How to Set Up Your Wedding Photographer for Success
Your wedding photos are the one thing you get to keep, reflect on, and share from your wedding day (and videography if you have it). So it only makes sense to make sure you’ll be extremely happy with how your wedding photos turn out. The sun might hide behind a cloud, your flower girl might get stage fright, but if the photography is lacking, you’ll remember it forever. Follow our insider guide on wedding photography to be sure you get it just right!
Decide What Wedding Photography Style You Like
It’s likely that Instagram will be a big lifesaver in discovering your photography style ... and ultimately, your photographer. A hashtag search can open up a whole world of photographers in your area where you can browse through their different styles to discover what you like! If you live in Southern California, for example, you can search #SoCalWeddings or #SoCalPhotography to see what photographers in your area are posting! As you browse, try to pinpoint what it is about certain photos that you like: do you like ones that are light and airy? Candid? Dark and moody? The options are endless.
Choose a Professional Wedding Photographer
It might be tempting to have your artistic cousin shoot all your photos, but that means you'll lack the ability of a professional photographer and your photos might not look great. It also means that your relative won’t also be able to enjoy your wedding as a guest.
“One of the tricks for finding the best photographer for your wedding is to look at “real wedding” features on the Internet. We feature our own on our blog and you can also find tons more on other popular wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty, Ruffled, Junebug Weddings, etc. Usually these posts have credits at the end that link each vendor’s website.”
Rachel, General Manager, StoneTree by Wedgewood Weddings
Do Your Research
Even if a wedding photographer’s photos are gorgeous or they come highly recommended by someone you know, it’s always useful to do your own research and vet a photographer before booking. Make sure they sound professional in communication to you, have an up-to-date website, and have reputable reviews online (look at Yelp, The Knot, and Wedding Wire).
“Since photographers set their own pricing, you’ll notice that costs can vary greatly among them. When looking at photographers’ prices, consider what all is included: Most photographers offer packages including features such as a second shooter, a certain time commitment, a photo album, an engagement shoot, etc. It’s important to compare the value you get between different options.” –
Matt, General Manager, North Shore by Wedgewood Weddings
7 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
- How many hours are included in their quote? Is there an additional charge for extra hours?
- Is a second shooter included in the price?
- Is an engagement shoot included? This isn’t necessary but it’s a good chance for you and your photographer to get a feel for working with each other.
- Do they include a finished album? It’s always possible to have photo albums made later down the road and it’s not crucial to book a photographer who includes a photo album.
- What’s the standard time between the event and photo delivery? How soon do they promise to have the photos finished (including any editing) for you?
- Describe your wedding to them - are they comfortable shooting a wedding like yours? For instance, if you plan to have an outdoor nighttime ceremony, can they shoot in low light?
- Most importantly, do you like their style? Ask to see photos they’ve personally shot. Look at more than just ceremony photos - be sure you like the way ‘getting ready’, detail shots, and the reception are photographed too!
Narrow it Down to the Right Photographer
“It’s important to hire someone whose creative work is a natural fit for what you’re looking for. Asking a photographer to change their style and shoot like someone else is sure to end poorly (and irritate them in the process). It’s worth it to find a photographer who matches your style and fits your budget.”
Audrey, ValSerVenience Director, Fallbrook by Wedgewood Weddings
And while a photographer may have the perfect shooting-style, a great price-point, and rave reviews, keep in mind that you’ll be spending a majority of your day with your photographer, so it’s important to be sure that you like them and connect with them! The best way to do this is to meet with them in person over a cup of coffee or have a long phone call with them to discuss their availability, price, and style.
“We’ve worked with our preferred photographer for years. She’s always really receptive to the couple’s needs and style choices plus she makes everyone look effortlessly fab!“
Aubree, ValSerVenience Director, Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings
“Definitely check whether the quote includes edits. While you two look beautiful, there may be minor background editing required and you want to know your photographer offers everything as a package.”
Madison, ValSerVenience Director, Boulder Creek by Wedgewood Weddings
"Be realistic about how many photos you need. You might be able to get a reduced price if you reduce the number of shots you’re asking for (and many photographers take extra shots anyway – they can’t let a perfect moment slip away unrecorded!)"
Veronica, ValSerVenience Director, Indian Hills by Wedgewood Weddings