Everything you need to know
Your wedding photographer is tasked with a tremendous responsibility: they’re in charge of capturing your wedding day beautifully and accurately so that it will last forever. Years later, when you reflect on the incredible celebration of love your wedding day represented, you will be looking at the work created by your wedding photographers.
Finding the right photographer for your wedding can be a difficult task, especially when you don’t know where to start! Our guide is here to help. To get them locked in ASAP, but also ensuring they are the best for YOU, you’ll need to do some soul searching from within. We have worked through some crucial things to consider that will help you narrow down your options in your vendors and get you someone that seems to be made for you & your day!
A professional costs money. Now how much depends on a number of things – the cost of doing business where your photographer is located, their experience, and what they offer in their work. To put it bluntly, you have to consider how important your wedding day is to you. How do you want to feel when you look back on your photos 30+ years from now? You pay top dollar for these services because they continue to deliver long after your wedding has passed. Can you put a price on that?
There are sooo many photography styles out there. Are you looking for bright & airy, vibrant & moody, dark & moody, true to color? Check out all the styles that are out there and see what speaks to you most. You can do this through Google and Instagram (I find these two platforms to deliver the most in terms of results). Start by looking at local photographers in your area!
The key in finding the right photographer for you is to be clear on your expectations and what you’re looking for in your images. Do you like more posed or candid? This question alone will land you with two different photographers. A candid photographer will provide you with prompts to get you moving, laughing, and being your true self to allow for those authentic moments, without even feeling like its forced. Examples of prompts would be, “whisper in your partners ears the ABCs in a funny voice,” “Close your eyes and reflect on your years together, can you tell me one of your fondest memories with your partner?”
Someone who works with more posed direction will tell you exactly how to stand and how to look. While this is great, I feel it only addresses one portion of direction a photographer should delegate in a session. You know how to pose, but you can see that the smile they told you to do doesn’t reach your eyes. It’s your generic smile you give for any photo. You are getting married to your person and are celebrating that time in your life – I’m trying to see that REAL smile that you show when someone really gets you laughing – the smile that you can see in your eyes too. Finding a photographer that gives you prompts AND posed direction will deliver just that in your photos!
Voice what you find to be the most important moments on your day that you want documented. Is there something unique happening at your wedding that you want to be sure is incorporated? Tell your photographer everything! They’ll make it happen. Is someone in your family making the trip from across the country that you don’t see very often, and you want to be sure that moments with them are noticed? Point out this person to your photographer so they know to keep an eye on them during the day.
Maybe you don’t like black and white photos, have an insecurity you want them to be aware of, or you really don’t like PDA in front of certain family members. We are here for YOU and want you to feel comfortable.
Is this strictly business for you? Are you just looking for someone to show up, do what they need to do, & go? Or are you looking for someone who will make this a total experience for you? In those moments when things are high stress, will they go out of their way to bring back a positive energy? You will easily see the difference in someone who does this because they freaking love what they do.
Ask friends and family for references. They may be able to share their experiences with certain wedding photographers, or even recommend them outright. Word-of-mouth recommendations could be helpful as you can rest assured that the wedding photographer has produced quality images that couples were happy with in the past. However, remember that each couple may have different tastes in photography, so it’s best to check out their work before making your decision (ask to see full galleries!).
Some other great ways to find wedding photographers are Facebook wedding planning groups, instagram (search your city + wedding photographer, e.g. Charlotte wedding photographer), your vendor recommendations (ask your planner, florist, or venue owner who they have worked with in the past), and Google.
When checking Google for wedding photographers, keep this in mind for the ads you may find on page 1-2: these vendors paid to be on pages. Check out photographers who organically made their way to page 1-2 because they are just that good. You want the best wedding photographers, this will help you sort through & find a photographer that feels like they were made just for you.
This depends on a number of things, but most commonly these are the factors that will land you on a number:
Are you looking for the best wedding photographers, or someone who is just getting in the industry with less experience? Are you looking for full day coverage, or just half the day? How extensive is your wedding photography shot list for family, bridal, and couples photos? Where is your wedding taking place? Are you looking for engagement photos as well?
These are all things that will play.a role in your wedding photographer cost. In Charlotte, NC the average wedding photographer cost is $3,500-$7,000 for the higher end options.
Please remember: this may seem like a lot but your wedding photos will last forever. These vendors are the only ones that leave you with something after your wedding!
Some wedding photographers can create custom packages for you where you can pick and choose services to cater to your unique needs. The best wedding photographers will work with you to ensure the package they offer captures the photos you’re looking for.
rehearsal dinner coverage
second wedding photographer
half day/full day/hourly wedding day coverage
When you start talking through shot lists, your wedding photographer will have their own lists of favorite wedding shots, but be sure to share any and all ideas you have!
Still looking for your wedding photographer? Let’s talk 🙂
get in touch!