Being a wedding photographer has surpassed all of my wildest dreams for what I would ever do as a living. Even in those moments where I dreamed I’d be a marine biologist (despite being terrified of tropical fish) or a back up dancer (as immortalized in my grade 8 year book), I never once imagined those careers being as amazing as the one I actually have.
Since I love my job so much, I often find I want to do more of it — photograph more flowers, more pretty dresses, and, most importantly, more amazing couples on one of the happiest days of their lives. This means that I sometimes have have to remind myself that just like I can’t hug every cat, I can’t (and shouldn’t) photograph every wedding. Just like every couple is unique, so is every photographer. And let’s face it, this cat loving, pink obsessed, bright, and bubbly girl isn’t for everyone and that’s okay!
So, since it’s out there that I’m not the only option to photograph your wedding day, I wanted to take some time to talk about how to find the perfect wedding photographer for your day because your wedding photographer is one of the most important vendors you’ll hire on your wedding day. They’re someone who is with you the entire day and they’re also in charge of documenting and honouring the memory of one of the most important days of your life, and that’s a big job! Since this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly and can be a little overwhelming, I wanted to share with you my 3 favourite tips for finding the perfect wedding photographer!
** You may also find at the end of reading this that, much like the naive girl in a rom-com who realizes she was in love with her best friend all along, that I’ve been your dream photographer all along; if that’s the case, hit me up, I’d love to grab a coffee and talk about your wedding day!
Find Your Photography Style
With so many photographers to choose from, one of the first things to do is find the style of photography you like! For example, my style is bright and airy and I always prioritize how my couple looks over having an epic background (although if I can have both I will!) I also spend a lot of time having my couples interact with each other rather than looking at the camera.
For you, you may find that you like a more cinematic image where the background plays a large part in the image, or that you like pictures that are more traditional and have you looking at the camera more than at each other. Maybe you like an image that is more vibrant in its colours or something that’s darker and moodier. Whatever it is that you like, it’s important to figure that out so when you’re looking at photographers you know what you’re looking for!
Find a Photographer You Like
Once you’ve decided on what style of photography you like, it’s time to begin the hunt for your photographer! When researching photographers check out their Instagram, Facebook, website, and blog. This should give you a pretty good idea of what their work looks like; if you don’t like a lot of their work shown online, chances are you won’t be happy with your images so keep looking!
Along with what their images look like, you should be checking out who the photographer is as a person; your photographer is sort of like an honorary wedding party member since they spend so much time with you on your wedding day, so it’s important to like who they are! One of the greatest compliments that I can get from a bride is when they tell me I made their wedding day so much better just by being there, that’s how I know we were a match made in photography heaven!
To find out who your photographer is watch their Instastories, read their Facebook and Instagram posts, check out their ‘About Me’ page on their website and read their Blog. If you find you love love love the images you see online and love who they are, you may have found your photographer soul mate!
Ask to See an Entire Wedding
You’ve found the photographer you’d like to hire and the meeting is going great! One of the most important questions you should ask your photographer is to see an entire wedding day (bonus points if they can show you one from a wedding at your venue!). Often, Instagram, websites, and blog posts only show a highlight reel of what they’ve captured during the wedding day. Asking to see an entire wedding day gallery ensures that you’re going to love how all of your images look, not just the ones they’ve chosen to show the world.
While you’re looking through the gallery, one thing in specific to be looking for is black and white images in an album. Black and white pictures are great, don’t get me wrong, but if the entire getting ready or reception portion is in black and white this may be a red flag that the images weren’t good enough to deliver in colour. Sometimes, it happens: your people are too blue, yellow, and purple all at once and you have to make the image black and white just to save it. However, when a whole portion of a wedding is in black and white, be sure to ask the photographer about it (they could just really like black and white images and either way, that’s something you should know!)
One other thing you should be looking for in the gallery is if they do (or don’t) capture things that are important to you on your wedding day. I know with me I have a mental check list of events, items, moments, and people I capture at a wedding and unless there are specific requests from the bride or groom, that list is generally the same from wedding to wedding. So, if you don’t see it in their album, be sure to ask about it and mention it’s importance to the photographer.
Hopefully I haven’t overwhelmed you even more with the tips I just shared. These are truly the 3 tips that I find will make the biggest difference in finding someone who is perfect to capture the biggest day of your life!
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