How to Choose your Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer is not a simple task, there are so many things involved that it is necessary to take special care to choose who will register one of the most important days of your life.

The emotion of a father seeing his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time. The entrance of the bride from the point of view of the groom. The moment of the kiss. These are images of the wedding day that we undoubtedly want to keep in our memory. Photography has the role of freezing moments, spaces, and of being forever a resource that helps transport us back to a certain instant of time.

For this reason, the choice of the professional who will register for the big day is one of the most important decisions of all those that involve the process of organizing a wedding. You may even say that I, as a wedding photographer, am a suspect to talk about this. It is true.  

However, you must agree that this definition requires that a relationship of total trust is established between the bride and groom and the professional who will be responsible for recording the memories of one of the most exciting days of life. Therefore, this choice is not an easy task.

As a professional in the area, I want to help you establish the criteria that need to be evaluated when hiring the person responsible for the photography. See in this article the main tips on how to choose a wedding photographer! 

Look for the style that you identify with

This is the first step. You may already have in your mind some professionals that you admire, follow, and like their work. Or you may have had recommendations from friends, family members, and vendors.

But do you understand which style of wedding photography you most identify with?

It may be something you didn’t know, haven’t noticed, or haven’t stopped to think about: there are many styles of wedding photography. I will explain the three main ones a little:

Photojournalism

In this style, the photographer tries to tell a story through the photos, as happens in a reportage. Moments, emotions, and spontaneous reactions are captured. There are no posed photos. If you don’t like and have no patience for the protocol of traditional photography, this style can be a good option. This style, nowadays, is also called documentary photography.

Classic

In the past, this was the standard style of wedding photography. Just think of the album of your parents or grandparents. They are elaborate, posed photos, in which there is a whole direction from the photographer and his team. But don’t think that this is an outdated style, it is still one of the most requested. It is classic and timeless. 

Editorial

It’s a style of photography in which more artistic photos predominate, with a magazine editorial tone, and is usually a mixed record with photojournalism. It’s great for couples who enjoy a more artistic approach, creative concepts developed especially for the occasion, and the uniqueness of unique and different images. 

Keep in mind that many photographers do not work with just one style. They usually incorporate all of them in their work, according to their references and experience. But it is important to understand which style and type of registry you like the most. 

What style of a wedding photographer should I choose?

I particularly believe that a good wedding photographer has to know how to balance all styles. That to me would be the ideal photographer, the complete photographer.

A wedding is so rich in moments, details, and stories that I would say it is impossible for someone to be 100% of the time classified as a traditional, photojournalist or contemporary photographer.

I would say that if any photographer is dedicated 100% to one style, he is already outdated. Photography has evolved a lot in recent years and so have weddings, the way people consume photography has also changed.

Obviously, many wedding photographers will have a greater tendency for each style, but I repeat what I said a few paragraphs above, look for the complete photographer, after all in a wedding there is the moment to have documentary photos, there is the moment to have traditional photos and there is also the moment for the photographer to explore his creativity.

For sure you will notice a greater tendency for each style of photography in each photographer’s work, so it’s up to you to choose which one you identify with more or consider more important.

You will certainly notice a greater tendency for each style of photography in each photographer’s work, so it’s up to you to choose which you identify with more or consider more important.

One tip I give to find out which style of photography you most identify with is to use Pinterest. Do a search of wedding photographs and save the ones you like and that fill your eyes. The ones that you picture yourself in. At some point, you will notice a pattern, and one or two styles will stand out. This way you will understand what is important to you in terms of a wedding registry and have references of what you expect for your day.  

If you don’t already use Pinterest, check out this article I made to help you how to use Pinterest to organize weddings.

Set the budget for photography

To stipulate the amount that will be invested in the photographer what I advise is that couples talk and discuss the importance of wedding photography for them. For many people it is primordial and of extreme relevance among all the aspects that involve the wedding. It has immeasurable value. After all, it will be the memories of a very important day. 

Know that there are several values in the market, several types of professionals, with little and a lot of experience. Understand that several factors influence the final result of the work, such as study, professionalism, sensitivity, experience, and the use of quality equipment. And this is not cheap. 

