I see so many brides budget for photos and put price at the top of the list in their search for a wedding photographer—-DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP. Your budget for photography and your overall wedding should definitely be considered when searching for the photographer of your dreams but it should be the last and final decision maker after you funnel through these other much more important factors.
At a glance, do you like their photos? look through multiple shoots, look through their instagram feeds, see if they have a blog with more in-depth show casing of their work.
Take a closer look-
Define what it is about their photos that you like. Notice things like, their editing style. What do their skin tones look like? do they edit warmer/have orange skin tones? do they edit true to color? What kind of tones are you drawn to? Are the colors more muted or more vibrant? Is their style more trendy or more timeless? Do they edit their photos in a bright/airy way or are their photos darker and moodier? Don’t get blinded by the photographer’s instagram following, or photos of beautiful models—make sure the actual photo editing and capturing is the style you are going for. Also look through their feed for consistency. Newer photographers may still be figuring out their style- it can take years to really nail down a consistent work output! Look to see if you feel like you could recognize their work if you saw it somewhere based on the editing and shooting style that particular photographer uses.
Notice if interacting with this person is going to be a good personality fit for you and your fiance. You are going to spend a lot of time with this photographer for engagements, bridals and of course all day on your wedding day! You should like each other! When you send an email does their response give you a feel for who they are and how they interact with people? Another great way to get a peak into a photographer’s personality is through instagram. Instagram stories have made it easier than ever to “get to know someone” over social media. Do they seem like a good fit? If you are nervous about their personality working for you, arrange a phone call or a consultation in person!
compare and connect -
If you have multiple photographers who check all of the above boxes, compare them and their work and decide who your top choice, second choice, third choice…etc. is.
Then, once you know who you want to hire based on their work and their personality, fill out their contact form to connect with them and check these final two boxes:
Final Two Boxes
Are they available? Photographer’s get booked up, so especially if your wedding date is during peak wedding season availability could be a tricky box to check.
Can you accommodate their rates with your wedding budget? I would advise you to get the rates from your favorite number one choice photographer before you set a budget for photography. Once you know what it will cost to hire your dream photographer, look at the other things in the budget and see if you can make them all fit in with that photographer’s rates. If you truly cannot, let the photographer know you wish you could hire them but you can’t quite make the budget work, and then reach out to your second choice for your photographer.
*Before you write off your dream photographer, consider making room in the budget because photos are a BIG DEAL. Your photographer is the person who you are trusting to capture your love and document your wedding day. You want the photos to reflect all the beauty and care that will be there on your wedding day. Photos are all you will have left in the end and you want photos that bring you joy and help you remember fondly all the memories and details about your wedding and your love! If you want more tips/info on how to prioritize your wedding budget, read this: Dream Wedding On A Budget