how to choose wedding photographer

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your big day. Whether you are looking for someone who has a specific style or just want to find the best deal, this article will help you figure out how to choose a wedding photographer that suits your needs and fits within your budget. This blog post discusses how to select the perfect wedding photographer for your special day!

In the following article, we’ll cover the following tips:

  1. View a full wedding gallery
  2. Focus on ALL of the images
  3. Find someone who makes you comfortable
  4. Check their online reviews
  5. Double check the deliverables
  6. Look for a timeless style
  7. Book an Engagement Session
view full wedding photography gallery

Example of a Gallery View (using the Smugmug platform)

Always ask for one full gallery of their favorite photographer’s work, so they can see more than just the best moments. The couple’s website is often filled with amazing scenic portraits and not much else that shows how the photographers captures standard wedding shots like photos with guests dancing or cutting a cake!

Try requesting a full gallery from your wedding venue or a wedding venue with a similar vibe.  If you’re having a barnyard wedding, for example, a beach resort wedding gallery may be beautiful but not very relevant.

Focus on ALL of the images

Some photographers are great in specific conditions but aren’t so great in others. A common example of this is a photographer who is great with golden hour lighting but not so strong with low light or reception lighting. Don’t fall in love with one specific image or scene, but rather evaluate your photographer on their entire body of work.

lyndah wells wedding photography

Ensure your photographer has strong low light performance and can capture moments like this (image by Lyndah Wells)

Find someone who makes you comfortable

Wedding photography can be a nerve-racking experience. Meeting with the photographer beforehand is necessary to ensure they are able to make you feel calm and confident in front of the camera for your big day.

If you like most people, tend to tense up when meeting someone new, it’s always important that whoever takes pictures on such an important event makes one feel at ease as much as possible – especially if being captured by them isn’t something commonly experienced before!

However, at the same time, do not focus too much on personality.  The best “salesmen” (or saleswomen) aren’t necessarily the best photographers.  And the best photographers aren’t always the best salesmen.  Making someone comfortable isn’t always about charisma.  Follow your instinct and find someone you connect with and, most importantly, trust.

jared gant photography

Image of Jared Gant and his wedding clients.

Check their online reviews

Check the reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, Facebook, The Know and others. If a photographer has a couple of bad reviews, do not necessarily count him or her out fo the running. As with any business, some clients and customers can be unreasonable and things can happen that are out of the control of the photographer.

What you’re looking for is trends. Are the same issues popping up over and over? Do multiple reviews mention tardiness, attitude issues, up-charges, etc?

Double check the deliverables

Be sure to see exactly what is in each package. In today’s world, almost every wedding photographer package should include full resolution images, for example. Very few studios follow the old business model of charging for each and every print or digital file. If this is your expectation, be sure to read it over carefully. Also, double check timing of delivery. One to Three months is reasonable. Anything beyond that should be discussed before hand. Do you want an album? Wall art? All of these package add ons are better to discuss beforehand.

photo album

Example of Wedding Album by Lin and Jirsa

Look for a timeliness style

Wedding photography can feel like a time capsule into a moment in time. Looking at wedding pictures of grandparents, for example, will give you a glimpse into that time period and their styles and trends. It is fascinating to look back at wedding photos and marvel how one picture from a given era can encapsulate an entire time period.

However, watch out for fads or trends in styles because they may not stand the test of time. Ask yourself, “will this photographer’s editing style still be appealing 5 years from now? How about 10? Try to find classic, timeless styles that you can enjoy and be proud to display forever.

erich mcvey photography

Classic, Timeless Photography Style by Erich Mcvey

Book an Engagement Session

Engagement sessions are critical because they are a chance to build a relationship with the photographer. They are also “practice” for the wedding day. They give you a chance to see how the photographer works and if you can be comfortable around them on your big day.

Costa Rica Wedding Photographer Mauricio Urena Photography Engagement Session

Engagement Photo by Mauricio Urena

Conclusion

As with any wedding decision, have fun with the process and don’t let it stress you out!  Rely on the advice of your wedding planners and other wedding vendors such as your makeup artist.  If your favorite photographer is already booked, don’t spend more than a minute with regret.  Simply keep moving on and interviewing the other talent in your area.  And we’re here to help!  All Wedding Maps photographers have been verified by our team for their overall quality and creativity!  Explore our photographers here.