Jan 21, 2020
Welcome to January 2020! ‘Tis the season for newly engaged couples on the prowl and at the beginning stages searching for all things wedding vendors, or in my very specific case, wedding photographers. (Do you have your venue booked yet, btw? This will make your date OFFISH which will make your search for other vendors kick off smoothly).
It won’t take most couples long to figure out that there is a plethora of wedding photographers. Without a game plan, narrowing down your top choices may start to feel overwhelming.
Here are a few pointers to consider and keep in mind when you’re searching for your photography match!
I hate to put art into boxes, but generally speaking, you’ll find three basic types of editing styles in the wedding photography world: light & airy, bright & bold, moody & romantic. Here is one of my photos with examples of each:
There are variations of these types, such as the clean & classic look (you can find that in the work of Dove Photography), or you’ll find some photographers in the moody category who go REALLY dark with desatured colors, while others stay a bit “lighter” with more vibrant colors.
The aspect to pay the most attention to when you’re reviewing styles is how the color edits make you FEEL along with the composition. Also, you should consider other aspects, such as: if you want to see all of the fine details of your wedding gown, then you probably shouldn’t go for light & airy; or, if you want your groomsmens’ suit color to look EXACTLY like it did IRL, be sure to discuss it with the photographer in advance as some color edits can alter hues.
Most couples without a wedding planner look to wedding websites and social media (hashtags, hollahhh!) to find their wedding photographer. This is a great way to find vendors you may not otherwise have known existed, but keep in mind that if your photographer is out of state, you may want to ask about their emergency plan. When are they aiming to arrive on your wedding weekend? What happens if the flight gets cancelled? Do they have a back-up plan in place?
Another thing to keep in mind with out-of-state photographers is that there will more than likely be travel fees. Typically couples hiring destination photographers only think about flight and hotel as the fees, but there is so much more that go into this- car rental, food cost, taxi rides, airport charges like additional luggage, etc. I remember the first time I did a destination wedding, I was like “DANG this is a lot more work and a lot more money than I thought it was.”
Destination photographers are great to have as long as it works with your budget which leads me to….
It’s a good idea to get a preliminary budget idea BEFORE you start looking for vendors. There are plenty of articles that discuss how to get to that number. You’ll also want to make a priority list sheet so you know what you’re willing to be more flexible with and what you refuse to budge on.
You’ll find that with so many photographers, there is such a wide range of costs too. What’s the deeli with that? Consider these points:
These points all affect the cost of wedding photography. If hiring a luxury wedding photographer is neither a priority nor a budget possibility for you, that’s cool- there will be photographers you can find that suit your needs on all levels if you keep searching. Just don’t knock a photographer for their price point without recognizing all of the factors that go into it.
This one should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people are ready to sign on the dotted line before determining if you want this person in your face all day long on your very most important day.
I strongly encourage hopping on a phone call with them or, even better, FaceTiming/Skyping/Zooming/Googlechatting with them face to face so you familiarize yourself with this person. If you can’t get through a conversation without it being totally AWK, how are you going to feel comfortable enough to have your photos taken by this person on such a monumental day? Trust me, IT’S GON SHOW IN THE PHOTOS.
Again, this is something you think would be obvious, but what better way to find out if your photographer delivers than to read the reviews? If they’re not readily available with a quick Google search, you can always ask your photographer if you can reach out to past clients to get their input.
How else will you know if your photographer is a great artist but terrible at communication or delivery times? REVIEWS, my peeps, REVIEWS, like this one:
“Over the next 15 months, Adriana responded promptly and thoroughly to our many (many…) questions, and when we asked for her advice on more general wedding planning, she offered very thoughtful suggestions about everything from timing/scheduling to whether we should do toasts and cake cutting. ”
BOTTOM LINE: Do your homework. Make sure you can trust your photographer will deliver what they promised, and make sure you can trust them … PERIOD.
Ask the hard questions! I promise, you won’t regret it.
Got a question for me or want more wedding info? HIT MEH UP.