Step 1- Determine the style of edits and photography you like
Spend some time pouring over Instagram and Facebook pages to see what images stand out to you. Every photographer has a specific editing style, some might be light and airy, others might be dark and moody along with many others.
Are you looking for posed and proper or are you looking for raw and candid? Every photographer will be consistent with how the shoot. If you want posed, choosing a photographer that’s more laid back and into having fun with their couples isnt the right choice for you. If you want real, raw and true emotions captured throughout the day, then my style of photography is more what you’d look for.
Step 2- Make a list of contenders
Make a list, check is twice lol just kidding
In all seriousness though, make a list of everyone who caught your eye and then review based on what you’ve seen and realize you’re now looking for and reduce it again until you have a handful that you’d like to know more about before reaching out to them all.
Step 3- No one likes homework but it can help
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of photographers that work has caught your eye, check out their online profiles such as Instagram, Facebook and their website.
-Read reviews, are they positive and reflect how you would like to finish an experience with them.
-Are they in your budget for photos?
Consider the quality of each photographers package and not just at their pricing. Someone photographers may be cheaper but will you receive the quality you’re after? Not just the quality of image but the style, the edits and the comfort level that can be perceived in their photos. You truly do get what you pay for and a day that can never be redone is a day that should hold more than just monetary value.
Step 4- Connect with your favourites
You should never make a decision based on their style alone, you need to connect with your photographer. Bond with them and get to know them, not just as a photographer but as a person too. They will be there for you on one of the most important days of your life, you AND your partner need to feel a connection with them. In person meetings are amazing but if you’re not in close proximity FaceTime chats are a great option.
Step 5- Questions
Be prepared to get to know each other and of course, talk about the wedding when you meet your photographer. Make a list of any questions you can think of in relation to them or their work that you can ask when you chat.
Things you could ask about their work:
- What made them get into wedding photography?
- How many weddings do they take on a year?
- Are you just there on the wedding day or do you provide any guidance throughout the process?
- How do you shoot a wedding? Do you just use a close up lens and get all up in the space, or do you have a long focal length that allows the moments to be a little more intimate?
- Do they offer engagement sessions? How are these booked?
- How do they incorporate artificial lighting if required?
- What are the costs of each package? Are they customizable?
- Do they have any suggestions on how to plan out the wedding day?
- What doe they have set up as a back up plan if something unfortunate happens and they are unable to make it to your wedding?
Consider how they answered the questions and if they were ‘natural’. Were the answers helpful to you?
Step 6- Gut feeling
You always need to trust your gut and initial impression!
Did you feel like you were in a stuffy interview or were you laughing and getting to know each other. Think of this as if it was a first date… would you want to spend more time with this person or would you swipe left (or is it right?)
How you and your partner felt about the meeting is HUGE! You both have to be comfortable with your photographer and enjoy getting to know each other.
Step 7- See some sample galleries
If you’re still with them at this point, if you have not yet had the chance to see some wedding galleries, request to see some of their past work. Its easy to see a few highlights posted here and there but seeing a complete day can give you real insight into what a full day would look like.
Step 8- Determine your ideal package
If you don’t know them already, ensure you know the total cost of each package option. If you feel that their 8 hour package isn’t enough and a 10 hour package isn’t enough, ask if you can add additional hours.
Things to think about, how many hours are included? How many photographers? Are there any extras? Does it include an engagement session? Are all the final images re-touched? How long does it take to get the final gallery delivered after the engagement and wedding day?
You need to ensure the package you select is EXACLTY what you’re looking for.
Step 9- Jump in feet first!
Now that you have all the answers you’ve been after and know that you’ve connected with the one photographer you connect with, love their work and want to get to know over the coming months until your big day.
However, before you get into the fun of planning your photos, you need to the nitty gritty of booking with them.
-How do you secure the wedding date? What is the deposit?
-Do they have a payment plan available?
-Is there a contract outlining all the details?
Then…TAKE THE PLUNGE! Book your photogtapher and start checking off the smaller items on your list and get ready for one of the most incredibly days of your life!
Step 10- Be BFF’s with your photographer
Now that you’ve chosen your photographer, you have this bond together. They’re going to be a part of your big day but they’re also the pro you’ve hired to HELP you and to SIMPLIFY things. Lean on them a little. No they aren’t your wedding planner but they should be able to provide professional input and guidance on planning out your day. What kinds of things can they help you with?
Here’s how I work with a guide my couples:
-Every bridal couple who books with me receives a 26 page Wedding Day Guide. This talks about many things that can often get over looked and things that can help improve your day.
-You’ll receive reminders of payments so you don’t need to worry about marking it down with 3 reminders in your phone so you don’t forget.
-Every couple will also receive a very in depth questionnaire prior to the wedding. This will outline your entire day to ensure that the day of runs as stress free as possible for everyone involved. Among many other things, you’ll receive every photo that may run through your mind at 4am otherwise and I wont put my foot in my mouth not realizing there’s divorces around or step parents I didn’t know about.