Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash
Finding a wedding photographer can be a real challenge for a lot of engaged couples. It’s probably the first time you ever had to book a pro photographer and let’s face it – you may not even have a clue what you are looking for.
The best piece of advice we can give you is to remember this. Your wedding day is going to be one of the most important days in your life, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that all wedding photographers are alike and any one of them will do. You need the the right person for the job and it’s going to require some research on your part to find the perfect wedding photographer. Trust us…this time will pay off in the long run with a photographer who can deliver beautiful images of your wedding day!
Wedding Photographer 101
Don’t sacrifice quality for cost savings. Budget as much as you can afford on wedding photography.
Most couples are looking for a photographer that can capture their personal style. Finding a photographer to match your style should not be a last minute choice or an area where you sacrifice quality for cost saving. If finances permit, spend as much as your budget will allow on photography and seriously consider a second shooter.
Sadly, most brides seriously underestimate the cost of good wedding photography and spend way too much on the dress, gifts, favors, cake, and jewelry, leaving very little for quality photography. We understand that all brides have budgets but try to budget as much as you can so that you don’t end up with a bunch of lackluster photographs.
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
With today’s digital cameras, anyone can appear professional. It’s easy to take pictures, burn them to a disk and give out copyright releases, but not everyone can capture emotions and tell the story of your special day like an experienced professional wedding photographer.
Photographers will be as unique as your wedding, and there are a lot of things to consider before hiring one. There are photography styles to consider, experience levels, budgets, different packages, personalities, and the worst part is that you are buying a dream … an intangible. It’s something that you don’t get to see or touch until the day is over. The whole process is frankly a little scary for most couples.
During your search you’ll come across all types of wedding photographers.
- There will be pro photographers who’s work you absolutely adore but their rates are just way out of your budget.
- Then just when you think you found the perfect photographer, they are not available on your date- Ugh!
- Some photographers will have all the technical skills, but lack creativity and seem oddly stuck in a wedding photography time warp from the 80’s.
- The newbie photographers may seem to be the way to go to save a buck, but lack real wedding experience or technical know how.
- Then there are the weekend warrior photographers that are in it for the love of photography or they just need to earn an extra buck.
With experience levels running the gamut, no doubt choosing one can seem a little daunting, but have faith and patience – one is out there for you. Just like finding your partner…you most likey had to weed through a few to find the right one! Make no mistake, doing your research and finding a photographer that best fits your style and needs, will be the best investment you can make in your wedding day.
A Perfect Place to Start Your Search
Start your search is by posting a bid request on the My Bridal Pix wedding photography job board. Photographers who are members of the My Bridal Pix network are excellent at providing custom quotes based on your needs and budget. No more hours searching online or endless emails. You simply post what you are looking for and let the photographers find you.
We also send your bid requests out to our social media networks, greatly increasing your chances of finding a match! My Bridal Pix respects your privacy so your email address is never shared with photographers, and an internal message board keeps track of all your potential photographers and messages. In no time at all you will have a list of available and affordable photographers to consider. It’s a huge time saver and a great way to make comparisons as well as use the power of social media to find what you are looking for.
Here are 10 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer
- First decide on your budget and what you both are willing to invest in photography. Typically it is 10-15% of your overall wedding budget but this truly depends on how much you value photography.
- Do your research and make package comparrisons. Know exactly what you get for the money you spend. Packages can vary greatly so know what is included upfront.
- Try to find photographers that will customize a package to meet your unique needs.
- Check out the photographers website and social media links. If both are updated with fresh content then it’s safe bet they are an active photographer and active in their photography business.
- Make sure to interview at least 3 photographers. You will spend a good portion of your wedding day with your photographer so make sure he/she is someone you are comfortable and can have fun with.
- Interview the photographers and have a list of questions to ask them upfront. A great list of questions can be found in our free eBook “Secrets to Amazing Wedding Photography.” It’s free when you subscribe to our newsletter plus you get first dibs on coupons and offers too!
- Ask to see the last 3 weddings they have shot and edited
- Ask for references.
- Make sure the photographer will edit your images and know upfront how many images to expect and how long you will need to wait to receive them.
- Always sign a contract and make sure anything that was promised to you should be clearly stated in the contract before you sign.
One Last Bit of Advice…
One other important factor that is often over looked is knowing if your photographer is a natural light photographer or if they have experience shooting dim lit venues. Most photographers are comfortable with natural light but not all wedding photographers are well versed with the use of proper flash photography. If your wedding ceremony or reception is going to be dimly lit then ask the photographer you are interviewing to show you images that would be similar to your setting.
Our best advice to leave you with is this. Try to think of your wedding photography as a “sentimental” investment instead of an expense. As the years go by and your wedding becomes a distant memory (and it will), wouldn’t it be nice to have some beautiful professional images that allow you to relive the moments over and over again?
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If your a photographer, or a bride, who has already made their trip down the aisle, share your thoughts and tips so that our newly engaged couples can learn from you!