Today’s post was inspired by my own experience finding our wedding photographer.
And the way that I booked our photographer was probably pretty unconventional (knowing what I know now). It was completely over email. We didn’t meet our photographer until our engagement session. And since he lived out of our area, meeting him between the engagement session and wedding day was not as simple. But I have zero regrets about our wedding photographer, because he was SO AWESOME! And everyone at our wedding had a fantastic time.
But now that I think about it, it was because I didn’t know the ins and outs of hiring a wedding photographer, let alone the rest of the wedding vendors we worked with. Namely, because I had never been married, nor had I ever planned a wedding.
So since I’m guessing most brides who will come upon this post probably haven’t been married before or have never planned or contacted wedding photographers before, here are some helpful hints for getting the most out of your search.
- Ask for referrals from recently married friends. That’s actually how I ended up finding our photographer. And it’s the best way to find out about the style and personality of the wedding photographer. Were they professional, fun, adventurous, traditional, modern, etc. Make sure you find someone whose style you LOVE. And, it will give you some insight to their price ranges.
- Check out the photographer’s work. Read their blog. Can you get a sense of their style and personality? Is it something that you connect with, or is it not you? If it’s not you, that’s okay, it doesn’t have to be. Can you imagine yourself in the photos of the photographer? Can you imagine loving the photos fifty years from now? If the answer is “YES!” then start contacting your favorites.
- When you send out initial inquiries, most wedding photographers will want to set up an in-person or phone meeting. My mentality (at the time) was that I just wanted to know their price point, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. However, now I know that most wedding photographers want to ensure that they are a good fit with you. Because having a good rapport with your photographer who will be documenting your day is KEY. Imagine a wedding day where you don’t trust your wedding photographer or you don’t get along. It could make for a very uncomfortable time for a very important day.
- Narrow down your choices to three max. Make it easier on yourself. But if you’ve found the photographer that you ABSOLUTELY must have, contact them and let them know just that! We work hard to make it easy for a client to make that decision pre-meeting, and your meeting should solidify that conviction.
- If you are ready to book your photographer, book them! Most wedding photographers book anywhere between 6 and 12 months before your wedding date, so if you know that you want a particular wedding photographer, make sure to secure your date! And when you inquire with photographers, make sure you have a date! A photographer can’t secure a maybe this date or that date, and will require a retainer to book a date. So, it’s easiest if you have a wedding date set.
I hope this post was helpful. I know that if I had known what I know now, I’d be better prepared for hiring wedding vendors. I hope this makes things easier for both brides and grooms as well as photographers!
*NOTE: This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, but merely a starting point for brides and grooms. A comprehensive list would probably take up a series of posts.*
If you have any other suggestions or helpful hints, please leave them in the comments!
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