So you’re engaged, congratulations! Now comes the fun, but slightly daunting task of hiring your wedding vendors, like a photographer. In addition to choosing the right venue and finding your perfect dress, hiring the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make because those memories will last a lifetime.
Don’t stress, we’re here to help you. We talked to expert wedding photographer, Brooklyn-based Jainé Kershner, to get the best tips for finding your ideal photographer.
1. Ask for recommendations and use Instagram
To start your search for a wedding photographer, I would suggest a few ways to narrow down your options. First, ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations for you to contact and what their experience was like. A word of mouth referral is always a great place to start. Next, I would look on Instagram and start searching hashtags in your area (ie. #nycweddingphotographer). See what images come up and create a favorites collection. After you’re done, I’d look at your favorites to see what kind of images you connect with (light and airy, dark or moody, or somewhere in the middle) to understand what kind of photography you are looking for. Afterward, I would visit each photographer's website, read their reviews and then contact them via their contact forms to get the conversation started and see who you connect with the most.
2. Just start researching—use social media
The best way to begin your research is to do just that, start researching. My go-to places are Instagram, Pinterest and Google search. Search your local area and the venue you have chosen to celebrate your marriage and see what pops up. I would also suggest visiting wedding blogs, picking up a few magazines that are still in print, and doing a deep dive into finding out your photography style, which will help you narrow down what photographer you’ll ultimately work with on your wedding day.
3. Figure out your style by pinpointing what you gravitate toward
Once you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to look at the collective of images and see a pattern or preference to the type of photography you gravitate towards. Do you like more candid or posed images? Do you want your images to invoke emotions? Do you prefer lighter images vs. darker more edited photos? Once you know what you like (or don’t) you’ll be able to communicate your preferred style to yourself and, most importantly, your photographer.
4. Build a relationship with your photographer
The best way you can know if you are a perfect fit with your photographer is to chat with them over the phone, video conference or meet in person. The chemistry between you will be revealed within the first few minutes and you should know if you can see yourself working with this person on your wedding day. Couples should 100% get along with their wedding photographer because you will spend more time with them than any other vendor on your wedding day. (Editor’s note: This goes for your videographer as well!) A few helpful questions to ask would be: How long have they been in business? Have they worked at your venue before? (Not too important, but it’s nice to know) What would they do in case of an emergency and what is their favorite part about a wedding day? If you aren’t a photography aficionado, I wouldn’t ask about their gear or how they edit their photos but do ask to see full galleries after your call.
5. Schedule an engagement session!
An engagement session is going to be your best friend! This is by far the best way to get to know your wedding photographer and get comfortable with them way before your actual wedding day. I always encourage and recommend to my clients to include an engagement session because of the benefits they will receive. Not only will you work out any kinks, nerves or wariness before your wedding day, but you will also build your trust and relationship with your wedding photographer. You’ll start to see how they work and in return, your photographer will see how you interact as a couple and what you are both comfortable with doing. If you like to hold hands or not. If you are affectionate or not. What poses, positions, and cues work best when you work together. These will all come in super handy on your actual wedding day because you will feel 100% confident and comfortable with your wedding photographer because you know what to expect and know you are going to be well taken care of.
6. Make sure you clearly communicate
Communication is key when it comes to wedding planning—especially when it comes to things like budget. Be very upfront about your budget from the beginning. If the photographer you reached out to is outside that budget, they may be able to refer you to a colleague. But it’s always better to let your vendors know what you are able to pay before you get too far into planning.
So, pretty straightforward, right? If you are still having trouble finding a photographer, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can reach out to our network to find your perfect photographer with your ideal style, budget and location!
Once your wedding is over, don’t forget to share your wedding video on lovestoriestv.com to inspire couples who are planning their wedding and to show your appreciation for the talented videographer you end up hiring.
Need help finding a videographer, venue, vendors, or ideas for your wedding? Browse our massive library of real wedding videos tagged with all of the pros who made the big day happen to find your wedding dream team. Here are a few popular categories to get you started: New York weddings, California weddings, boho weddings, rustic weddings, South-Asian weddings, etc. Still can't find what you're looking for? Email email@example.com with your wedding questions or to get personalized vendor recommendations.