5 Tips to Help Find a Wedding Photographer
Writer / Michael Durr
Photographer / Jessica Strickland
Many brides and grooms might find it daunting when tasked with finding a wedding photographer. Having captured many weddings myself and having the experience of finding a wedding photographer to capture our own wedding, I wanted to provide some tips on what to look for when you begin your search.
Tip 1: Choose a Style
One of the most important things when looking for a wedding photographer is finding a style that you like. All photographers bring a certain look to their work, and you want to be sure that your expectation matches the style of your photographer. You can look at a photographer’s Instagram account, but I would advise going a step further and browsing their website to really get a sense of the style of photography they provide. A word-of-mouth referral also goes a long way. If you know someone that hired that photographer, don’t be shy about asking how their experience was.
Tip 2: Plan an Initial Meeting
If possible, I recommend meeting your photographer in person or via FaceTime if in person is not possible. It is likely that the person you will spend the most time with on your wedding day will be your lead photographer – even more so than your future spouse. They will be at your side from the makeup chair to the sendoff and you want to be sure you enjoy their presence and that they are someone with whom you’re comfortable. During this meeting you should get a clear understanding of costs and what is included with the fees. You will also want to ask if there will be a second photographer. A second photographer will cost more but it offers an incredible value. If you are someone that likes creative angles, candid moments and incredible portraits, a second photographer is well worth it. Some look at it as an added insurance policy, so no moments are missed. There is no doubt that wedding budgets can be tight but investing in a good photographer will pay dividends for years to come. After the day is over, the images will tell the story of your wedding forever.
Tip 3: Book an Engagement Session
Not all couples want to have an engagement session, but if you are considering it, I would give you two thumbs up on making that happen. This will give you the opportunity to tryout photographers like https://katelegtersphotography.com/. It provides a firsthand experience of how they work and how they interact with you and your fiancé. It is a great way spot any red flags and at the same time, provides you with some great images that can be used for a save the date, signature album or prints. It is also that first step in really creating a relationship with your photographer.
Tip 4: Plan Ahead
Once you have officially booked your photographer you will want to schedule a follow up meeting or conversation about the wedding day itself. The flow of the day can be challenging to plan, but your photographer’s opinions and recommendations are crucial. They will know how long certain things will take, like family photos or couples’ portraits. They will be able to spot any unrealistic time constraints and will be able to help alleviate some of that pressure that can build up on the wedding day. Having a photographer that is flexible and understanding is important and by this point, you know they have your best interest at heart.
Tip 5: Enjoy the Day
When the day finally arrives, your photographer will be the one to be sure you have the memories that will last a lifetime. The day goes fast and trusting your photographer to deliver on the expectations you set should make you feel at ease. Power down that cell phone and let the pros handle it. Your main objective on your wedding day is to slow down and enjoy it.
Remember not to sweat the images. Your first inclination will be to see the images immediately, but I encourage you to take the honeymoon, relax and enjoy your first weeks of marriage. The photos will come, and it is likely your wedding photographer captured thousands of images. Trust them to curate and process those images for you. Remember, that’s what they do, and you paid them for their style and their vision. They will deliver, and even if it takes some time to get the digital album, it will absolutely be worth it. My wife and I made a pact that we would not look at the images until we were sitting together. We even hooked up the laptop to the TV, popped a bottle of champagne and scrolled though all the images together. It was a special evening seeing them all for the first time.
Finally, print your images! These days we may not think of print as important but taking the time to either work with your photographer in creating a printed album or taking the time to create your own is worth it. Having a tangible asset to keep on the shelf and pass down to the next generation is something your children and grandchildren will love to hold and thumb through someday.
All the images captured in this article were taken by Jessica Strickland. Being a professional photographer myself, I knew exactly what I was looking for and my now-wife had been following Jessica’s work for years (truthfully, we based our wedding date around her availability because we were so excited to work with her). Jessica delivered on every level, even going far above our expectations. She and her assistant were an absolute pleasure to be around, and we have remained friends to this day.