How to Pick Your Wedding Photographer
You’re engaged! You have so much to start thinking about as you plan your big day, but lets be honest: you probably have no idea where to start looking for a photographer. Here’s some tips for how to find your dream photographer!
When Do I Hire One?
Usually you’ll want to have the same photographer for your engagements and wedding, so this is one of the first choices you should make. Usually you’ll do your engagement photos within a few months of getting engaged, so you can use them to send out announcements and save the date cards. Remember that you want to find a photographer that you mesh with— after all, you’ll be spending your wedding day with them and communicating a lot beforehand. Take time to find the right photographer and research what the average cost of wedding photography is in your area so you know what to expect.
Before you start searching, you need to decide a few things about your dream photographer’s style. Decide if you want someone who mainly focuses on getting “the pose”, or if you want a more documentary-style photographer. Both are great, it’s just up to you to decide your personal preference! You also need to decide what type of editing you prefer. Some examples of editing types include high fashion/glamor, true to color, dark & moody, and light & airy. Look at many different types of photos to figure out what you prefer so you know exactly what you want before you start the hunt for the right photographer.
How Do I Even Find One?
This is such a common question and one that can be a real maze to figure out. First, do some Google searches for photographers in your area and try to be as specific as possible by including things like your location, type of venue, and style you want. For example, instead of searching “Utah Photographer” try searching “Ogden Utah Dark and Moody Outdoor Wedding Photographer” or “Provo Light and Airy Temple Wedding Photographer”. Next, try searching Instagram! Type in #YourLocationWeddingPhotographers in the search bar and see what comes up. You might be surprised at the variety of options to pick from. Instagram is also a great search tool because it allows you to see a photographer’s work instantly, rather than going to their website first. Another place to search is Pinterest. This one might surprise you, but it makes sense— Pinterest is a search engine, so try typing in the same things you’d Google and see what comes up. Probably one of the best places to look for a wedding photographer is on local wedding websites. Here in Utah we have UtahBrides.co as well as UtahValleyBride.com. Any preferred vendors must uphold professional standards, so choosing a photographer from a local wedding site is a really good way to be confident that you will have a professional wedding photography experience! Shameless plug: we’re a Utah Valley Bride preferred vendor. Check us out on their website.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Here are some other things you need to think about and ask before officially choosing a photographer.
Do they have insurance?
Do they use contracts?
Do they have a back-up plan in case they are suddenly unable to make it?
How much experience do they have photographing weddings?
How would they describe their style?
Can they show you a full wedding gallery?
Do they charge for travel over a certain distance?
Do they include travel costs in the price of the wedding or are they additional?
How long after your wedding will the photographer send your photos?
NOTE: Some photographers will have your wedding sent to you in a few weeks while others may take six months. Make sure you talk about this and are comfortable with the photographer’s answer before going forward. Remember: if you’re unhappy with the answer now, you’ll be even more unhappy when you don’t get your pictures when you want them.
Primary and second shooters
Will the photographer be the one photographing your day or will it be an associate?
If they’ll be doing it, do they have an assistant or second photographer that will be working with them?
Is the second shooter professional and qualified?
What is their favorite part of photographing weddings?
What is their favorite moment of the day to capture?