Choosing the right photographer is no easy task. Trust me, I have been there! So I have devised a plan to make this overwhelming experience much easier!
Even as a photographer myself I know how intense the pressure can be to choose a photographer who fits your style and needs. I have scoured the Internet for photographers for my own personal needs and it is no joke. You are going to have these photos forever, right? You want to invest some time collecting all the information you need to make your decision.
Choose the absolute BEST photographer that you can afford
Money shouldn't be your deciding factor when it comes to the photographer of your dreams. However, choose the best you can afford and feel comfortable affording. This should be your guiding force. Choose someone who mimics the images that make your heart sing and your wallet sing.
Choose a style that you AND your partner love
This day is about the two of you and your love after all! This should be a decision you both agree upon as you will get to look at these photos on your walls for the rest of your lives. You both need to look at photos from photographers and think "these are exactly the images I want of our special day."
Found someone you like? Great, what does the Internet have to say about them? Were they professional? Timely? Helpful? Did they give other couples what they wanted? I am a HUGE fan of reading reviews. Yes- I am that girl. I will not eat somewhere without checking what other people had to say. It hasn't let me down yet.
OK...Now you've gathered a list of photographers you love. It's time to reach out to them. Now, don't just send them emails with these questions. Take some time to set up a dialogue or coffee date first. Have a conversation.
Ask the Right Questions
How many weddings have they shot (if it's under 10 and they are insanely expensive, I'd be nervous there. Price should be connected with experience, and if there is a disconnect I'd be worried.)
Ask if they have a second shooter. If you have more than 90+ guests, you will want there to be two photographers. If you just want extra coverage, a second shooter is a great to have. For example, if you want pictures of the cocktail hour but will be taking family formals at this time, this is where a second shooter comes in handy to cover those moments while the primary photographer is working elsewhere.
Ask if you can see a full, delivered complete client gallery. Its easy to fall in love with their 20 favorite images on a blog post, but what do the others look like from the rest of the day?
Ask if engagement pictures are included. It is AWESOME to get to shoot with your wedding photographer prior to the wedding to make sure you are comfortable with them and like their style of shooting.
Ask how many final files they will deliver to you. This is good to ask just to set expectations about what you will be getting.
Ask how they will deliver these images to you AND how long it will take to get these images back.
Ask if there is cost for the photographer to travel to your desired location. Is there hotel or food required?
Ask any other questions that you can think of to help make your decision an easier one. Maybe you want to know who inspires them or how they got started. Whatever it is go for it!
Your photographer should be a close personal relationship. Take the time to get to know each other. This allows for a connection to your photos. If it's not a good fit with a certain photographer, that is okay! It doesn't have to work with everyone. I personally would be happy to recommend other rockstar photographers, that fit your needs and style, should I not be the right fit!!