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5 Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

Tips For Choosing A Wedding Photographer

By Jeffrey House Photography

 

Spoiler Alert!

Finding the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding has essentially nothing to do with photography.

In this article, we are going to give you tips for choosing a wedding photographer.  I'll give you a hint - It's about a partnership, chemistry, and rapport.

It's essential to understand wedding photography is a lot like a beautiful piece of classical music.  The notes and chords work together in perfect harmony to create a natural, flowing, and enchanting sound.  

A photographer's talent surely plays a part in creating beautiful photographs, but every photographer is going to struggle immensely if they can't form a meaningful connection with their client.  These connections result in beautiful photography where everyone looks happy, natural, and relaxed.  

Beautiful and creative wedding photography is mostly a result of having a great relationship with your photographer.  Having a true partnership will allow them to see your wedding through your eyes, and tell your story through theirs.  

5 Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

 

If you're like most brides, you want a great photographer.  However, most brides admit they're not sure what makes a photographer great.  And finding a photographer can often feel overwhelming.  With that being said, let's take a look at 5 tips for choosing the right wedding photographer.

1.  Understanding Your Investment

Wedding photography is expensive.  It's an investment.  And in most situations, you get what you pay for.  

“The Bitterness Of Poor Quality Is Remembered Long After The Sweetness Of Low Price Had Faded From Memory.”

Wedding photography often comes with a lot of misconceptions.  It's believed we make thousands of dollars for a single day of work.  But truth be told, the average wedding photographer will spend 50-60 hours on an 8 hour wedding (editing, meetings, emails, phone calls, etc.).  

While you may $3,000 for your photographer, that doesn't mean they are actually making $3,000.  There are plenty of expenses that need to be accounted for with that money (taxes, product costs, labor costs, insurance, website fees, association fees, equipment, computers, editing software, training, etc.).  The average wedding photographer makes between $28,000-$30,000 per year.  

The price of wedding photography can be difficult to grasp because it's not like buying a car. You don't pay for a product and it's done.  When it comes to wedding photography you're paying for a photographers expertise, creativity, technical knowledge, and an overall experience.  

If you'd like to take a closer look at wedding photographer prices in your area, check out costofwedding.com!

 

2.  Photography Style (Redefined)

Every website on the internet, speaking to wedding photography, will tell you that you MUST ask your photographer how they "define" their photography style.

Erase this awful information from your mind.

A photographer's true style is developed over time and it's constantly evolving.  Much of a photographer's style is formed as a result of their life experiences.  It's these experiences that determine how we view and perceive the world around us; therefore, that greatly influences how we capture it.  

If you asked 10 photographers - all defined by the same photography style to photograph the exact same scene, you will get 10 very different photographs.  Because great disparity exists in photography style and because a photographers is always evolving, how they "define" their style provides you with no value.

Photography style is important.  And to best understand a photographer's style and determine whether you like it or not, ask yourself these questions when viewing their work:

Do I like the overall feel of their images?

Is the lighting in their images appealing?

Do the people in the images look happy?  Natural?  Relaxed?

Do I like how they edit their photos?

(* Many photographers edit their "portfolio" photos differently than client images because they spend more time making them perfect.  When speaking with photographers, it's worth asking if this is their practice.  We believe you should see exactly what you're getting.  That's why every image you see on Jeffrey House Photography, is the exact same image delivered to our clients.)

This approach will allow you to form an objective opinion of every photographer's style.

3.  Identify What You Like

The internet abounds with beautiful wedding photography.  It can overwhelming to understand what you truly like most about wedding photography, but it's good to identify your likes because this is useful information for your photographer.  

So, where do you start?

Pinterest.

Create a Pinterest board of wedding photos that really appeal to you.  Once you have a decent collection - Let's say 50 or more photos - go back and review your collection.

What do you notice about your pins?  Does anything specific stand out?  Did you pin photos that are romantic?  Candid?  Have creative lighting?  Did you choose artistic portraits?  Dance shots?  Getting ready pictures?  Did you choose black and white images?  Color?  Vintage?  

Whatever emerges from your research, share this information with potential photographers, so they have a clear understanding of what you're looking for when it comes to your wedding.  

Keep a few things in mind.  A lot of the wedding photography you find on the internet and Pinterest is not from real weddings.  Many of these photos are created using models, the perfect location, and professional lighting set-ups.  With that being said, I strongly suggest you don't ask your photographer to recreate any of these images - every photographer hates that!  When you hire a photographer, you're them for the qualities that make them unique including their imagination, creativity, and personality.  If you want a photographer to re-create another photographer's vision, it's probably best to hire that photographer.  

4.  Don't Limit Yourself

Did you know that 70% of Google users never look at the the search results past page 1?

Whether you use Google or sites likes Wedding Wire or The Knot, remember a key fact about all of these sites - they are "pay-to-play!"

What does that mean exactly?

It means the photographers that spend the most amount of money get the preferred placements on these sites.  The photographers you see on page 1 of Google are not necessarily better than those found on page 8, but we have programmed to believe they are.  Those photographers on page 1 generally have higher marketing budgets.  

Bottom line, don't limit yourself by only considering those photographers in the "preferred placements."  Look deeper, you'll be glad you did!

5.  You Must Click (Please Excuse The Corny Play On Words)

Okay, so I've saved the best for last.

The relationship you have with your wedding photographer is quite unique.  You will likely spend more time with your photographer, than you will with your husband or wife - It's vital your personalities mesh really well!

Your photographer will be by your side during some of your most vulnerable moments - like when you're getting ready and haven't had your hair or makeup done - But you're still rockin' that bed head.

The key to choosing the best photographer for your wedding is to choose a photographer with a great personality that you can trust and makes you feel comfortable.

It's really great if you can find a photographer that is a lot of fun and funny, but also understands the importance of keeping it professional.  We love to have a good time with our clients and make them feel completely at ease, but as professional photographers, you never want to cross that line of being inappropriate.  

A good rule of thumb for choosing a wedding photographer - if you can imagine being friends with them, there's a good chance they're the right photographer for your wedding.

A Final Thought

Wedding photography is about trusting and personal relationships.  When you trust them and feel comfortable with them, your wedding photos will reveal this wonderful connection.

Ask anyone you know that's married about their wedding photographer.  What were the reasons they hired their photographer?  How did the day go?  Did they like their personality?  What would they do differently if they could do it all over again?  

The relationship you have with your photographer is a long one.  It will most likely span 15-24 months.  Wedding photographer and your wedding photographer is not just about photographs, but rather an entire experience that helps you to remember one of the most important days of your life.  In the end, you will have these amazing keepsakes that you will treasure forever.