Value is different from price, so look for quality and be wary of offers that differ too much from what is usually charged in the market. You may be “buying a pig in a poke” and remember that time does not come back, so it is essential to know how to choose a wedding photographer well.

In the article, I wrote about how much does a wedding photographer cost? I go deeper into this subject and give important tips that you should consider when setting the budget dedicated to your wedding photographer.

Research wedding photographers in the market 

Once you have set your budget, the next step is to do some research. Visit websites, which usually have a lot of information and photos of previous work. This way you can get a quick sample of the photographer’s portfolio. By the way, a good professional will have an updated and well-maintained website. This is a tip to avoid amateurs. 

Look at the reputation, get recommendations from advisors, seek references, get feedback from other brides and grooms. Analyze the comments on social networks and see how the professional (and his team) respond to customers to evaluate the service provided. 

It is also important to understand, through the work presented, if the photographer is your style and in tune with what you want. Identification is fundamental. Good professionals are versatile and flexible, but it’s interesting to keep in mind that each one has their own style of work, which doesn’t always match what you want.  

An important tip when doing your research, be careful with Instagram

It may sound strange what I’m going to tell you, but having a beautiful feed on Instagram is very easy, every photographer has an obligation to at least have a beautiful feed. But wedding photography cannot be reduced to this factor alone.

That’s why I always say in my texts and directly to my brides, it is extremely important that you see more complete wedding stories, to see all the details of a wedding and get a better sense of that photographer’s style.

This you can check through a slideshow, a wedding album, an online gallery, or even through a blog post in which the photographer publishes more photos from the same wedding.

Want a valuable tip? When you see a photo you like, ask the photographer to see the entire wedding from that photo.

Don’t be fooled by a pretty Instagram profile

Wedding photographer or photo and video company (production companies)?

Here we get into a very common doubt among some couples, so let’s talk a little about this question.

In the past, it was very common for photo and video companies to offer both services, and the bride and groom no longer needed to worry about these wedding items.

Nowadays the style of the professionals who work in the area of photography and video for weddings has changed a lot. In recent years both photography and video have evolved a lot, and during this time specialists in each area have begun to appear.

The main advantage of photo and video production companies in the convenience of hiring two services in one place, and especially the prices. After all, they are companies that will manage and hire freelance photographers and videographers to cover your wedding. 

One tip I give for finding out what style of photography you most identify with is to use Pinterest. Do a search for wedding photographs and save the ones you like best and that fill your eyes. The ones that you picture yourself in. At some point, you will notice a pattern, and one or two styles will stand out. This way you will understand what is important to you in terms of a wedding registry and have references of what you expect for your day.  

If you don’t already use Pinterest, check out this article I made to help you how to use Pinterest to organize weddings.

Look at the reputation, get recommendations from advisors, seek references, get feedback from other brides and grooms. Analyze the comments on social networks and see how the professional (and his team) respond to customers to evaluate the service provided. 

It is also important to understand, through the work presented, if the photographer is your style and in tune with what you want. Identification is fundamental. Good professionals are versatile and flexible, but it’s interesting to keep in mind that each one has their own style of work, which doesn’t always match what you want.  

Tips on how to choose your wedding photographer

Wedding photographer or photo and video company (production companies)?

Here we get into a very common doubt among some couples, so let’s talk a little about this question.

In the past, it was very common for photo and video companies to offer both services, and the bride and groom no longer needed to worry about these wedding items.

Nowadays the style of the professionals who work in the area of photography and video for weddings has changed a lot. In recent years both photography and video have evolved a lot, and during this time specialists in each area have begun to appear.

The main advantage of photo and video production companies in the convenience of hiring two services in one place, and especially the prices. After all, they are companies that will manage and hire freelance photographers and videographers to cover your wedding. 

They are people who receive a fee to cover your wedding without having any previous contact with you, and most of the time the pictures you saw at the meeting or in the company’s portfolio are not from the photographer who will be at your wedding.

If you don’t already use Pinterest, check out this article I made to help you how to use Pinterest to organize weddings.

