Ten Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Photo by  @youbymia

Photo by @youbymia

There are so many great photographers out there, there’s no doubt it can be overwhelming to choose the one who’s right for you. And this service is no minor detail to your big day. Your photographer will be documenting your day in a way that tells your wedding story. Your LOVE story! It’s important you choose someone who will do your story justice, capture every important detail, and give you peace of mind throughout the day.

Here are ten things to consider when hiring a wedding photographer:

1. Don’t judge a photographer by the amount of followers they have on Instagram.

Amount of followers means nothing. Do you like their work? Do their images stand out to you? Then add them to your list of potential photographers, and give them a follow. A daily dose of their work may be just what you need to help you decide.

2. If you like their photos, and the feel and vibe of their website, get in touch.

Discuss your photo budget and ask any questions you may have. If they are out of your budget or are unavailable on your wedding date, ask them if they know any photographers who they would recommend.

3. If possible, meet your photographer before hiring them.

It’s important to get a feel for them and see if you mesh well. You want to make sure you get along and feel comfortable with each other. That way, on the day of your wedding, you’ll be at ease and enjoy seeing and spending time with this person.

Photo by  @youbymia

Photo by @youbymia

4. If there’s a part of your wedding where you should spend your money, a photographer is one of them.

You’ll spend months, sometimes a year or more, planning this day. You’ve stressed over details, thought of every little thing, spent every moment thinking about this day and dreaming about this day and wishing for this day. And when you look back on it, you’ll be looking at the photos. They’re your memories when you’re celebrating your 30th, 40th, and 50th anniversary. So spend the time and money to make sure your day is documented fully and properly. You get what you pay for, believe me.

5. That said, stick to your budget.

Just like on Say Yes to the Dress, it’s not a good idea to go over your budget. And trust us, we get how hard that can be. Photographers (and everything wedding-related) can get pricey and it all adds up. That said, you’re investing in someone who will be freezing time and keeping your memories for you. It takes a lot of time and skill to do that job. Especially if you’d like it done well. When making a budget, keep that in mind and make sure you allocate a good amount for photography.

6. If you fall in love with a photographer who is over budget, don’t fret!

You can send a note to discuss your day. You may be able to figure pricing out with them - less hours, one photographer, etc. for a lower rate. If not, they may be able to refer another photographer who fits your budget and style.

7. Research different styles of photography.

Find what you like. Bright and airy? Dark and Moody? Do you prefer posed photos or documentary style with lots of candid? Find what you like most, and when you’re looking at different photographers, you’ll know what style you like. It makes the photographer search a lot easier.

8. When looking at packages, know what you actually want and need from your photographer.

It’s very nice to get prints, cards, a photo album, and so on. And if you want them, then yes, it’s amazing to get them from your photographer who has an eye for these details. However, if you don’t want to pay for these extra items and would rather do the extra yourself - print your own photos or make your own thank you cards - then don’t get blinded by the add-ons in different packages. Keep in mind what you actually want and stick to it. And maybe even mention that to your photographer and see if the two of you can make your own package.

9. Asking how long the photos will take to get back is a great question.

I know as soon as the wedding is over, we’re all so excited to see the photos. But don’t be surprised when you hear that it will take two months at least. Sometimes three or more months. It’s a lot of work to post-process a wedding and takes a lot of time. Just keep in mind they are perfecting your images and giving you the very best memories they can. You paid them for a specific skillset. Give them the time to put that skill to work.

10. The decision is yours.

There are so many photographers out there. I’m sure you’ve been told your cousin’s friends’ sister’s boyfriend is a great photographer and you should use him. Or your friend really loved her wedding photographer, you should use her! Don’t be pushed or guilted into hiring someone if you don’t want to. It’s your wedding. It’s your photographer. The decision is up to you and your partner. Don’t feel obligated to use a photographer someone else is suggesting.

At the end of the day, you want to be happy with your investment. You want someone you feel confident in, you get along with, you have fun with and who creates beautiful work with their camera. Have fun looking for a photographer and taking in all the incredible artwork that’s out there.