For Brides, Booking your Wedding Photographer
If you're here it's likely because you're engaged or about to get engaged, yay! I'm so excited for you. Really and truly, I may not know you yet but I am so happy for you. I'm sure you've dreamt about planning your wedding (or maybe you haven't and that's okay too), and now the day is finally here and you've realized it may be a bit more daunting than you originally thought. I know, you have a million things to do- planners to chat with, venues to tour, cakes to test. And one of the first things you want to secure is your photographer! The person who will be capturing not only the biggest day of your life, but the work of all your other chosen vendors. Isn't that a crazy thought? You'll pour so much time (and money) into your vendors- your florals, venue, food, cake, dress, should I go on? But with your photographer, those things can go beyond just your wedding day. After all, other than your new spouse, photos are the only thing you'll be keeping after the wedding.
There are thousands of photographers for you to choose from, and they pop up constantly on your social media. You may be wondering, how do I know which ones for me? Where do I even start? When do I book? This is a long post. I know, I wrote it. It isn't a "10 things you should ask your photographer" checklist on Pinterest, because I think your wedding photographer should be more than a checklist (I'm biased, whoops). But these are things are important, I promise. They're things I feel can be overlooked, and I wish someone had been able to guide me through this when I was getting married. So, brides (and grooms), this ones for you!
WHEN DO I BOOK?
WEDDING DATE - This is a big one, and one of the first things you should consider when you begin the wedding planning process. Most photographers will take a limited amount of weddings per year- so it's important to reach out as soon as you begin setting your wedding date. I, personally, book only a year in advance. I advise my couples to typically book their wedding date between 6-12 months prior to their wedding if they want to make sure they secure their date!
ENGAGEMENTS - Engagement sessions are so important not only to send out your invitations or send the dates, but to get to know your photographer! You'll be able to work together prior to your wedding day, and get a feel for them and their work. It's always safe to have your engagements taken no later than three months before your wedding date. It's important to factor in your photographers turnaround time, however giving yourself three months buffer is perfect to send out your invites! If you're having a destination wedding or having lots of guests fly in, give yourself extra time so your guests can book their travel.
Want to chat about possible dates? Let's do it, you can reach out here.
In the day of Instagram and Pinterest there are obviously hundreds and thousands of photographers for you to choose from. But what style represents what you envision for your wedding day? You should want to hire a photographer who is consistent in their work so you can get a feel for what your galleries with resemble as well. Hire a photographer who's work you'd love to see yourself in. Here are some questions you should consider when deciding on a photographer and their style!
If you're still narrowing down between multiple photographers..
What kind of style is most important to me? Fine Art, Modern, Timeless, Documentary, Moody, etc.
What vibes do I want for my wedding?
What photographers represent those vibes/vision?
And once you've narrowed it down a bit..
What is their posing style? Can I see my relationship captured in a similar way?
Is their blog/wedding consistent with their Social Media?
Do they have experience with the kind of lighting situations my wedding will have? (Indoor, low light, harsh light, etc)
In the midst of planning the biggest celebration of your most important relationship, it may be easy to overlook relationships with certain vendors! That's totally normal, and totally okay. A lot of people are surprised when I suggest developing an amazing relationship with your photographer. Your photographer will be capturing the most intimate, emotional, and personal day of your life. You want them to capture your relationship, and to do so it is SO helpful for them to know you- and for you to know and trust them as well. If they know you, and your relationship, your final images will portray your relationship so much more. Makes sense, right? You'll likely spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than you even will your spouse (surprise!) so it's amazing if you can be friends. If not friends, at least have a great and understanding relationship ;) This is something I'm extra passionate about. Here's some ways to make sure you have a great relationship with your photographer!
-Have an initial consult! If local, set up an in person consultation, or skype if long distance. Tell them about yourself, your relationship, and what you envision for your wedding day. This is a great time for you to find out more about their process, shoot practices, and wedding day tips as well.
-Ask if they'll be willing to help you with your timeline! This is likely your first wedding, but your photographer has had dozens. Ask them to help you coordinate your timeline around lighting, allotted time for events, etc. We want to help, I promise! This will help them get a feel of whats important to you on your wedding day.
-Tell them what events you're wanting to have captured. How much coverage should you have, should you have a second photographer, etc. They'll be able to best advise you!
-BE FRIENDS. I'm not saying there's a pressure to becomes besties with your photographer (although that would obviously be amazing), but having a solid relationship with your photographer will only help their ability to capture your relationship. Be open to getting to know them, and them getting to know you, because their job is a bit more than just producing a product. It's personal, it's your unique relationship, and it's you.
Your wedding day is a celebration of you, and whether its a 300 guest wedding or an elopement- you'll be coordinating a few (dozen) things and a few vendors. It's an event! In order to put on this event you'll be hiring different people and companies to help piece together your vision. Just like photographers, there's an endless amount of vendors for you to choose from. Some are good, some are great, and some work together better than others. Other than possibly planners, your photographer will have the best recommendations for vendors! Ask them if they have a preferred vendor list- vendors who they love to work with, vendors they trust, and vendors that will help complete your vision and make your day run as smoothly as possible. I cannot stress this enough, considering your photographers preferred vendors cannot be overvalued. If anything, speak to your photographer in depth about videographers if you're choosing to have one. Your photographer and videographer will be working side by side all day, so get their input!
Through all the traditions, vendors, and planning- in the end this day is all about you and your partner.
Put yourselves first, make your wedding day specific to you two. And let your photographer capture your unique story. Want to chat more about working together for your big day? Me too, lets chat more HERE. Happy planning! xx