5 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Wedding Photographer

Lenzi Kiss the BrideOur first kiss as a married couple, photo by Hoffer Photography

Good photography is important and worth the splurge.

Your wedding day is such a momentous occasion that should hire someone you can trust to capture the details to look back on and relive for years to come. When planning my wedding, photography was very near the top of my list of priorities. Yes, like any other craft, artistic photography shot by an experienced team costs a good amount of money. But how do you find that person in the first place? Here is how I found mine.

Adams-Bech-Wedding-IsabelMarchAdams Wedding, photo by Isabel March Photography

1. Follow photography blogs

I started following photography blogs in college. As the life stages of my peers progressed, this quickly turned into engagement and wedding photography. I was following these photo blogs for a good four years by the time I got engaged, so I was extremely well-informed and a dedicated fan of many, but none bigger than Hoffer Photography. Within a week of getting engaged, I contacted Tony Hoffer to see if he was available to shoot for us! Since we had a somewhat flexible timeline, I even pushed our wedding back to January of 2013 to make sure we could book the Hoffers.

Dean Wedding Texture PhotoDean Wedding, photo by Texture Photographics

2. Determine your style

What aesthetic are you drawn towards? Do you like your colors bold and bright or soft and muted? Are you all about wide-angle shots in amazing environments or intimate portraits? Is photojournalistic storytelling and capturing moments more important to you or shooting the magazine-worthy details? These are all extremely important to consider, and things you will determine the more you do your research.

Shelly-Wedding-Kelly-Dean-PhotoShelly Wedding, Kelly Dean Photography

3. Find the right chemistry

Like any relationship, the one between you, your significant other, and your photographer is important. I met multiple prospective photographers in person to get a feel for who they were, how we would work together, and to see not just the highlights of their work (which are showcased on blogs) but also completed albums to get an idea of a wedding from start to finish. This is the time to ask questions, find common ground. Is it important to you that your photographer feels like a friend? Or is a strictly business relationship all you require? You want to feel enabled to entrust your big day to this person!

Most times, engagement sessions comes as part of the wedding package, but if it comes as an add-on and you are able, I highly recommend doing it! This provides you and the photographer to have fun and get to know each other. If you connect and feel comfortable, it will translate into your photos. It is extremely risky to show up on your big day and expect a stranger you just met to know what is important to you and provide perfect pictures.

Lenzi-452Our first dance, photo by Hoffer Photography

4. Communicate clearly

Do your best to let your photographers know in advance what is important to you. Provide them with a timeline of your day, and make sure you build in enough time for them to accomplish what you want. The wedding day flies by, and if you haven’t adequately prepared in advance, you will find that you aren’t able to get the shots you want. I am a huge advocate of doing a First Look before the wedding, but if you don’t want to see your fiancé before the ceremony, be sure to block in a significant amount of time for bride and groom portraits after, in addition to family photos. The best wedding photographers are artists at heart, and you should feel confident to relax and trust them to get great shots. However, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for a shot you have in mind!

Shelly-Wedding-2-Kelly-Dean-PhotoShelly Wedding, Kelly Dean Photography

5. Look at the big picture

What do you want to do with these photos after you have them? Are they going in an heirloom album? Being sent as gifts to parents? Do you want them printed on canvas to hang on your wall? You should choose your photographer with these things in mind. Your investment is one you should enjoy for years to come in creative ways, worth more than just sharing in Facebook albums!

How did you find your wedding photographer? What made it a great or challenging experience? What do you think is the most important thing to consider for wedding photography?

PS. After you’ve chosen your photographer, here’s How to Get Great Engagement Photos.
PPS. Here are 5 of my favorite photographers.

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