How to find your perfect wedding photographer in 7 steps

Yesterday a very sweet client, who inquired me a week ago for pricing and packages, came back at me asking for a bit more time. Her search for a wedding photographer started to feel like torture and she did not know how to proceed. I felt very sorry as planning your wedding should not feel like that at all! But I do get it: if you have never searched for a wedding photographer before and you go online to search for one, I can totally relate to her overwhelmed reaction. Let’s face it: The photographer has to nail the shot – there is no second chance. So the question is: how on earth can you choose a photographer? And how can you know that what you get is also what is shown on their website? I will try and answer these questions as simple as possible. If you have any comments and further tips, just let me know in the comments section below.

Here are the 7 steps to find your wedding photographer

1) What kind of photography do you like?

There are so many photographers with so many different styles out there. You have to know which style and colors relate most to you. Do you imagine your wedding pictures like a fashion shoot with lots of pastel colors? Or moody dark shoots that center on the emotion of the subject? Or maybe you prefer a lot of laughter in in your images or a luxury style that shows the details of your wedding. This is a question only you and your partner can answer and it’s important to know what you want.

But what if you don’t know what you like? One way to find out (besides looking at Pinterest and wedding blogs) is to look at the pictures in your house. Or ask yourself which images relate most to you when you look at magazines. These don’t have to be wedding related. A certain style can come back in lot’s of different photography genres. Also your favourite music and movies can tell so much about the styles that relate to you most.

2) Why do you want a wedding photographer?

Maybe you did not expect this question but it’s important to ask yourself why. Is it because that’s what people do? Or do you want to memorise your wedding day as the beautiful day it actually was? And how should this memory look like? Lots of images of you and your partner? Or do you want to see the emotions, the laughter, the tears and joy in the images of you and your family and friends? Search then for a photographer who has that on his repertoire and sees the same values in wedding photography as you do.

3) What is it worth to you?

The right price is different for everyone. It depends on what you can and are willing to spend. The price ranges from low budget of couple of hundreds euro to many thousands of euro.

But money cannot describe the actual worth of wedding photography. There are couples who want to relive their wedding day whenever they want to and have a big and beautiful album with it. And there are couples who don’t look anymore at their wedding pics until their kids ask them about their wedding. It does not matter how often you will look at them, it matters that they will tell the story of your day for as long as you have the images. For you and for the generations to come after you.

4) Narrow it down

So you know what kind of style you like. It’s time to narrow it down. Asking 10-15 photographers for pricing and a chat won’t help you to make a decision. Make a shortlist of 3-4 photographers and ask them if they are free and for their offers. You will get already a first sparkle right after your first contact. How did they answer, how personal was the mail and how informative. All this are a indicator in whether or not you might have found the right person. 

5) Set up a meeting

If you live in the same city as the photographer you might meet them in person. If you are short for time a Skype call is just as fine. You can find out about the shooting style and if the photographer has the same values for wedding photography as you do (think of moments, family and friends or details and portraits of the couple, or all of it ) Sometimes you won’t feel the sparkle and sometimes you know it immediately.  

6) Don’t hesitate

When we do other important things in our life like buying that new couch or the special dress. We ask ourselves: Can i picture myself in it. And the answer has to come from your heart. Sometimes you just know it feels right and that is the feeling you should have with your photographer as well. Listen to your inner voice and if that does not help as you have maybe 2 favorites than draw it from 2 pieces of paper. If you are happy with the name you drew you have a winner and you can go to step 7. If not, you had another favourite all along 🙂

7) Book

Wedding season is a busy season and photographers can be booked fast for popular dates. Once you have settled on a photographer just ask for the contract and continue to plan your day with one thing less on your to do list.