You have the ring, the date, the theme, and you are working on all the details to host the wedding of the decade. But there is one big piece missing; you haven’t chosen who is in charge of capturing every memory made on such an important day in your life, your wedding photographer. Finding the right wedding photographer is not an easy task, mainly because you trust the most valuable thing you’ll own once the wedding is over, your wedding album, to a stranger.
Weddings have many moments that only happen once, like that moment when you cross eyes with your partner as you walk down the aisle. Or how about the first kiss, the first dance, and exchanging vows? The list goes on. Every one of those memories needs to be perfectly captured through photos because there is so much effort and love put into them. So, it is only natural that you want to find the best photographer in town.
If you are hesitant about selecting one, or you already have a list of potential wedding photographers for your New York or New Jersey wedding, I have a couple of tips and tricks to help you make the right choice. My experience as a wedding, engagement and family photographer has taught me a thing or two, and today I’m here to share it with you.
Find the style you love.
Wedding photography has many angles; the days of stiff poses and classic wedding photography are long gone (although, if you love that style, there are photographers who still work that way). Nowadays, you can find photographers who have a journalistic style, others who capture your loving union in a stylish editorial style, and those who enjoy moody photography with lots of shadows and a darker approach.
If you are uncertain about the style you prefer, it is time to browse through many wedding albums from different photographers and find that one you love. Having a clear idea about your preferred style will narrow your options and ensure you hire a wedding photographer who understands your vision and executes it to its best.
Know your numbers.
Wedding budgeting is a hard but essential element of your celebration, and you can’t hire a wedding photographer if you are uncertain about your budget. My best advice is to set a realistic budget and then make a list of priorities as a couple. You can include the big vendors your wedding needs, such as venue, photography, catering, bar, attire, décor, entertainment, and so on. Once you have a list in order of importance, you can give each vendor a percentage and know how much you are willing to spend.
Wedding photography ranges widely between affordable options and luxurious ones. There are always middle points, and you can even negotiate or agree with your desired wedding photographer to meet your budget. Some photographers offer standard packages, but I’m certain you can build a personalized one if needed.
Set a meeting.
Now that you know the style you are looking for and your budget, it is time to set up some meetings and have a face-to-face conversation with your potential wedding photographers. The importance of meeting your photographer before the big day has to do with the chemistry you’ll have with the photographer. Since your wedding is filled with intimate and emotional moments, you need to find someone who makes you always feel comfortable to show your true self in every photo.
Wedding photographers have different personalities and couples too, and finding the right match will save you much time and trouble. Your photographer not only takes photos and follows you around on your wedding day, but it also becomes your friend. It will be the person who makes sure your train and veil look flawless, the one who tells you everything will be all right, and even fix your bowtie, so you look amazing.
Ask the right questions.
If you feel like you found the one, it is time to tackle the details of their work. And you must do your research or save the following important questions you need to ask your wedding photographer before signing the dotted line.
- How do you describe your photography style?
- How do you edit your photos? Is retouching included? Do you prefer bright light, natural light, or a moody one?
- Do you feel comfortable with our wedding venue?
- How many years of experience do you have or how many weddings have you covered?
- How many photos do you edit?
- Do we have access to all the photos?
- How do you back up the photos during the wedding day?
- What does your wedding photography package include?
- When will you deliver our photos?
- How do you deliver our photos?
- Do you have a second shooter?
- What happens if we need to reschedule?
- What happens if you cannot attend our event?
The list could go on, but those are some of the essential questions you should have answered before deciding and hiring a wedding photographer. If you feel like some of those answers are not what you like, it is time to keep looking for your right wedding photographer.
Book an engagement session.
Sometimes the only way to know for sure is by trying their services, and the best way you can do this is by booking your engagement session. They are a great opportunity to break the ice with your potential photographer and get a real feel of how they work. Engagement sessions are amazing because you don’t have the pressure of the wedding day. You can enjoy the moment and even turn it into a date or an adventure.
During your engagement session, you can talk to your photographer about certain insecurities, see which poses are more flattering for you, and see the approach of your photographer in terms of poses and directions. The best part is that you get to have beautiful photos of your engagement stage and even use them for your save the date cards or to showcase them during your wedding reception.
Now you know a bit more about wedding photography and how to find the photographer of your dreams. It is not an easy task but one you can take care of if you follow my advice. Don’t forget to take a look at my work and book a meeting to start planning the photos of your dream wedding.