How to Hire a Wedding Photographer
Your wedding is only one day of your life, but your wedding photos will last forever—especially in the age of social media.
Any bride or groom will tell you that the actual wedding day can be a bit of a blur. That’s why it’s even more important to hire a top-notch wedding photographer who can provide a thorough perspective of the day, recording and preserving those moments forever.
Good photographers often book up many months in advance, so it’s important to start your search as soon as possible.
Here are a few things to consider:
Are you interested in classic, traditional photographs? A candid, journalistic style? Something artsy? Quirky? Edgy? Vintage?
While a great photographer is likely to be somewhat versatile, you’ll get better results if you choose a photographer whose signature style matches what you’re going for. Then you’ll both be in your element.
Someone can be a great photographer but not a great wedding photographer. Weddings involve specific elements and dynamics that don’t necessarily demand the same skill sets as, say, portrait-style or artistic photography.
The best way to identify a photographer’s signature style? Don’t go solely based on what they say—go based on what they do. Most established photographers have portfolios available so you can review their prior work.
Do you want a photographer who’ll stand in the aisle to make sure they get the best possible shot, or fade into the background and stay relatively unnoticed?
Do you want to be able to give them a list of “must have” photographs, or let them do their thing? Do you want them documenting the entire day, from hair appointments to the last holdout on the dance floor?
Of course, budget is a major factor when it comes to photographers. A lot of work and expense goes on behind the scenes (think: equipment, assistants, lighting, and editing) so hiring a high-quality photographer is likely to be a significant investment. That said, there is a big range, so it’s worth asking around.
You may also be able to save by cutting back on the hours they’ll be there, or on post-wedding editing, or by forgoing extras like a live photo booth. (If you really want to save, ask a friend to take pictures or encourage your guests to snap as many photos as possible on their phones to document your day. Of course, both of those options have drawbacks as well.)
With some advance planning and the right questions, your day can be totally frame-worthy.