In continuation of our vendor T I P S + T R I C K S blog from last month on booking your DJ, we wanted to touch on another I M P O R T A N T vendor – your photographer! Photography is a H U G E part of weddings in this day and age, mainly because pictures can last a lifetime. Although your special day is one that we G U A R A N T E E that you won’t ever forget, pictures can bring these memories back to life every time you look at them! In order to learn about the Tips + Tricks that photographers have on booking a photographer, we reached out to our F A V O R I T E photographers for their advice [bet you never would have guessed that!].
PORTFOLIOS // WEB SEARCH
For most couples in the beginning of their vendor search, the W E B is the place where the search begins. Many photographers will have their work shown throughout their site, or have a portfolio that you can review. As Joanna Carina from Carina Photographics notes in her blog, you should be drawn to the picture style of the photographer, including the posing, expressions, lighting, etc. Extra T I P: to take it one step further, ask to see a full wedding album from beginning to end, not just a few portfolio images on their website. That way, you can see if this photographer would capture E V E R Y T H I N G that you’d like them to. You can also use social media [all hail I N S T A G R A M] and search hashtags to find wedding photographers in your state // area. Last but not least in your search, ask friends + family. They can be a G R E A T resource when looking, especially if they were an actual client of the photographer! Also, consider the editing style of the photographer – do they just add a T R E N D Y filter to it and call it a masterpiece? You may notice when researching different photographers that their edit style may have a blue tint, or a warm overlay. If you’re a fan of this look, make sure you are confident you will L O V E it 10 years down the road!
The mood, lighting, and pose of this shot are P E R F E C T I O N – Carina Photographics knows what she’s doing when it comes to great wedding photography!
MEET IN PERSON
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potentials to a reasonable number, meet your options in person! You will want to feel comfortable around this person, as they will be spending a L O T of time with you throughout one of the most I M P O R T A N T days of your life! You will want to ask about their experience in photography, experience photographing weddings, etc. Make sure they they aren’t just a hobby photographer, but a professional one. You’ll want to feel an instant C L I C K with this person, and feel confident in their ability to capture your wedding day P E R F E C T L Y. A rule of thumb, as stated by Scott from Midwest LifeShots Photography, is “If you look at a photographer’s work and say “I love all of this!”, than great, book them right away and don’t look back. If you look at the work and only like about 70-80% of their work, go elsewhere. Better for your sanity to not have to worry all day if they are taking something you’ll be happy with” [and we totally agree!]. Before you meet in person, ask if they can bring with them a physical wedding album [if this is something you’re interested in purchasing] so that you can see their work.
Midwest LifeShots catching Kellie behind the scenes – we L O V E this shot!
Most photographers will have multiple package options. These packages can include different number of hours covered, more than one photographer, etc. Find out what the cost of the entire packages is, including tax and any other expected fees, and really focus on what is included in the package. Packages can have T O N S of different variables, including digital prints, regular prints, both, etc. You want a package that fits your needs on your wedding day, to make sure that you have the memories that will last you a lifetime. You’ll also want to figure out how their payment process works: is it all up front? Do you pay half to secure your date and half at the wedding? Do they take cash // check // credit? Extra T I P from the great Jeannine Marie Photography: Sometimes if you pay in full or by cash/check, it saves the photographer money on credit card processing fees, so they may offer a discount! Photography is one area of your budget that you will N O T want to skimp on. If you find a photographer that you absolutely L O V E, but the price just isn’t right – try to do some negotiating, and let them come back with an answer to if they can accommodate your price range.
This C U T E shot by Jeannine Marie Photography captured such a sweet moment – love it!!
TIMELINE // BOOKING
Photographers book quickly – potentially a full year [or even T W O] in advance. You’ll want to book your photographer as soon as you know that they are the right fit for you. If you are looking at a larger photography company, make sure you ask who the lead photographer is for your day before signing any papers, and ask to see their specific work. Also, as Bridget from Shots by Bridge states, “Let your photographer help with the timeline. They are going to know exactly how much time is needed to get all of the necessary coverage. And there is nothing worse than feeling rushed on your wedding day” [+ we agree!].
Such a sweet photo of Angie + Brooks’ wedding by Shots by Bridge – such C U T I E S!
While we L O V E that you just read through our Tips + Tricks blog, we wanted to share these other A M A Z I N G blogs from our favorite photographers if you’re still looking for more tips on booking your photographer!
On your wedding day, you are the M A I N event. All you should have to do is smile, be beautiful, get married, and have a blast with your family and friends. Hire someone who’s work consistently puts a smile on your face, and that you trust to cover your P E R F E C T day. Also, don’t forget that your mom, best friend, maid of honor, etc., want to enjoy the day too, so hiring a wedding coordinator to relieve the stress of all parties is H I G H L Y encouraged [hey – we do that!]. Special H U G E thank you to the below photographers who gave us their T I P S + T R I C K S on booking a photographer [who we also H I G H L Y recommend if you’re looking for G R E A T results!]!
Face behind the camera: Shots by Bridge
Face[s] behind the camera: Midwest LifeShots Photography
Jeannine Marie Photography in action – doing what she does best [capturing G R E A T memories!]
Face behind the camera: Carina Photographics