Photos are memories, and your memories matter. You’ll immediately want to share your wedding photos with those closest to you and you’ll reference them throughout the years, reminiscing about your dress, first kiss, first dance and the whole day. That’s why your wedding photographer is an essential part of your big day.

Finding the right wedding photographer near you is hard. You want someone to understand you, your relationship, your style and your vision for your wedding day and capture it all in your wedding pictures. You also need to find someone you are comfortable around and have chemistry with since he or she will be with you almost every moment of your wedding.

In order to help pick your perfect wedding photographer, there are some tips you can follow.

Pick your style.

Photographers have different styles. I would describe mine as a photojournalistic approach, authentic, and true to color (with a touch of bold/vivid). I edit to enhance the memory. Some photographers have a dark and moody approach to editing, while others stay light and airy. I like to stay more true to color so you can remember exactly what your day looked like, colors and all.

Set a budget.

Most weddings have a budget. It’s what keeps our weddings on track and saves you from accidentally spending way too much. If you aren’t sure what to budget for a photographer, start searching for different photographer costs in your area. That’ll help you, as wedding photographer prices vary by region. 

Book your venue.

Your venue sets the tone for your whole wedding. This will also help you narrow down the area in which to look for wedding photographers. Some wedding photographers, like me, do travel, so don’t worry if you fall in love with a photographer out of your area. You can always ask if they will come to you.

Do your research.

Once you figure out which style suits you, your wedding day photography style and your venue and set your budget, it’s time to research. We’re lucky! The internet has made it super easy to look at reviews online and through social media. There are TONS of Facebook groups to join and ask for recommendations from fellow and past brides. 

Interview your favorite photographers.

Always request to see a wedding shot from beginning to end from your photographer. This will give you a good idea of what your wedding photos could look like. Then, when you meet up with potential photographers or talk on the phone, ask them questions like:

  • What is your turnaround time?
  • Will we receive a print release?
  • How would we receive our photos?
  • Who exactly would be handling our big day and can we see their work?
  • How do you approach each wedding?
  • How do you handle possible changes?
  • How do you help pose and calm nervousness?
  • What is your price range and what do you expect from us at the wedding and before?

After any concerns are addressed, you can talk more about your personal vision and any fun details about your relationship.

Choose your photographer.

Once you’ve spent some time with potential photographers, you should have a good understanding of how each works and differs from one another. It’s important to list key attributes of each out, but ultimately, go with your gut on which photographer you feel the most comfortable with. After all, they are going to be with you a lot on your wedding day.

Schedule a test.

Last week, I talked about the truth behind engagement sessions. This is the exact type of test run I’m talking about. Not only will you get amazing engagement pictures, but you’ll get to see your photographer in action and bond with them. This will only make you more confident in your choice on your wedding day or you have time to choose another photographer before your big day.