You’re engaged! Congratulations! It’s seriously one of the most exciting times in your lives – and before you’ve even gotten used to calling your babe “fiance”, thoughts of wedding planning have probably started to swirl in your head.
It’s a time in your life where you are super excited to for this new chapter, and you’re ready to start planning. You’ll most likely start by visiting Pinterest to look up color schemes, dress ideas, and ahh- the decor.
Before long you realize that a lot more goes into planning a wedding than simply matching colors and picking out candles [seriously, it would be so nice if it were that simple]. Instead- you’ve got seating charts to make, family members to avoid sitting too close to each other, and catering numbers to calculate.
Trust me BRIDES, I have been there. From photographing weddings to planning my own – I know exactly what you are going through. It’s always been my mantra that I’m never the vendor who just shows up on your wedding day, snaps some photos, and leaves.
I truly believe in serving my clients well, and I do that through helping you navigate through the planning process. Whether it’s helping you narrow down bridesmaid dress colors, or assisting you in choosing a bridal prep space that will photograph well, talking you through a lost wedding dress crisis [yes, that happened], or just laughing over how silly planning can be sometimes – I am your girl. I get it.
So- here we go!
Most people know, there are a few vendors you really want to secure way in advance. Two of those being your venue and your photographer. I figure it’s perfectly fitting for me to talk about photography – being that I’m a photographer.
These are my TOP 3 Questions to ask when searching for your Wedding Photographer:
- Do I LOVE their style of work? By this I mean, do you love the way their clients look in the images? The way they are posed? They way they are interacting with each other? Can you vision yourself in those same images? Often photographers have a key style – and you can anticipate that translating to your images as well. For instance, do you prefer more candid + natural interaction or do you prefer the “say cheese” style? Does the vision you have for your wedding correlate with the type of work the photographer does? This is a great way to ensure you’ll be happy with images before you even email the photographer an inquiry!
Not all photographers will be a great fit for every client and this is totally okay! Ultimately at the end of the day, photographers want their clients to love their images, and that is what is most important. Here are some examples of when a photographer and a client may not be the best fit.
- A bride who likes light and airy style imagery, but the photographer edits moody / dark. Professional Photographers don’t change their editing style for one client, because their aesthetic is what their brand is built around. Loving the aesthetic of the imagery you see from the photographer is critical to being happy with the final product you will receive from them.
- A bride who wants an outdoor ceremony and portraits, but hires a photographer who photographs mostly indoor, church weddings using artificial lighting. Photographers showcase their favorite work, the work they want to do more of, and the work they excel at. Consider this when reaching out to a photographer – does the work they showcase vibe with the type of wedding you want to have?
- A bride who likes traditional posed-portraits but hires a photographer who focuses on movement and interaction in their imagery. This bride may be disappointed that her photographer doesn’t direct them to “smile and say cheese” but instead tells them to slow dance and hum their first dance song together.
2. When I sit down with this person, do we click? This is so important! You might be asking yourself, why does this matter? It matters because your photographer is going to be with you all day long following you around on one of the most important days of your lives, documenting the most intimate moments of your wedding day. Can you imagine sharing those moments with someone you don’t vibe with?
Secondly, your wedding photographer is creating the one thing that you will take away from your wedding day… the images! The cake will be cut, the food will be eaten, and the flowers will dry out; but the images are what you will legit have forever. You want them to get your vision, to understand who you and your fiance are as a couple, so that they can capture the WHO of who you two are. When you are comfortable with the person who has a camera in your face, you relax. You are yourself. You let your guard down, shed those tears you may hold back otherwise, and your raw emotion is captured. This is where the magic happens.
3. Do I feel like I can trust this person? Ahhh. This one. You want to know you can trust your photographer, because you want to be able to rest easy knowing they will use their expertise to capture your wedding day while you are relaxed and stress free. You may ask yourself, “how do I know I can trust them?” Here are a few key insights that will help guide you!
- When you inquire with them, are they open + honest / upfront about their packaging and pricing?
- Do they answer your questions with sincerity? Are they interested in learning about WHO you and your fiance are?
- Do they allow you to view the contract you will be signing ahead of time? How about a full gallery? Do they show you how they deliver their imagery? They should totally be open to sending you these details to put your mind at ease from a professional standpoint!
- Are they willing to help you plan so that they take the guess work out of your hands? No need to create a page long shot list for them, your photographer has your back and is proactive in finding out what you want to be taken away from your wedding day!
When a bride trusts her photographer, the photographer can produce better photos.
The photographer may suggest having your outdoor ceremony 2-hours before sunset, and to have it backlit. This can make all the difference in the quality of your wedding ceremony images. If the bride trusts the photographer, boom. Perfection. If she doesn’t, she may go with her own timeline decision and end up with imagery that isn’t up to the photographer’s standard due to less than ideal lighting scenarios. When a bride is able to allow the professional to guide her, everyone wins.
Because I want to help my clients bring their wedding day dreams to life, and for them to know they can trust me, I created a 40-page Wedding Photography Guidebook that gives them a ton of tips + tricks for planning. Lighting scenarios, tips to make family portraits go smoothly, a sample wedding day timeline, and suggestions for bride + groom portraits!
For me, it’s all about going the extra mile to serve you well.
I hope this has been helpful to you as you start the wedding planning process and begin searching for a photographer to capture your day. When you come across a photographer you are considering, don’t forget to ask yourself these questions. I promise you will thank yourself as you scroll through your wedding day images!