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  • Bethany Beckley

How To Pick a Wedding Photographer [Complete Guide]


walking down the aisle with confetti

What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer

When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, there are several important factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to find a photographer whose style resonates with you.


Look through their portfolio to get a sense of their photography and editing style. Do you prefer a more traditional approach or a more creative and artistic style? Make sure the photographer's style aligns with your vision for your wedding photos.


Compatibility is also crucial. Remember, this person will be capturing one of the most important days of your life, so you want someone you feel comfortable around. Schedule a meeting or an engagement session with potential photographers to see if you have chemistry and if you feel at ease with them.


When comparing photographers, there are a few key categories to consider. You'll want to look at their years of experience and their track record. An experienced wedding photographer will have a better understanding of how to navigate different lighting situations and capture those special moments.


Consider the photographer's pricing and what is included in their packages. Look at their turnaround time for delivering photos. Some photographers take longer to edit and deliver the final product than others, so make sure their timeline aligns with your expectations.


Ask about the number of photographers they will bring and what sets them apart from others. Having multiple photographers can ensure that every moment is captured, but it also comes with a higher price tag. Look for something unique that sets the photographer apart from others, such as a particular photography style or additional services like creating a wedding album or wall art.


Finding the right wedding photographer involves considering their style, compatibility, and comparing key categories such as experience, pricing, timeline, and what makes them unique. By focusing on these factors, you'll be on your way to finding the perfect photographer for your wedding day.


Let’s break down this process of finding the perfect wedding photographer, and everything you should consider to best capture your perfect day.


Where To Find A Wedding Photographer

When it comes to finding a wedding photographer, there are several methods you can use to find some great prospects. One option is to browse photographers on sites like Zola, Junebug Weddings, and PNW Wed., where you can filter your search by style, location, and budget. This allows you to view portfolios and compare different photographers to find one whose work resonates with you.


Another option is to seek recommendations from recently married friends. They can provide valuable insight into their own experiences with photographers and recommend professionals they had a positive experience with.


Social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest can also be helpful in finding a wedding photographer. You can ask for recommendations in Facebook groups or search for photographers in your area. Similarly, on Pinterest, you can discover photographers whose work aligns with your style and save their images for future reference.


Wedding blogs and real weddings are another great resource for finding photographers. These platforms often feature wedding galleries and highlight the work of talented professionals. By perusing these blogs and real weddings, you can find photographers whose style matches your vision for your own wedding.

By utilizing these methods, you can gather a list of potential wedding photographers and begin the process of narrowing down your options to find the perfect fit for your special day.


Narrowing Down The Search

Once you have gathered some initial recommendations and ideas from friends, social media, and wedding blogs, it's time to narrow down your search for the perfect wedding photographer.


To start, take a close look at the portfolio and photography style of each potential photographer. Pay attention to the types of shots they capture, the composition, lighting, and the overall aesthetic. Do you want a light and bright style, a dark and moody style or a true to life style?


This will help you determine if their style aligns with your vision for your wedding day photos. Additionally, don't forget to consider the types of photos you want for your wedding.


Some photographers excel in capturing candid moments, while others may specialize in formal portraits or artistic shots. By understanding your preferences and finding a photographer whose style matches, you can ensure that your wedding photos will reflect your unique vision and personality.


Consider your venue and lighting

When searching for a wedding photographer, it is crucial to consider your venue and lighting. The venue sets the backdrop for your wedding day, and the lighting can greatly affect the outcome of your photos.

Assess the amount and source of light at your chosen venue. Is it an outdoor or indoor wedding?


If it's outdoors, consider the time of day and how the natural light will change throughout the day. If it's indoors, take note of the available lighting fixtures and whether they emit warm or cool tones.


Timing is also essential. If you're having an outdoor wedding, the golden hour (the hour before sunset) typically provides the most beautiful and flattering light. For indoor weddings, the photographer may need to bring extra lighting equipment to ensure that the photos come out well.


Consider your wedding timeline as well. If you have specific moments you want to capture, such as sunset photos or sparkler exits, make sure to communicate this with your photographer.


By considering your venue and lighting, and discussing these aspects with potential photographers, you can ensure that your wedding photos will be stunning and capture the unique atmosphere of your special day.



wedding photos on the beach at dusk


Know your style

Knowing your style is crucial when choosing a wedding photographer. Your wedding photos will be a lasting memory of your special day, so it's essential to find a photographer whose style resonates with you.

Wedding photography styles can vary greatly, from artsy and modern to traditional and classic, photojournalistic to editorial.


Take some time to determine the type of photography you prefer. Do you want candid and candid shots that tell a story, or do you prefer more posed and traditional portraits?


Think about aspects such as lighting, pose, and setting that appeal to you. Do you like soft and romantic lighting, or do you prefer bold and dramatic lighting? Do you want natural and organic poses, or are you open to more stylized poses? Are you drawn to outdoor or indoor settings?


To help narrow down your preferences, you can use Google and Instagram to search for examples of wedding photos that resonate with you. Explore different hashtags or search terms like "artsy wedding photos," "traditional wedding photography," or "photojournalistic wedding shots" to find images that align with your vision.


By knowing your style and preferences, you can have a better idea of what to look for when researching potential photographers. This will help you find a photographer who can capture your wedding day in a way that reflects your unique style and vision.


Know your budget

Knowing your budget is an essential step in choosing a wedding photographer. It helps you narrow down your options and find a photographer whose pricing aligns with your financial resources.