That’s why I always say in my texts and directly to my brides, it is extremely important that you see more complete wedding stories, to see all the details of a wedding and get a better sense of that photographer’s style.

This you can check through a slideshow, a wedding album, an online gallery, or even through a blog post in which the photographer publishes more photos from the same wedding.

Wedding photographer or photo and video company (production companies)?

Here we get into a very common doubt among some couples, so let’s talk a little about this question.

Nowadays the style of the professionals who work in the area of photography and video for weddings has changed a lot. In recent years both photography and video have evolved a lot, and during this time specialists in each area have begun to appear.

The main advantage of photo and video production companies in the convenience of hiring two services in one place, and especially the prices. After all, they are companies that will manage and hire freelance photographers and videographers to cover your wedding. 

They are people who receive a fee to cover your wedding without having any previous contact with you, and most of the time the pictures you saw at the meeting or in the company’s portfolio are not from the photographer who will be at your wedding.

They are skilled people who often do not create any bond with the couple, you will only meet and have contact with these professionals only on your wedding day.

I have witnessed a scene that scared me. Once a couple hired me to be their wedding photographer and hired a production company to do the wedding video (in this case they were able to hire only video from the company). When the videomaker arrived he asked me, “what is the bride’s name?”

I really like a phrase a photographer friend told me:

“Production companies are the industry, we are artisans”

Are the artisans more expensive? 

Yes, precisely because they are experts in what they do and mainly because they get involved in all parts of the process. You will meet your photographer at the meeting and he will be with you before, during and after your wedding, taking care of every detail personally.

The final result is justified, we are not just talking about a technical service here, we are talking about photography with historical, emotional, and artistic value that you will treasure for a lifetime. And you can only have all this with someone who is involved in every part of the process, who calls you by your name, and sometimes even by your nickname.

Artisans are artists

And now, who will you choose, a photographer and videomaker for your wedding, or a photo and video production company?

One last remark so as not to sound like I am generalizing. There are photographers and videographers who create companies together to offer both services together to their clients. In the case where the professionals themselves participate in all the processes and are present at the weddings, they have not considered a production company. They are two artisans who have joined forces in order to offer differentiated work.

Make appointments and ask all your questions

After much research and after shortlisting two or three favorites, it’s time to schedule a face-to-face meeting with each of them. 

The personal interview, in addition to other factors, helps to understand if there is a connection between the photographer and the bride and groom and thus establish a relationship of trust. Do you feel comfortable? Is there an identification? Is he in tune with what the couple wants for their wedding registry?

Another purpose of the meeting is that all questions are answered and clarified. Prepare a list of questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. We, photographers, know that this is an extremely important decision and we are used to many questions. The important thing is not to leave any doubt.  

If you don’t even know where to start asking questions, I leave you with a suggestion of questions you can ask to evaluate and understand if a particular professional is really the best choice for you: 

How is the work dynamic? How do you usually work?

Do you work alone or with an assistant?

Is there a “backup plan” or plan B in case something unexpected happens? How does it work?

What is included in the price?

What is post-production like? What about deadlines and delivery methods?

How many hours of work are included? How long does the service last?

Do you have backup equipment in case anything unexpected happens on the day?

In addition to the questions, I also suggest sharing in the meeting references of images you like so he can get an idea of your vision and thus align expectations. Remember the tip on how to use Pinterest to organize your wedding?

Also, ask to see finished wedding albums to check the print quality of the photos and evaluate the consistency of the work. This is very important. 

Final tips on how to choose a wedding photographer

Another tip that helps to determine whether or not there will be an affinity between the photographer and the couple on the wedding day is to schedule/hire a pre-wedding rehearsal, or pre-wedding rehearsal as some say. This way, besides getting to know each other better, intimacy is created and everything tends to flow more naturally. You will spend a day together before the wedding, which is interesting for a good connection.   

Those are my best tips on how to choose a wedding photographer. I hope they help and if there are still any questions, feel free to ask by sending me an email or WhatsApp. It will be a pleasure to answer! Good luck!

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