Updated: Nov 2, 2022
"I'm looking for someone who will capture my wedding day in a way that I've never seen before."
This is how many people describe their ideal wedding photography experience. But finding the perfect photographer isn't always easy. Here are some tips to help you narrow down your search.
Do your research
When doing your research you have a few options these days. The old school way is to ask around about photographers from family and friends. If someone else used the photographer and recommends them then they must have been happy with the results.
The top way is likely doing research on the internet. Any good photographer will have a website or at least a social media with images to review. Be sure to look at Google reviews to vouch for their work. They also may post videos on their social media so you can get familiar with them from personal point of view. In a working relationship personality matters and you may get a good glimpse.
Can they work within your budget?
First thing to consider is if the photographer can work within a budget you have in mind. Most photographers will have a price list or at least have a range in mind. Being upfront about your budget will allow the photographer full transparency to either be able to help or not.
The factors involved in the price will be the number of hours needed, the location, prints and books. Keep in mind that a wedding is a serious event that shouldn't be taken lightly. Unless you want mediocre memories its best to get the best you can for your budget.
What is their specialty?
You should also ask yourself whether the photographer has the skills necessary to produce the type of images you're looking for. If you're planning an outdoor wedding, then you'll need a photographer with good lighting skills. If you're having a destination wedding, then you'll want a photographer who specializes in travel photography. And if you're having a formal event, then you'll want someone who can take professional portraits indoors.
Sometimes choosing a well rounded photographer may be the answer since they have experience in many different genres. They will also likely have the equipment to accommodate it without a learning curve.
Does their portfolio look professional?
A portfolio is a collection of work that shows what a photographer can do. It's a visual representation of how well they can capture your special day. So make sure that you check out their portfolio before hiring them. Look at their previous work and see if it matches up with what you're looking for.
Another thing to consider is a lot of good photographer don't update their websites appropriately so be sure to ask for recent photos, Instagram, or any other sources.
You need to find a photographer who has experience capturing weddings. If you hire a newbie, you'll likely end up with a lot of shots that aren't as good as those taken by more experienced photographers. That doesn't mean a newbie can't do the job but its paramount to get a sense of their capabilities.
If you do decide to go with a newbie ask about whether they have at least done other types of events. After all, a wedding is an event along with many other things such as portrait, documentary, and food photography rolled up in one day.
Get clear on your vision
Explain your vision and also hear about theirs so you know where you align. You may like a bright and airy or dark and moody style. Let the photographer know and see if they accomplish what you have in mind. They may have examples to share and set up a meeting to review what they have.
During the meeting it would be a good idea to give them a run of events if you have it. This is a big factor to consider as the ceremony and reception may be in different locations, the size of the wedding party, or may have special ethnic traditions.
Do they carry backup gear
Having backup gear is really important for a long wedding day. Anything can happen and not being prepared for the unknown can ruin the day. Ask about backup gear and plan B's. Modern cameras are really reliable but accidents happen so redundancy is really important when you have once in a lifetime moments.
Do they have insurance
Most wedding venue will want your photographer to have liability insurance and to furnish to them. This protects the venue and photographer from any accidents that make occur as well as theft in case something happens to the photographers gear.
Have an engagement session
A great way to evaluate a photographer is to actually work with them. A good way to do so is to have an engagement session to see how they "engage" with you. Of course, that will be a big part of the actual wedding day and should be a big factor in your decision.
An engagement session will cost much less than the wedding itself so its a great opportunity to get peak at their work firsthand.
Planning a wedding is exciting yet stressful. A photographer is a crucial step in ensuring you have memories to last a lifetime. Imagine time when you're with your grandchildren telling stories and you pull out the wedding album. Everything we do is relative to the future so be mindful of choosing your photographer for your special day. Ultimately, they will be in charge of documenting your memories.
My name is Jason Logan. I'm a photographer and content creator from Jersey City, NJ. You can get more familiar with my work at www.jmtphotographymedia.com. You can email me directly at email@example.com,