Selecting a #WeddingPhotographer is an essential part of the #planning process, as integral as choosing a #WeddingVenue or finding the perfect #WeddingDress. Unlike your #WeddingFlowers or #catering, the #photographs from your #wedding live on LONG after your #SpecialDay. It can be quite difficult to find a #photographer who matches your pricepoint and taste—not to mention someone you absolutely trust to truly #capture the most important moments.
Will they take the right shots?
Will we work well together?
How much is this going to cost me?
1. Ask around- “Word of mouth is one of the most tried-and-true methods of finding a photographer you’ll love,” Ashley explains. Going by the old theory, “birds of a feather flock together,” friends often share a common style and similar budgets. If you loved a friend’s wedding, don’t be too shy to ask them about their experience. However, make sure you review the pictures and share your vision with that photographer to see if it is something they will be capable of capturing.
2. Social Media- This may be one of the only instances in which social media stalking is highly encouraged. Allow yourself to get lost in an endless scroll. “Start by scanning the feeds of your favorite wedding blogs or magazines,” Ashley recommends. Pinterest! Or lose yourself through a beautiful venue’s geotag or hashtag. In the process of clicking from profile to profile of accounts that share your taste and vision, you may end up settling on the perfect person that you wouldn’t have otherwise found. “Alternatively, use the ‘Explore’ feature on Instagram and search by popular wedding hashtags, including #WeddingInspiration, #WeddingPhotography, #WeddingDetails, #WeddingDay, #BrideAndGroom, #FirstDance, #SpecialDay and more!!
3. Search for a style- “Try and form a clear idea of whether you are more drawn to the organic aesthetic achieved with film or the crisp, classic style that #DigitalPhotography offers. Taking the time to browse a photographer’s portfolio can be invaluable to finding the right fit, however, it does not truly share a vision of a photographers capabilities because they are typically capturing the vision of what others have in mind. Are you looking for candid, documentary style or more posed and traditional #WeddingPortraits? If you’re looking for something in particular, you maw want to focus on a photographer who specializes in it.
4. Know your surrounding- With so much talent to choose from, it can be easy to hire a photographer simply on their work, rather than taking into account what your wedding will actually look like. If you’re marrying in an intimate indoor setting, focus on a similar surrounding and share this vision to your photographer so they can gather the best #WeddingPhotos.
5. Be informed- Understanding the costs for various products and services is a giant step in making informed #WeddingDecisions. While many photographers don’t post their pricing online, use their portfolio to gain insights into the types of weddings they've shot in the past but also ask what kind of shots they are truly passionate about. Ask for ca$h discounts too!!
6. Vendor referrals/ recommends- Have you found the #florist of your dreams? Ask them who their favorite photographers are. The #WeddingIndustry is a close-knit community–don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from other #WeddingVendors. Another option is to do some homework to see who shot weddings they were a part of. This may be able to help determine if they are in your budget.
7. Make sure your personalities mesh- So you’ve found a photographer you like. What’s next? How do you make sure they fit your style and personality? When reaching out for the first time, make sure to share the venue, date, hours of coverage needed, who you are and want you desire. If the photographer feels a connection with you they may respond in a more personal tone, creating an opportunity for a connection. The next step is a face-to-face. You’re going to be spending a LOT of time with this person on one of the most intimate days of your lives. If you take the time to establish trust from the start, you’re likely to have the experience you want on your wedding day; in return they must be willing to spend time with you! So, is your day personable to them? Does it mean anything or are you just another "#shoot"?
8. Review their work- Be sure to ask for three to four full galleries from past weddings and then share your gallery of ideas. You cannot gather enough insight from a photographer based off of a few photos. It’s so important to see how a photographer is going to cover a wedding from start to finish. In addition, ask for references. Talk to other couples about their favorite moments with the photographer as well as any aspects to learn from.
9. Agree on the details- There are a few critical things to keep in mind before you sign a contract. Most importantly, when will the photographer provide the final images? Be clear about the timeline so you know what to expect. If you’re getting married in the fall, do you want your photographs by the holidays? Do you envision making large-format prints to frame, or creating a wedding album? All these elements should be discussed and agreed upon in advance so you know what to expect post-wedding.
10. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!!!- If your day means a lot, then find someone who can help capture up to your expectations. You get what you pay for and don't expect more than that. Don't forget to book as far out as possible too!
Being in the wedding industry since 2007, we have seen many photographers ranging from the good, bad and the ugly. That's why we recommend the most #affordable, most #versatile photographer we've seen in action... @MikeHeinePhotography. You can view his work by visiting http://www.mikeheinephotography.com/