Looking for a suitable wedding photographer can be a real challenge. Where to start the search? What am I really looking for? Questions like photography style, their availability, and your budget… Nowadays a good photographer should have a good website with work examples and information but some times, because lack of time, we can´t have it as up to date as we´d like to.
In this post I´m going to try to give you some tips to make your search easier and to make sure you’re hiring the best photographer for your wedding.
1 – The Style
If there is a MUST when you start searching for your photographer, it would be that you have to like his or her style. You really have to love it. There are thousands and thousands of wedding photographers in the world. Look at all the pictures you can and don´t limit your research to the first google search results. Take all the time you can to look on the internet and social medias such as instagram.
There are lots of different kinds of photographers. Some prefer posed shoots, and some (like me) love a more relaxed and candid style. Choose the photographer who´s work is closest to your own visual tastes. It´s almost impossible for a photographer to try and tailor their work to each individuals preference… so it makes sense to have a shared sense of the sorts of photography you like, and will make for a happy partnership!
2 – First contact
Make a wish list with the photographers you like, and proceed to make the first contact. Get in touch with the one, or the ones, you like most.
Some of us have our prices on the website and others don´t. Whatever the case, ask for more details about the professional: the rates and what that rates include and, obviously, if they have your chosen date available. At the latest, I´d recommend to do it eight or ten months in advance.
The rapport between you and the photographer is very important. You are going to share very important and intimate moments with them – so you want someone there you can get along with!
3 – The budget
Ok, you have selected and contacted the photographers you like, and one of them has the date free. Now is the moment to talk about the money stuff. Photography is an expensive world. For a photographer, having the right photographic equipment and knowing how to use it in the best way to get the best picture possible in the best moment takes a lot of money, training and experience. To which we must also add the artistic and emotional value of photography.
A photographer with huge experience, great technique and the best equipment is going to be more expensive than someone amateur. You have to decide what the photos mean to you, and what price you´d pay for them…Also to consider is the end result you really want. Do you need an album or would digital files suit you better? How many hours do you want the photographer to cover?
When you speak with him or her, tell them about what you would like to have, even if is not involved in the rates they sent to you . We are not robots and we are usually open to suggestions!
4 – Sell your project
This is a very important tip. I know colleagues who prefer “easy weddings”. They like to cover the same kind of weddings in the same places. I respect this choice, but don’t share it personally at all.
Some photographers – as I – love to cover all different kinds of weddings. If you are planning a fairytale wedding in an old barn with lake views, many photographers would love to cover it and would be happy, for sure, to offer you discounts. This is where mutual tastes come in to play…and after you´ve sold an idea to a photographer they would love to be involved in it! Don´t forget some photographers are in this profession for the love of it, and if we could do it for free we would!
5 – The deal
So you have spoken with a photographer whose style you love, who has the date free and is in your budget. At this point I would recommend having “the last” appointment. Due to my travels and my nomadic style of life, I usually have great (some times hilarious) Skype meetings.
Once you are sure you want to hire your photographer, tell them to send you a written quote where all the prices and conditions are clearly included.
If you have followed these 5 simple tips you will have chosen the best wedding photographer for your big day and you won´t have to worry about it anymore. Now relax and enjoy it!!
Where to start looking?
Now you know the steps to finding your best wedding photographer… why don´t you start your search?! Visit my gallery if you would like to see examples of different weddings in pictures, or to see a full wedding like this stunning Santa Cruz wedding . In addition, you can also follow me on Instagram to see more updated content.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you need more information.
Maybe I´m your wedding photographer or maybe I´m not, but is a good starting point 🙂
Good luck in your new adventure!