How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer

Happy Sunday Everyone! Let’s talk weddings, shall we? I’ve attended quite a few, photographed a couple of them and even went through the experience of planning my own a few years ago.  While it is a wonderful experience, it can get frustrating with all the choices and decisions you need to make. The choices you have are endless, just do a Google search on Wedding Photographers in CT and it will return hundreds of photographers; the large mass market studios with what they call “affordable” pricing, the weekend warriors that do weddings on the side or the boutique style photographers that provide you with the best products and customer service; but how do you choose the right photographer for your wedding? What should you watch out for to make the right decision? What style of photography will match your vision?


Now while Wedding Photography is not something I specialize in, I wanted to assist you with some key factors to consider when choosing your wedding photographer. Remember, in the end, your wedding photographer is the only one that will leave you with something tangible and something that will let you remember and share the joy of your wedding day for many, many years!


I’m going to tell you that even as a photographer choosing a photographer is hard 🙂 But knowing what I do about weddings and photography, why not assist you my clients with everything you need to know.


1 – Have you figured out where and when you are getting married? GREAT! Now go buy a few wedding magazines and see what kind of photography you like (i.e. romantic, formal, casual, etc.) Then Google photographers in your area to get a feel for the style of wedding photography they do. Once you have a running list of the ones you like, contact them for more information and set up time to call/meet them so you can find out more about them.


2 – Your wedding photographer’s personality can make or break your special day and it’s important that you take some time research thoroughly before signing on the dotted line. You are hiring a professional that will be with you and your family during your entire wedding day; so, finding someone you like as an individual and a photographer plays a huge part in the selection process and should not be taken for granted. You guys will be working together for a year or more; starting from the consultation, engagement session, wedding day, post wedding and then finally album delivery.


3 – Ask yourself what is the most important photo you want on your wedding day?  What are you most excited about? Hire someone who has photographed 50+ weddings as the lead shooter.  Practice makes perfect.  Look at the full galleries from your married friends.  Ask them what they wish they had and how the experience could have been better.  Looking at the whole gallery can give you an idea of how the photographer documents the entire day.  Some photographers are more photojournalistic (people not looking at the camera—capturing the day as it unfolds), some are more editorial (portrait based but with a feeling that they are not posed—often these people are great at capturing the wedding details as well), and others more formal (think of the older generations pictures—where most of the time people are looking at the camera).  I for example know I like the editorial look and feel but you may want a wedding photographer that can use their expertise to be able to do these styles at different points in the day.


4 – I know that I have not talked about budget here.  Price and price alone should not be the one and only factor you base your decision on. I know a few people who have made their decision based on price only to regret their decision in the end. Most brides do not realize that photography should be 8-10% of your entire wedding budget.  In Connecticut some begin around the $5k mark.  I didn’t bring up budget because photography is a feeling—it’s a relationship with the person you trust to capture the moments of your wedding—it is not like buying anything else.  It is something that is worth the money you spend on it if you found the right match.


5 – If you can do it splurge on a package that includes an album.  There are many wedding photographers out there who still have not made their own wedding album.  Lean on your photographer to carry that weight and end up with an heirloom product that you as a consumer cannot buy.  It is worth it.  Seeing images in print is different than on the screen. I’d think twice about hiring a photographer that doesn’t offer albums. These are available in a variety of shapes, materials and sizes. Ask questions to make sure you are making the right decision in which album to buy as your heirloom piece.


6 – Don’t overlook one of the most important aspects of your wedding day; the number of hours of coverage that the photographer will offer you to cover the wedding. In an ideal world they should be with you every single moment of the day. After all, complete coverage is one of the reasons you are investing in hiring a wedding photographer. Typical wedding photography coverage is 8 to 10 hours depending on size and duration of your wedding. Beware! Of the wedding photographers who offer an “attractive” pricing which would have other hidden costs and less than appropriate coverage for your wedding day. Once you realize this, it may be too late, and you will have to pay for the additional coverage at that no so attractive pricing. Make sure to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line.


Last bit of advice…. I recommend having a second shooter at your wedding if you have more than 100 guests and you and the groom are getting ready at separate locations. Having a second shooter will ensure that the main photographer is focused on you and your bridal party, while the second shooter concentrates on the groom, guests and details. This will also ensure that nothing is missed, and all your photography needs are met.


In short, the number one criteria for how to choose your wedding photographer is do you love their work?  Do you like their compositions, the way they color and tone things?


Wedding photography is unlike any other type of photography.  It is different because it is fast paced and requires a variety of skills. Finding the right wedding photographer can be stressful and challenging–I hope these tips help you to narrow down your search.


Finally remember the wedding photographer should be no less than 15% of your budget and ranges go all the way up to 30% of the budget because at the end of the day the only thing left are the photos and the dress.


Best of luck to you – feel free to email me if you have any questions I will be happy to listen and or give you advice and guidance.


Feel free to leave a comment about how you chose your wedding photographer.

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