Choosing a perfect photographer for your wedding is not simple. You have to find a person with skills that fit your wedding style, AND you have to find the one whose personality lines up with yours. You might think “What personality has to do with this?”
Let think about it: unlike other vendors (DJ, florist, catering, etc.), your wedding photographers work by your side throughout the entire day, have the closest interaction, and still work with you long after your wedding day. Personality significantly affects the relationship and determines how good your overall experience will be.
Although it is a long journey to find a perfect photographer, we will show you step-by-step, with tips and advice that you can use to make a decision with confidence. We divide this journey into three main parts. With “Part 1: Research”, we will show you the first three steps. Then we will give you homework (more like a fun activity) before we take you to Part 2. So here we go:
- Step 1: secure the venue (obviously). This will set the starting point for everything you do later on, including choosing vendors. This helps you to decide in which areas you should look for photographers first.
- Step 2: define the style of photography you like. Keep in mind that the style of photography should match your venue choice. For example, if your venue is indoor with dim light, a photographer whose strength is natural light might not be a good option. In that case, you need someone with good flash skill.
- Step 3: make a list of potential photographers you like most. You can start with:
- The venue: they can tell you who worked there before.
- Your friends: who got married or about to. Ask for their recommendation.
- Other vendors: sometimes, a photographer is not the first vendor you book. You might already book a makeup artist whom you love for so long. They can give you great referrals.
- Other websites related to wedding (like wedding wire, the knot, etc.). It is easy to find a local photographer here. If you want to see their most recent weddings, look at their main websites, not on these websites.
- Google: if you are willing to invest your time, this is quite powerful.
As we said earlier, here is a fun activity for you: make a list of 5 photographers you like. If you haven’t booked a venue or set a date yet, it’s still okay. The main goal of this exercise is to help you define your style of wedding photography. After you finish, you can read Part 2 of this series: Learning.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t limit your search to local photographers. There are a lot of photographers who are not local and are willing to travel.
- If you are lucky with your search and find many photographers, feel free to expand the list to 10, but don’t go over that as it will soon confuse you.
- When you find photographers you like, look on their websites (usually “about us” section) for the words/terms that describe their style. These words will be the “keywords” if you want to use Google.