Setting a budget for wedding photography is important because it allows you to allocate funds wisely among various wedding expenses. Photography is a significant aspect of your wedding day, as it captures the memories and emotions that will last a lifetime. By determining a budget, you can prioritize photography alongside other essential elements, such as the venue or catering.


Several factors can affect the cost of wedding photography. The length of coverage and additional services, like engagement sessions or a second shooter, can impact pricing. Some photographers may offer different packages with varying levels of coverage and services. It is important to consider your priorities and desired level of photography when determining your budget.


Remember that wedding photography is an investment. While it may be tempting to cut costs, quality photography is worth the expenditure. Photos will serve as a reminder of your special day long after the flowers have wilted and the cake has been eaten.


By knowing your budget and understanding the significance of photography in relation to other wedding expenses, you can make an informed decision and find a photographer who meets your needs.


Interviews: Ask the right questions

When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, conducting interviews with potential candidates is essential. This allows you to not only ask the right questions but also assess their compatibility with your vision and comfort level.


In-person interviews provide an opportunity to gauge whether you feel at ease with the photographer and if you share the same design aesthetic. It's important to have a good rapport as they will be capturing intimate moments on your special day.


To make the most of the interview, consider bringing a wedding mood board or visual references to discuss your vision. This will help ensure that the photographer understands your style and preferences.

Another crucial aspect of the interview is requesting to see a complete portfolio of recent weddings. This will give you a better sense of their work and ensure their consistency in capturing beautiful and memorable moments.


By asking the right questions, discussing your vision, and reviewing their portfolio, you can make an informed decision and choose a wedding photographer who not only meets your expectations but also shares your vision for your big day.


How to Hire Your Wedding Photographer

Now that you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s time to make the final hiring decision. Make sure you understand the whole scope and timeline of hiring your wedding photographer’s process.


Level-set on all expectations for communication, editing turnaround times, how they’ll be involved in your wedding, and any other specific details that you will need to iron out before the big day.


Get the details for editing timeline and deliverables

When selecting a wedding photographer, it's crucial to understand the editing timeline and deliverables that come with their services. The post-production process can greatly impact when you'll receive your final, edited images.


Several factors can affect the editing timeline. First, the number of images taken on your wedding day plays a significant role. Photographers often capture hundreds, if not thousands, of photos throughout the day, and each image requires careful editing and enhancement.


Additionally, the editing style of the photographer can influence the turnaround time. Some photographers prefer a more natural and minimalistic editing approach, while others might lean towards a bold and artistic style. Each editing style requires varying amounts of time and attention to detail.

Lastly, the photographer's workload and schedule should be taken into account. If they have multiple weddings to edit or other photography projects to complete, it may impact their ability to deliver your images promptly.


When discussing the deliverables, ensure that the photographer clearly outlines what you will receive. Typical deliverables include digital images in high-resolution format, allowing you to print and share them as you wish. Some photographers may also offer prints, albums, or other tangible products that beautifully showcase your wedding memories.


By understanding the editing timeline and the specific deliverables offered, you can manage your expectations and plan accordingly. Clear communication with your photographer about turnaround times and post-production processes will help ensure a smooth and timely delivery of your edited images.



engagement photos in the woods


Use the engagement photo session as a trial run

Using an engagement photo session as a trial run with a wedding photographer can provide several benefits.


The engagement session gives couples the opportunity to see the photographer's style firsthand. By reviewing the edited images from the session, couples can get a glimpse of the photographer's editing style, photography techniques, and overall aesthetic. This helps ensure that their vision aligns with the photographer's artistic approach.


Additionally, the engagement session helps build confidence and ease any camera shyness. Being in front of the camera can be nerve-wracking for some couples, but having the chance to experience a photo session before the wedding day can alleviate any anxiety or discomfort. It allows couples to communicate their preferences, discuss their comfort level, and provide feedback to the photographer, ensuring that everyone is on the same page for the big day.


Ultimately, using an engagement photo session as a trial run with a wedding photographer helps establish rapport, build trust, and ensure that the photographer's style and approach align with the couple's vision for their wedding day.


How to Coordinate With Your Photographer After Booking

After booking your wedding photographer, it is crucial to establish clear lines of communication and set expectations for the planning process. The first step is to ask your photographer their preferred method of communication, whether it's email, phone calls, or in-person meetings. This ensures that you are both on the same page and can easily reach each other when needed.


Keeping your photographer informed about important wedding details is also essential. Share your wedding timeline, venue information, and any other relevant information that could impact the photography. By doing so, your photographer can adequately prepare, plan for specific shots, and understand the flow of your big day.


Maintaining an open line of communication throughout the planning process is vital. Whether you have questions, ideas, or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to your photographer. They are there to guide you and help you achieve your vision. Regularly updating them on any changes or updates will allow for better coordination and ensure that everyone is on the same page.


By prioritizing communication, setting expectations, and keeping your photographer informed, you can ensure a smooth and successful planning process. This will help your photographer capture all the special moments and create timeless memories of your wedding day.


Hire Bethany Bloem as your Wedding Photographer!

I hope this post was helpful! If you're on the hunt for a wedding photographer, you can get in contact with me to see if we'd be a good match for each other. I do engagement shoots, traditional weddings, adventure elopements, and I even will travel worldwide for your special destination weddings.


Best of luck on your search!


- Bethany


how to pick a wedding photographer

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