A wedding photographer is going to be one of the most important vendors you will hire for your wedding. After the guests depart, the cake is eaten and the flowers wilt, what will be left to remind you of the day you said "I do"? What will be framed in your home, for your guests and perhaps your children to see? What will be lovingly taken out of storage and looked at on your anniversary every year?
It will be your wedding photos.
The years will go by in a blur, but your wedding day photos with the two of you so in love will remain in sharp focus. To ground you through the hard times, to remind you of what's important.
So today, as part of our blog series to help you craft a wedding of your dreams, we would love to share 5 tips on finding the best wedding photographer for you.
1. Decide on a budget
Featured above is our #Belva dress
Wedding photographers come in all shapes, colors and sizes. They also come at various price points. Once you set a budget for your wedding, have a very clear idea about what your budget for a photographer is and how much wiggle room there may be in it. The last thing you want to do is find a photographer of your dreams, only to find out that their base packages is 10K over your budget.
2. Consider style
Featured above is our #Adina dress
Every photographer is an artist, which means everyone will use their proverbial paintbrush in a different manner. When looking over the portfolio of various photographers, pay attention to style - are the images dark and moody or light and airy? Are the shots mostly documentary style with very little posing or do they seem carefully posed? Do the locations in the portfolio match your own? You don't want to hire a photographer who only does outdoor weddings in natural light to photograph your ceremony and reception in a wine cellar.
Decide what style you are drawn to and what will stand the test of time and choose accordingly.
3. Set up a consultation
Featured above is our #Tessia dress
You wouldn't hire someone without interviewing them first, so why would you book your wedding photographer without having a consultation?
Think of it as a time to really gauge if your personalities are a good match, if your sense of humor jives and if you can trust this person to take care of you on your wedding day.
4. Book an engagement session as a trial for the wedding
Featured above is our #Maia dress
There is no better way to see what the two of you would look like in photos than letting the photographer do what they are good at. Book an engagement session with the person you are considering hiring and see how they make you feel during the session. Are they easy to work with? Do they make you feel relaxed in front of the camera? Do they make you laugh to ease the tension? Are they on time and prepared for anything? This will be a good indication of how they will be on your wedding day.
5. Decide on deliverables
Featured above is our #Jeanna dress
Each photographer offers something different in their wedding packages. Some only deliver digitals, while others only deliver prints and albums. Do you want one, the other or a mix of both? These are important decisions to make before booking your wedding photographer.
Keep in mind that the labs photographers use to print their images specialize in archival imagery, meaning these prints and albums will be timeless and won't fade in 30 years like the prints from your local drug store. So if it is large amount of prints you are after, see what your photographer can offer.
Make sure to inquire about a timeline of finished product. If you want your images turned around in two weeks and your photographer's general timeframe is three months, you will want to discuss that and nail down a time that works for both you and the photographer.
There are, of course, many more things to consider while hiring your wedding photographer. But these five basic tips will get you off to a great start and cover important points that you may otherwise overlook.
Whoever you choose for your big day, make sure you really like their personality. At the end of the day, you will spend 8+ hours with this person documenting your every move, so you want to make sure you are happy and comfortable. Trust your gut feeling and make a decision that feels right for you as a couple.
And if you are in the Seattle area, here are some of our absolute favorite wedding photographers that we wouldn't hesitate to recommend.