So you just got engaged (yay! congrats!!) and you have no idea how to find a wedding photographer or even what to look for when choosing a wedding photographer.
Well I have great news for you, friend! You are in the right place because today we are breaking down exactly what you need to consider so you can confidently choose the right wedding photographer for you!
How to find the right wedding photographer for you
Do your research –
More than likely you have already started this as most brides-to-be are keeping an eye out for wedding things before they officially receive a ring! When finding the right photographer for you, it is so important to do you research. Do a Google search for Arkansas Wedding Photographers (or wherever you live!). Look through Instagram feeds and search hashtags (like #arkansasweddingphotographer) to find photographers in your area that may not be showing up on the first few pages of Google. As you look around, take note of what specifically draws you to that photographer. Is it their personality and how they interact with their couples? Is it the emotion expressed in their images, or how light-filled and timeless their images look? Look for those common denominators of what is attracting you to specific photographers and write those things down! Get an idea of the average investment for the photographers you love and are drawn to. This will give you a better understanding on how to budget FOR your wedding photographer based off of what you truly love and want rather than letting your budget control the kind of photographer you have to get.
Establish your budget –
I want you to imagine walking into your dream bridal boutique and trying on the most beautiful gown that you absolutely fall in love with, only to look at the price tag and realize you could never afford the gown. Now every dress you try on does not compare to the one you fell in love with and you end up settling for another dress that’s more reasonably within your budget. The same thing goes for your wedding photographer! You fall in love with their images as you scroll their Instagram – even visualize yourself in their images and dream of what your wedding photos will be – inquire with them and get so excited – only to be devastated to learn they are out of your budget. Many couples begin searching for a photographer before ever establishing their photography budget. My advise? Consider setting a realistic budget range based off of your research mentioned above. Set a budget number that you would like to stick to, then another number that is your absolute cutoff. More than likely you will fall somewhere in the middle of that budget range, and this gives you more flexibility when reaching out to photographers. Most photographers have at least a “starting at” price point listed on their website. I highly recommend that you don’t inquire with any photographer outside your budget range! Plus, us photographers get pretty excited when your inquiry comes through and are just as devastated to lose the opportunity to work with you!
Know your expectations –
It’s no secret that there are tons of amazing photographers out there! But each photographer offers something totally different – not only in style but also in personality and how they do things. Working with me as your wedding photographer means you will receive a beautiful, timeless, light and joy filled gallery with an incredible experience. What does that mean? You will be equipped with many resources to help you plan and prepare, along with an organized, seamless, and stress-free experience. But ultimately, I truly believe that my job is so much more than showing up and taking pretty photos. I am there to serve and go the extra mile wherever is necessary to make your wedding day the best that it can be!
Knowing your expectations means knowing exactly what role you want (and need) your photographer to play for you. What do you value and want out of your wedding photography experience? How involved do you want them to be? Do they offer and guarantee help in the areas where you’ll need it most? These are things to consider when looking for the right photographer for you!
What to look for when choosing a wedding photographer
Why is style important to consider? Because every photographer has a certain style to their art that shapes not only the outcome of their images, but they way they photograph as well. There are so many beautiful styles of photography, and so many trends in styles of photography as well. Some things I encourage you to consider: Is this style timeless or just trendy? Will I still love these images in 25 or more years from now? Do I like the way they edit and is their editing consistent across their entire portfolio? Does their editing style match our vision and style of our wedding day?
I mentioned above to look at the consistency of the photographer’s work. When you look through their Instagram feed, do they show consistent coloring in skin tones, greenery, brightness, and editing style? If you look through their feed or website and see some images darker and moody feeling, but others seem bright and true to life, that can be a red flag of a photographer that doesn’t quite know their own photography style – which means you really don’t know what kind of photos you can expect to receive from them. Consistency across all of their portfolios ensures that you can trust you will receive the same beautiful work from your own wedding that you see from them online!
Style and consistency come with experience, but so does confidence and the ability to go far beyond just clicking a camera button. Being a good wedding photograph is so much more than just capturing pretty images. It’s also knowing what to do in any type of situation, rolling with the punches, serving your couple well, and delivering an incredible experience for everyone. This comes with experience in photographing REAL weddings! Now I’m not saying that a photographer just starting out is incapable of doing an incredible job! But I am saying that years of experience in any skill is invaluable, and knowing they are fully competent and equipped to handle any situation will allow you to trust them more. Your photographer should be a resource to you, your support from day one, your guide through an incredible experience, and someone you can fully count on!
Listen, from initial inquiry to the end of your wedding day, you are going to be spending a lot of time with your wedding photographer! That is why it is so important to make sure that their personality jives with both of your own personalities. But more than that, you need to make sure that they are someone that you feel comfortable with and completely trust so you can relax and enjoy your wedding day! Finding someone who truly cares not just about getting the shot, but about YOU will allow you to trust them so much more, which will allow you to be 100% present on your wedding day because you KNOW they are in your corner and have your greatest interest always in mind!
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