Not all that long ago I was doing research and trying to find a photographer for my own wedding. I remember that it was tough! For real. There are so many things to consider (budget easily being one of them). But since becoming a photographer myself, I’ve realized a few things that will make a HUGE difference when you choose YOUR photographer! I truly believe that if you prioritize these three things, while staying within your budget, you will be happy with your choice.
Did you know photographers have a shooting style? For instance, on a wedding day, photographer number one might take a documentary or journalistic approach. She sees your parents holding hands during the ceremony and is so excited to capture that moment on camera! She sees the groom sneak a kiss during the reception and whips her camera up as fast as she can to catch it! During portraits, she's all about genuine emotion, not forced so she strives to create a space where you two can interact and enjoy each other. She might prefer natural light, so she uses it whenever she can.
Photographer number two might take a more traditional approach. Her priorities are all the classic poses and photos. She sticks to her mental shot list and is sure to get the same type of images at each wedding. Maybe she uses a mixture of natural light and flash throughout the day.
Photographer three takes a more fine art or illustrative approach. She gets excited about dramatic lighting, beautiful composition, landscapes, and architecture. She might have her off camera flash close by all day.
That’s not to say one photographer wouldn’t take some of each approach during a wedding day, but there will always be SOME kind of shooting style your photographer takes on wedding days.
My advice: see what your potential photographer loves to shoot. What kind of lighting do they prefer? Look at their portfolio and see what they tend to capture and share. If they're sharing it on social media, it probably means that they love that photo so chances are, you're going to have similar photos in your gallery. You are trusting this person to document your biggest moments, and they are probably going to see and capture things that others (including you) wouldn't have noticed on your wedding day. So find out how your potential photographer shoots.
You may not know the ins and outs of editing. I definitely didn’t understand it all when I was choosing my photographer. But I did know what I was drawn to. I knew what I liked. So that’s where I started. Pretend we have three photographers again. Photographer one might have a light and airy style with shadows that have been brought up on the slider and bright highlights too! Photographer 2 might take a more moody approach with greener tints. Photographer 3 likes muted colors, but her photos tend to be warmer.
Again, all just possibilities, and nothing wrong with any of them! Editing is SUCH a form of art, and a photographer works to develop their style. First priority here is to find a photographer that shows a consistent editing style. I can't stress this enough. You want all your images to look like they were taken on the same day, and you definitely want your photo album or prints to look cohesive. Secondly, think about what style you’re drawn to. What style do you want hanging on the walls of your home? What style do you want to see in your wedding album in 2 years and 20 years? Look at different photographers, and find what style you like!
As a side note, my editing philosophy is for my photos to reflect true-to-life moments while also bringing them to their full potential, making them as beautiful as I can. I don't want the photos to be unrealistic to what the moment actually looked like, so I strive to keep colors close to what they looked like in real life (prioritizing skin tones) while also enhancing the image overall to bring out all the beauty that's there.
This last one is probably important to you whether you realize it or not. And it definitely should be! You’re going to be spending a lot of your day with this person, so you’d better find someone you can tolerate - find someone you actually enjoy being around! Your photographer, for all intensive purposes, is going to be following your every move on your wedding day. You want to work with someone who makes you feel comfortable. Find someone you click with, someone you trust, and someone you want to be right there beside you cheering you on and celebrating your big moments!
I hope these few tips have helped you in your search to find the right photographer for YOU! I'm certainly not the right photographer for everyone, but if you think we may be a good fit, don't hesitate to reach out! Fill out the form here, and we'll get the party started!