: Look at the websites and portfolios of potential photographers. Check out their social media pages as well. Look at the reviews on wedding websites or ask for recommendations from friends and family. This should give you a sense of their quality of work, style, and professionalism.
  • Interview Prospective Photographers: Once you’ve narrowed down your options, set up meetings to discuss your wedding and ask questions. Ask about their experience, if they’ve shot at your venue before, backup plans in case of emergencies, and what’s included in the package.
  • Look at Full Wedding Albums: Don’t just rely on the highlights in their online portfolio. Ask to see full wedding albums to get a better idea of their comprehensive work, including the less perfect moments.
  • Personality Matters: You’ll be spending a lot of time with your photographer on one of the most emotional days of your life, so it’s crucial to pick someone with whom you have a good rapport. They should be able to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, not adding to the stress of the day.
  • Details and Contract: Once you’ve made your choice, be sure to read the contract carefully. It should include the photographer’s name, how many hours of coverage, the number of photographers, what’s included in your package (engagement session, albums, prints), when you’ll receive your images and how (online gallery, USB, etc.), cancellation policy, and any extra costs.
  • Book an Engagement Session: This can serve as a “test run” for your wedding day. You can get comfortable with the photographer and their shooting style. Plus, you’ll have a set of lovely pre-wedding photos.
  • Availability: The best photographers often get booked up quickly, especially during peak wedding season, so you’ll need to confirm their availability for your wedding date as soon as possible.
  • Consider the Venue and Lighting: If you’ve chosen your wedding venue already, consider the lighting there and discuss it with your prospective photographers. If your wedding is going to be in a dimly lit environment or outdoors in the evening, you’ll need a photographer who excels at shooting in those conditions.
  • Second Shooters/Assistant Photographers: Some photographers come with a second shooter. This can be beneficial as it offers different perspectives, more coverage and ensures important moments aren’t missed.
  • Delivery Time: How long will it take to get your pictures after the wedding? The time can vary from a few weeks to several months. Knowing this in advance will help set your expectations.
  • Post-production Details: Ask potential photographers about their post-production process. This includes information like how many images you should expect, whether you’ll receive raw or edited photos, and if the images will be high resolution.
  • Backup Equipment: It’s crucial your photographer has backup equipment in case something goes wrong with their primary gear. Equipment failure can happen, and a professional should always be prepared for this scenario.

Remember, the key to choosing the right photographer is finding someone whose style aligns with your vision and who makes you feel comfortable and confident.