Finding the Right Fit – How to decide which wedding photographer is right for you.
Today it is sooo easy to bombard oneself with Wedding Photography images!
There’s Pinterest, Google, Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – you name it.
It can get overwhelming – confusing even.
How do you decide about something so important when you feel overwhelmed by the millions of beautiful images?! Images that you envision being created for your own wedding, on your own special day?!
So, here are a few tips to make things less confusing and help you along your way to finding the perfect fit for you!
1. Decide what style of images you would like.
These images are meant to be kept forever, to look at over and over again throughout your life – keepsakes, memories, true treasures.
Reach out to those photographers whose work you like, whose work speaks to you, whose work you look at and think “I want a picture like that!”, whose work you have a positive, perhaps even emotional reaction to. If you end up picking one of the others because you hope they can provide you with the work you envision, you will be disappointed.
Every photographer has a style – even if it is not one that fits into a category. Their style is part of the artist they are!
2. Decide what your budget for your wedding photography is and what kind of service you are expecting.
What you put aside for your wedding photography in your budget will depend entirely on how much you value the memories and keepsakes created for you. Some clients want to spend more on their decorations, some on their dress and tux, some on their location, some on their photographs – it is completely dependant on what they value.
Depending on what you are looking for, there most likely is a photographer out there to fit your criteria and needs. And sometimes, the budget gets tweaked a little, as priorities shift… 😉
3. Research and decide what style of photography you are looking for.
No matter what style or non-style the photographer showcases when you are looking at their work, make sure it fits within the vision of images you see for yourself on your wedding day.
4. Research and decide what you are looking for in a photography service for your wedding.
When looking at a photographer and their price tag, there are three things that are important: quality, quantity, product.
Quality – You will get what you pay for. It’s that simple. That goes for the photographer, as well as the product they are offering. What kind of product a photographer is offering can be reflective of their quality of work.
Quantity – How many images do you want to be able to take home? How many hours do you need the photographer on site? How much product are you looking for?
Product – What kind of product do you want? If you want nothing but the images so that you can do with them as you want, then you need a package that will give you that. If you want an album, then you want to make sure that is already included in the package.
Research the companies the photographer uses to print and produce the product. Compare quality and value.
Look at each package that photographers offer and think about: what do I want and what do I want to do with it? Do I want to pay more later, do I want to pay for all of it right away? Do I even know what I want? (If the answer is no, be sure to ask your potential photographers what the different items in their package mean.) Do I want digital images, an album, parent albums, prints, wall art, engagement session, bridal session, boudoir session, after session, all day, half day, only the ceremony, only the reception?
Never hesitate to ask photographers for a custom quote – if they are willing to give you one, you might be surprised how well they will fit your needs!
Pitfalls – Many photographers will give their images away on a disc as part of a package. Clients think they will then create their own albums, order prints, etc. That is a great option, if you have the software knowledge, design skills, and professional printer access (unless you want low quality, from let’s say Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS). If you do not, then the better option is to let the photographer offer their services to you – already included in the pricing.
And always make sure they are not any hidden fees in the photographer’s packages and pricing. Potential “extras”: travel expenses, taxes, insurance, second shooters, etc.
5. Make a list of the photographers that fit your criteria, both for your budget and for your expectations in what you are paying for.
6. Contact those photographer and set up a date for a consultation (which should be free of charge) to see if they are the right fit for you.
Interview them, ask questions, let them show you the product they offer to determine what kind of quality you would be walking away with.
See, if your personalities match. The task of documenting this amazing day in your life is an honor, but if you do not trust that photographer then you might be disappointed with the results. Find a connection.
Figure out which package you want. Talk about a shot list. Take your time with them at the consultation. If they are professionals, they will gladly give it to you!
You should take your spouse-to-be and perhaps the money-decision-maker with you for this!
7. Talk over the finalists with your spouse-to-be.
Value their input and decide together what you want from the photographer who will spend the wedding day with you.
8. Take some time to think it over.
9. Secure your wedding date as soon as you have made a decision.
Many photographer book up quickly – especially around the more popular wedding season times. Make sure your photographer of choice is available for your wedding date.
Be prepared to put down a booking fee. This is usually 50% of the total package cost. This will save your date with the photographer and should be done the same time you sign your contract (often at the consultation date).
Be sure to read through the entire contract to understand what your rights and expectations are.
Woohoo, now you have your wedding photographer booked!
The photographer should reach out to you on a regular basis and confirm. If they do not, you should – just to be safe.
Here a few good articles for research purposes:
If you are interested in subscribing to my mailing list with informative newsletters, do so here!