The Most Important Ways to Choose Your Wedding Photographer
Did you know that one of the first questions a wedding photographer is asked is “how much are your wedding packages?” One of the first (and sometimes the only!) questions asked via email is “will you please send me your price list”?
Don’t get me wrong… I understand. Many of us have a wedding budget, and really need to plan out the wedding day well in order to avoid bankruptcy (haha!) However, if you are looking for a recipe for success when it comes to wedding photography, there is something that is equally important and is many times overlooked. That something is ensuring you connect with your photographer!
Take the time to ensure you connect with your photographer on a personal level! And I mean almost from the very first moment you meet/speak/type. You will be spending one of the most important days of your life with this person hot on your tail, so it should be something awesome vs. something that you loathe, right?!
I’m already assuming that you have a keen eye, and that you have earmarked a few photographers whose images appeal to you and inspire you. You like what you see (e.g. candid, formal, color tones, composition), you’ve thoroughly researched websites, and have exhausted your friend’s lists of recommendations. You’re a smart cookie… so you’ve done the legwork, and you’re ready for next steps. Here’s what I recommend:
- Call the photographer! In this day and age, most couples are super busy working their 9-5 jobs… and have such limited extra time, so they are pretty selective about how they spend their downtime. Scheduling a quick call is sometimes a great first step before committing to an hour of coffee time (after driving through rush hour, or taking up a Saturday/Sunday morning.) You should be able to get a great feel for their personality and professionalism pretty quickly, even over the phone. If you like what you’re hearing, then take the next step to meet for coffee, or if you are out of town… try a Facetime or Skype meeting.
- If you are on Pinterest, see if the photographer is as well! Are there things that they are pinning that connect the two of you, or speak to you on a personal level? Being a foodie, cat lover, gym rat, snow globe collector? (Well, you get the idea!)
- See if the photographer has a Blog, and read their post entries. Do you like how they think, speak, and write about their couples? Are you connecting with the stories being told along with the images you see?
Taking the time to do these things should really help you get a feel for who this photographer is at the core, and if they are someone you would really enjoy having next to you for close to 12 hours on your wedding day! At least have this piece of the photographer puzzle settled in your gut/heart/head before you start asking the other important questions…. You know, the ones about pricing, camera gear, or if this person will show up in ripped jeans, tshirt and a big red clown nose on your wedding day (heehee!)
At the end of the day, the easier it is for you both to connect with and feel comfortable with your photographer, the better your engagement and wedding images will turn out! And who knows… maybe you will have an ongoing friendship that continues through newborn babies, sweet 16’s, and family reunions as well! That is what makes all of it worth it for this photographer. I wouldn’t trade the relationships I have with my couples and newfound friends for anything in the world, and that is my wish for you as well. =)
I would love your thoughts and feedback! Would you add anything to this list?