Choosing A Wedding Photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer can be a difficult process. If you’re newly engaged, you’ve probably pinned a few posts by now that are titled “Here’s the ONE Secret to Choosing the PERFECT Wedding Photographer” or “4,387 Questions You NEED To Ask Your Wedding Photographer” or something similar.
I kid, but seriously… Most wedding photographers have gotten the list of questions from The Knot or Wedding Wire or Pinterest during a consult at some point in their career. It’s sort of a rite of passage… And there’s really nothing wrong with those lists. Unless you’re a wedding photographer, you probably don’t really know how this whole wedding photography thing really works. And you’re not supposed to – it’s not your profession!
But unfortunately, I think when brides see a mile long lists of questions they’re supposed to ask before they book a wedding photographer, they think “oh wow, I wasn’t really that worried about choosing a wedding photographer but now I am.” Those lists can sometimes present wedding photographers as people who need to be kept track of. People you may not be able to trust. People who might not be telling you something that’s really, really important.
The vast majority of wedding photographers out there are honest, trustworthy people who do good work. They’re small business owners, and running a business is no cake-walk. So if they have a few years of experience, good reviews, a great portfolio, and you get along with them, chances are you’re well on your way to finding “the one” for you. We take our work seriously, and if we didn’t, we wouldn’t still be in business because there are a lot of wedding photographers out there. Once you’ve looked around a photographer’s website for a while and you decide you like their style, get in touch with them, read through their packages and offerings, meet them in person, and by then you should have most of your questions answered for you. (And if you need help getting started, this post might help.)
But there’s one question that’s NOT on a lot of those lists that I think more couples should be asking:
“Can I see a full wedding gallery, and can you talk me through some of the challenges you faced on this particular day?”
Let’s break that question into 2 parts
1. “Can I see a full wedding gallery…”
Most photographers blog only their very best images, which usually ends up being mostly details and portraits. But seeing a full gallery shows images from each “category” (details, prep, couple portraits, individual portraits, wedding party portraits, family formals, ceremony/reception images, etc.). This means you also get to see how the photographer’s style comes through in all of those standard wedding images like the parent dances, family formals, etc. etc.
Start to finish, you get to see exactly how they curated the day.
2. “… Can you talk me through some of the challenges you faced on this particular day?”
This will probably force your photographer to show you a gallery that might not be one of their “featured” weddings. It might not be plastered all over their portfolio, because maybe it rained that day. Or maybe the timeline was running several hours behind. Or maybe the bride got stung by a bee and you had less time for portraits than you originally anticipated. Or maybe there was a hurricane. (It’s happened, folks.)
This will allow your photographer to talk you through their decision-making process during those difficult moments that inevitably happen at every wedding. You can see how they deliver under pressure, and what they prioritize on a wedding day. That way, when the time comes, you know you can trust them to handle even the most difficult of situations a wedding can throw at you.
So there you have it! In my opinion, choosing a wedding photographer needs to start with this post, then you can start your search. Once you find someone you like, get to know their brand and their style on their website and/or social media, meet with them in person, and ask this one question. At that point, you should be good to go :)