Each year, I’m humbled to have many friends and relatives coming forward with the joyous announcement of upcoming nuptials and asking me to do their wedding photography. Each year, I lovingly decline. Best friends, cousins, old acquaintances- the story is the same, “Thank you so much for thinking of me, but I don’t do weddings.”
I’m not a sour puss and I don’t mean to rain on the parade, but weddings are one thing I don’t know if I’ll ever do. The pressure to get perfect shots, the emotions, the family, the bride. I think I’d have a panic attack! Just because I can’t be part of their moment, doesn’t mean a low-quality photographer should. So, I generally offer some tips. Below you’ll find the tips and tricks I give to ensure everyone gets the chance to make an educated decision when hiring a photographer for their wedding.
Get the Best Bang For Your Buck
If you had to spend the most money on one thing in your wedding, what would it be? Think about it: The dress you only wear once, the decor you throw away. So what’s the only thing you can truly enjoy after the big event? Photography. Blow up a candid shot, have a #tbt photo for the next five years, create a photo book or go old-school and make a photo album to share with house guests. There are a TON of great ways to utilize wedding photography for the rest of your life, so don’t be afraid to spend a little money on it.
You Get What You Pay For So Research
Cheap isn’t always (or rarely is) the best option and trusting someone with no website and one wedding under their belt isn’t ideal. Probe friends, look through online portfolios/blogs, even calling a few you like to get a price estimate over the phone. Everyone is different, some photographers don’t have a distinct style, but others focus on something like photojournalism, abstract, heavy contrast and filters. It’s important to find a style you like. Fair market price is also a big thing to consider as each location is different.
Like Dating, But Less Expensive
Keep in mind throughout this process, a photographer is someone you’re going to be working with for a while. Not to mention, this is an extremely stressful time, no matter how simple your plan is, it’s worth it to get some insight into how the working relationship will be. There are also tons of great resources online (The Knot is one of my favs), to look up some reviews for local photographers. Wedding shows also provide a great list of legit options and most have booths, so you can talk to them personally before choosing.
Weddings can be crazy (which is why I only do engagement photos), however you have to really love doing wedding photography, and it’s something I greatly respect. Hopefully these tips will help you find your wedding-photog soul mate!