Updated: Nov 1, 2019
From a photographer’s perspective
Planning your wedding day is a large undertaking and many brides find themselves asking, "where do I even begin?" The whole process is filled with overwhelming options and decisions. Finding your photographer is something many brides struggle with and as a wedding photographer, I want to let you in on 5 tips that I have picked up from working in the industry.
1. Ask for recommendations. Searching the web can be a daunting task. There are millions of photographers out there and some crazy talented ones don't always show up as the first name on google. Some talented photographers are able to make a living on word-of-mouth recommendations and therefore invest less in their website rankings. By asking for recommendations from friends and family, you find honest reviews, a complete gallery of their work from a complete day, and can dig a deeper beyond a social media or website persona.
2. Determine your price point. Pricing is something you need to establish upfront, and yes, photographers who charge more are really worth it. Not only do they take beautiful photos but the experience and knowledge they will provide throughout the day. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ applies here. It is not always realistic to find a photographer that will give you everything you dream of for under $800. A more expensive photographer may lend additional peace of mind that your photos will look fabulous and won't somehow disappear post-wedding. If you are on a tight budget, there are ways to hire a higher quality photographer without breaking the bank. Some allow you to opt out of extras (ex. engagement photos) which can save money, but this depends on each photographers flexibility and policies.
3. Do your research. Once you compile a list of potential wedding photographers, look through their portfolios and social media channels. Dig deeper than follower counts: read captions, explore photos on their feed, and look at the way couples look at each other. Do they seem genuinely happy? Don't be scared to request a meet-up or a phone call. Most photographers require this type of communication to make a booking. We want to develop trust with you and get to know your personalities so that on your wedding day we can capture those moments with you and your whole crew!
4. Determine your style. Knowing what style you like is important. For example, most of my posing happens from prompts and movement, I don’t interrupt your day to get a staged shot. I prefer that my clients naturally move through their day without constantly thinking about the photographer following them around. If you are unsure on what your style is, browse photographers websites and get a feel for how the photos look and how people are positioned. A website will give you the best insight into how each photographer shoots, eliminating any unhappy surprises when you get your photos back. Photographers pride themselves on these digital galleries, typically created by the photographer themself, we want you to see everything we have to offer.
5. Be cautious of the trendy filters or effects. Are there trend-specific filters being used in the photos? An example of a trendy filter is the ‘burn and dodge’ effect that was used during the 80’s, and while it was popular at the time, it is no longer in style. Every era has a "look" to it and some photographers chase after it in their editing. There's nothing wrong with these trends, and you may prefer certain styles over others. Make sure the editing style that your photographer uses is consistent with what you are looking for. If you desire a timeless photo style that you can hang on the wall of your living room for decades, your photographer’s editing preferences are definitely something to consider.
Happy Wedding Planning! It is important to choose the photographer that you feel best fits your personality, photography style, price point, and editing preferences. Then, you can be comfortable knowing that your wedding photographer will be there to capture every moment of your big day, and that you can look back on these photos with pride for years to come. Your wedding day is truly a once-in-a-lifetime, and you want it to be captured perfectly.
About the Author: Cece Boyle has been taking wedding photos since 2017. She is the owner of CCBoyle Photography located in Duluth Minnesota. While being a full-time student Cece enjoys her free time when she can go trail running or Nordic skiing with friends. She can be contacted at www.ccboyle.com or follow along on Instagram @ccboylephotography.