How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The majority of couples wonder "How to choose a wedding photographer?” when planning a wedding. Wedding preparations take months, while the celebration itself lasts for a day and with all the hustle, you tend to forget small but important details that happened during the ceremony. That’s why you are thinking of hiring a photographer, so that a professional can capture all the beautiful moments on camera for you to remember. Before choosing a wedding a photographer, there are some aspects you should take into account.

how to choose a wedding photographer

16 Steps to Finding a Wedding Photographer

Trying to figure out how to choose a wedding photographer, keep in mind that the results of the shooting depend on this person and his/her professionalism. You may have flawless decorations, venue, outfits, but if a photographer doesn’t manage to reflect their beauty in shots, you won’t even remember how gorgeous it all looked in real life.

1. Choose a Style Before Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

wedding photography styles

For finding a wedding photographer, get acquainted with the shooters in your city or town and their style. Do you prefer dreamy and static portraits or you prefer dynamic shots?

Instead of a series of staged photographs, these are natural or spontaneous pictures of people and scenery in action and movement. Portraiture is a perfect wedding photography style for capturing the bride having her hair done, the bride and groom in their wedding attire, the couple’s emotions after getting married, etc.

I recommend choosing natural wedding photography when the celebration takes place outside before sunset or after sunrise, or at any moment while the sun rays aren’t so bright and don’t produce harsh shadows on people’s faces.

2. Compare All Photographers’ Packages

things to know about wedding photography

It is very hard to indicate the exact sum you will spend on wedding photography services. Firstly, you should figure out the kind of pictures you need, the number of albums, the working area of the photographer. The entire sum may range from $2,500 to more than $15,000 (premium market). Thinking of questions to ask when hiring a photographer, don’t forget to mention the overall range relying on his/her standard “shooting price” and package. Take into account the standard price of the preferred album type and the period of time you need to hire a photographer for (1-2 days or all weekends). Ask the photographers about the contents of their standard package along with the prices for additional services, for instance, an engagement photo session, a possibility of working extra time or specific image editing. Then, make a comparison of prices.

3. Look for a Photographer on Instagram

tips when choosing a wedding photographer @josevilla| @elizabethmessina|@corbingurkin

Instagram was created for quick and easypicture sharing with friends. Photos have long been the most important part of Instagram (now the text is no less important). It is an excellent platform for photographers to post their works and promote their services. How to find a wedding photographer on Instagram? You may use hashtags, various profiles with beautiful images, where photographers’ accounts are tagged.

RECOMMENDED HASHTAGS:

  • #[insert region name here]wedding
  • #[insert region name here]elopement
  • #[insert region name here]engagement
  • #[insert region name here]proposal
  • #[insert region name here]photographer
  • #[insert region name here]weddingphotographer
  • 4. Use Google

    Type in “wedding photographers near me” in Google search bar. You will see various offers from photography services, so you have to think of what exactly you are looking for and sort through the search results according to your preferences. Pay attention to experienced photographers, with their own website or portfolio and full info. Clarify if they are working with an assistant or by themselves.

    DO NOT visit Linkedin, Indeed or UpWork to find wedding photographers because you may find many freelancers and unexperienced shooters who can’t guarantee professional results.

    5. Dig a Little Deeper

    Choosing a wedding photographer, find the people’s feedback and don’t hesitate to ask necessary questions, especially if you plan to implement some unusual ideas at your wedding. Visit all efficient wedding photographers search websites to know more about wedding shooters in your regions.

    WeddingWire TheKnot SnapKnot
    START BROWSING START BROWSING START BROWSING

    6. Read Recommendations

    One of the most important tips when choosing a wedding photographer is to talk to your friends, who have already dealt with such events, and ask them to share their experience. A professional photographer will properly respond to your request of providing testimonials from other customers or may give you their contact info so you may reach them yourself.

    7. Set Up Interviews

    How to pick a wedding photographer judging only by his/her works and feedback online? There is no way. You should absolutely arrange a real-life meeting with all candidates. In case their prices and services are suitable for you, make a call to find out whether a photographer is free on your wedding day. If yes, write an e-mail, include short info about your couple and briefly describe your dream ceremony. Also, consider attaching 5 or more pictures found on the photographer’s website that you enjoyed most of all, so that the person knows your preferences.

    8. See a Few Full Wedding Albums

    what to look for in a photographer

    Before you choose a wedding photographer, don’t fully rely on the shots from his/her gallery or portfolio. Of course, photographers will showcase only their best pictures, one or two from each wedding they shot. But it is really hard to form an opinion about the photographer’s work looking solely at perfect images. Ask photographers to demonstrate the entire albums from different weddings (the ones they personally shot, not from other shooters) for you to be sure that all the pictures you get will be of high quality.

    9. Review Albums with a Critical Eye

    what makes a good wedding photographer

    If you are wondering what to look for in a wedding photographer, check whether they really shoot all important moments by examining their album. What if you want to capture the way the groom looks at the bride when she first enters the wedding hall, but a photographer doesn’t take such pictures? Keep in mind that professional wedding shots should be well-lit, crisp, correctly composed and framed, without unnecessary details and improper blurriness.

