If you are not using a wedding planner searching for the right wedding photographer can become daunting. With more photographers avaivble than ever before couples can become overwhelmed and exhausted with options. Here are five things to know that can be used to filter through your options.
Style – the very first thing you need to know is what style you love. You can find your style by going through their portfolio and making notes on images you love. Is it candid, unexpected, shot in natural light, posed, fleeting, artistic, journalistic, editorial, soft, modern, timeless, in color or black and white? Figure out one adjective that describes the feel of the image. After you’ve done this for a handful of photographers you can go back through your notes and see a pattern of the things you love, which will reveal the style you enjoy most. Then seek out that style.
Process – when connecting with photographers you want to know about their process, not only how they work with a camera in their hands but also how they prepare for weddings beforehand to ensure everything runs according to plan. Simple questions you can ask are, “what is your shooting process like when working with couples?” “Do you have a team?” “How do you interact with couples on a wedding day?” “What is your process leading up to weddings?” “What is your process after weddings?” These are all questions any photographer should have no issues answering and will help you determine who is the right fit for you.
Experience – something you definitely need to know is the level of experience the photographer you’re considering has. How well regarded are they within the industry. Have they won awards or received recognition? Do they have speaking engagements? Is their work consistently published? Do they work outside of the country? This is all evidence of experience for wedding photographers. Experience is a key to know, as it will dictate the levels of what you can expect when working with them. Example, if a photographers portfolio is mainly local to the area you are planning to host your wedding, they will have less experience than a photographer that shoots all over the country. If you see that they have been published but do not have awards or recognition from publishers, there is a difference in expertise, and you can expect a difference when working with each.
Pricing – wedding photographers charge between $1,200-$80,000 for their services. Just like anything else in life, pricing reflects many things, but within wedding photography numbers are based on experience, expertise, demand, supply, brand, deliverables, and needs. If you are considering a highly sought after well-respected wedding photographer consider that it will reflect in their pricing. On average the masses fall between $3-$5k, those numbers will fluctuate depending on the area you are searching, the planners you are working with or the venue you are considering. Similar to real estate pricing, photographers can be viewed in the same light. A standard home, with basic finishes, will cost you average prices. A custom house in a prime location, with amazing views and one-of-a-kind everything, will cost you more than what average homes cost. Simply said average prices equates to an average experience – special prices equal exclusive experiences.
Brand – it is essential to know your photographers brand. Pay attention to their site, font’s, colors, and communication when considering who is the best fit for you. Do you love their images but have an uneasy feeling about their brand. Or does the brand support the photography in the right way, a way that you trust and enjoy? Things to pay attention to are communication, email addresses, service, professionalism, timing, bio, and social post. If you’re receiving an email back after three days from a Gmail account that’s a red flag, you should not ignore.
If you take these five things and use them to filter through the photographers, you are considering it will help lead you to the right fit. Remember to know what style you love by making notes. Ask a questions about their process, invest some time researching their experience. Compare that experience to what they charge and know their brand. I am confident if you know these things you will know who is right for you!