Booking a wedding photographer is probably one of the most important vendor bookings in any wedding planning checklist. The reason for this is the value that is held in a photograph. Unlike most other vendors that provide a service which you benefit from for pretty much just one day, a photographer provides you with a memory of your day that will last forever. The seemingly eternal value of a photograph is what makes finding the perfect photographer such a difficult choice that so many couples spend weeks chewing over. To make things even harder, there are literally thousands of photographers to choose from with different styles and varying prices. So how can you find the photographer that is right for you? Follow the steps below in our wedding photographer checklist and you are unlikely to be disappointed with your choice.
1. Think About Style
Before you start emailing photographers, it’s a good idea to think about what style of photographs you want. Your wedding theme may help determine this, but if not, try creating Pinterest boards. Add any pins you like the look of, then start refining until you come up with a unified style. Read our Pinterest guide on how to do this. Once you have a style it will be easier to find photographers that match the style you are going for.
2. Begin the Search
Now it’s time to start looking for photographers. The difficult part of this is finding photographers who are willing to travel to the location of your wedding. Some photographers are willing to travel worldwide whereas others will only work within their own city. Trying to work out who caters to your area can be a tricky business. Good quality wedding directories can be useful in working this out as they show who is available to book within you area. You can also filter by style to refine the number of photographers to choose from.
3. Initial Enquiry
Now that you have a list of potential photographers(hopefully 10+), you can begin to email them to ask whether they are available on your wedding date? This email is purely to check their availability. Don’t feel obliged to book them straight away.
Once you have the responses of which photographers are available, you now need to consider which one is your favourite. The most important thing is to go with the photographer that “feels” like the right fit. You will get an impression of what they are like by their email communication. It’s worth noting that a photographer who responds promptly to emails is very useful as you will need to do a lot of going back-and-forth once you have booked them. A fast response helps a lot! If you can, call the photographer to chat about the wedding with them. A photographer has a very active role within your wedding day and you will be spending quite a bit of time with them so it’s important to find somebody you click with. Going to wedding fairs is a great way to meet potential photographers too as you can chat with them face-to-face and get an impression of their personality, their work and their availability. You may find somebody you love and book them right there! Saves a lot of research and emailing.
4. Meet up
Your photographer is now booked and it’s time to go over some of the finer details of what you expect from them on the day. They may suggest meeting at the venue to look at some potential spots for good wedding shots(this would include couple shots, group shots etc.) They will also discuss any specific moments you would like them to capture(e.g. specific family members during the ceremony) and any speciality shots you would like taken(e.g. aerial drone shot). Not only is this very useful in helping the photographer(and you) in determining what you are looking for, it is a great opportunity to get to know the photographer better so you don’t have to go through introductions etc. on the day of your wedding. We have a hack on what to ask your photographer.
If you created a photography board on Pinterest, show this to the photographer to allow them to get a better of idea of the images that you are expecting them to produce. This makes their job easier and will ultimately give you a better result.
If you follow these steps, you are sure to have a photographer at your wedding who feels like a completely natural fit and creates photographs that are wall-worthy for many years in your home.
If you found this hack useful, you may also enjoy our videographer checklist