    10. Get the Photo Editing Details

    wedding photo editing sample Order Wedding Photo Editing $2 per photo

    Now let’s go over the questions to ask wedding photographer: What is the approximate number of pictures I get? Will I receive low- or high-resolution shots? Is it possible to print pictures afterwards or does only a photographer have the rights to them? Will all the images be edited or only those I pick?

    11. Prep Together for the Day-Off

    what to tell your wedding photographer

    Don’t forget that photographers are here to do their job, so you shouldn’t take it away from them. During a pre wedding meeting with photographer, I recommend not to go through every planned picture, but to provide a wedding day schedule and a general idea of the type of images you wish to receive, for instance, individual shots of each bridesmaid or best man (aside from typical portraits). Also, inform the photographer about important family situations, such as separated parents, or grandparents, who are unable to stand for a long time during a photo shoot and need to sit down, etc.

    12. Think about Second Shooters

    choosing the second photographer

    When you have figured out how to choose a wedding photographer and succeeded in picking a suitable candidate, you may discover that he/she works with a second shooter. This person plays the role of a photographer’s assistant at the wedding and is also responsible for taking pictures. A second shooter makes a huge difference in the work of a photographer and helps capture more significant moments.

    13. Draw Up a Contract

    drawing up a contract

    It is obligatory to sign a contract when working with a photographer and read it carefully before signing. Firstly, it immediately sweeps away a large number of amateurs. Secondly, you will be sure that all your requirements and desires are fulfilled. If a photographer shows you a contract that doesn’t suit you, feel free to talk about it and discuss together the things you would like to change. In case you can’t reach a compromise, it is better to contact another professional.

    14. Payment Issues

    Usually, a photographer asks for an advance payment to book a date for you and be sure that you don’t cancel at the last moment. You, in turn, also need to be sure that a photographer will bedefinitely present at your wedding, the pictures will be of high quality and all the work will be done properly. So discuss the issue of payment with your shooter in advance, in order to avoid unpleasant situations. Don’t forget to specify the terms of payment, the prepayment amount and the full sum in the contract, as a guarantee for both of you.

    RECOMMENDED:

    • 1st payment - upon booking
    • 2nd payment - between several months before the wedding
    • 3rd payment - after the wedding but before ordering an album
    • 15. Communicate with Your Photographer

      meeting wedding photographer

      If you are wondering what to look for in a photographer, remember that he/she should be not only a professional but also a pleasant person. You will spend the whole wedding day with him/her, so don’t turn a blind eye to some uncomfortable little things. If there is even the slightest doubt, feel free to find someone you will enjoy working with.

      Preparing for the wedding, you and a photographer need to discuss the timing and location of the shooting, to consider the images and possible scenario. Remember that most of the questions to ask your wedding photographer after booking don’t require a personal meeting, they can be discussed online or by phone. It will save time for both of you. Respect his/her free time and contact them only during working hours.

      16. Use Image Editing Services

      The human eye is still more perfect than any optics, so I suggest delegating the whole wedding picture editing process to professionals.

      They will perform the overall light- and color correction, face retouching, eliminate unnecessary detailsandwill make the artistic cropping of shots.

      But I recommend you to resort to these services only if your photographer didn’t meet your expectations in termsof image post-production.

       

      FREEBIES for Editing Wedding Photos

      Knowing how to choose a photographer for a wedding is definitely important. But the tools for picture editing are no less significant. To improve the look of your wedding shots, take advantage of these free presets, actions and overlays.

      Photoshop Action for Wedding "Matte Effect"

      free photoshop action for wedding photography free photoshop action for wedding photography
       

      Plenty of wedding pictures are edited with the help of this PS action. It adds a warm matte effect along with muted shades and slight blurriness to the shots. Wedding images instantly acquire a stunning retro vibe reflecting peaceful emotions.

      Retro Action Photoshop "Shine"

      free photoshop action for wedding photos free photoshop action for wedding photos
       

      This PS action is aimed at boosting temperature, balancing blue and white tones and brightening yellow shades. This retro effect will beautifully highlight the depth of the shot and its main details, putting emphasis on various shapes and lines. The action is applicable to all wedding photography editing styles.

      Wedding Bokeh Overlay PS "Shining Miracles"

      free photoshop overlay for wedding photos free photoshop overlay for wedding photos
       

      Accentuate the central part of the image and blur the rest of the background with this bokeh overlay. It is perfect for adding sunny glare and increasing the overall warmth of the shot.

      Free LR Preset for Weddings "Soft Skin"

      free lightroom preset for wedding photos free lightroom preset for wedding photos
       

      Do you have a wedding picture with problematic white balance? Then apply this preset to fix the problem by affecting the dark parts of the image.

      Film Preset for Lightroom "Light Colors"

      free lightroom preset for wedding photography free lightroom preset for wedding photography
       

      This film LR preset perfectly copes with adjusting light and shadows along with reducing contrast. Aside from wedding photography, it is suitable for landscape shots too.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more