The photographer just might be the most important part of your wedding.
Yes, the dress, the rings, the band, the cake and the decorations are all important too, but it’s the photographer who captures these parts of your wedding so you can keep them forever.
Without a photographer, all you have is memories. How do you find someone you trust to preserve your special day?
When you start your search for a photographer, you may use recommendations from family and friends, or you may get advice from third-party review sites. Regardless of how you compile your list of potential candidates, you can begin to narrow it down by looking at their websites.
A photographer’s website will quickly reveal their style. Do they seem formal? Quirky? Artsy? Campy? Are the getting-ready photos mostly of bridal parties posed in their pajamas toasting with mimosas, or are there some unusual ones of the bride’s mom kissing the top of her head and squeezing her hand? And which do you prefer?
Once you’ve decided on a few good candidates, make appointments to meet with them. Even if you love their photography, if the meeting doesn’t go well, you won’t want to work with them. Any number of things about them may rub you the wrong way. What if they’re late? Or a little pushy, too shy, too loud, have bad breath or smell like cigarette smoke?
You want a photographer you feel comfortable with. But that’s not enough.
Communicate Your Preferences
It’s essential that your photographer understands what you want. If you expect to have lots of candids of your guests having fun, but the photographer takes mostly posed pictures, you’ll be disappointed.
Likewise, if you’re not the artsy type and they try to set up unconventional shots, you may become frustrated. Some people may treasure a closeup photo of their grandparents holding hands at their wedding, while others will wonder what the photographer must have been thinking.
Get the Details
If you like the photographer and their work, next you’ll want to get details. Ask about pricing, and find out what’s included. Some photographers will give you a discount if you just want digital photos instead of prints. Other considerations are how much time they will spend at your event and whether they will have helpers that need to be paid.
If you get to this stage and you’re not feeling completely confident in your choice, consider having some engagement photos taken. The stakes are low for this. You can always get these types of photos redone if you don’t like them, but you only have one wedding.
Choosing a photographer is important, but it’s also a very personal decision. Go with the one you and your spouse-to-be like, even if your mom or your sister doesn’t agree. Everyone has different tastes.