Booking your wedding photographer is high on the priority list of things to do when planning your wedding. More than likely, you’ve set the date, booked a venue and now you’re interviewing photographers. As a wedding photographer of 5 years, and having worked with nearly 100 couples, allow me to give you a few tips on what to look for when booking your wedding photographer.
1. Check out their website
Think of this like your first impression with this photographer. Take some time and click through all the different links. Check out their “about me” page and see if this is a person you think you’d click with. If not, it’s okay to move on to someone else. I tell my couples all the time that I am the one vendor you spend the most time with on your wedding day. If you don’t think we’d click, don’t book me.
2. Know your budget ahead of time and find out their pricing
Shoot them a message via their website and ask for a pricing guide. Some photographers will list a starting investment on their website. This is helpful because it allows you to know if it’s even worth your time reaching out to them.
3. Expect a prompt response
As a wedding photographer, our name is on the business. I pride myself in being prompt to respond. If they take more than 3 days to respond to you without an automated “out of the office” email, move on.
4. Expect a consultation
I can’t imagine a photographer that doesn’t follow up from an inquiry with a consolation meeting or phone call, but maybe they’re out there. You should expect this and take advantage of it. It’s part of our job to get on the phone or meet for coffee to discuss things and answer questions before you sign on the dotted line.
5. Ask what their turnaround time is
This is going to vary from photographer to photographer. Some can take anywhere from 3-4 months to send you your photos back. Others (me!) take more like 6-8 weeks. If this is something that’s important to you, be sure to ask!
6. If they don’t have a contract.. run
If the photographer just wants you to pay via Venmo and no contractual documents are signed, this is a huge red flag. The contract isn’t just to protect to photographer, it’s also to protect you and assure you the photographer will be there on your wedding day.
7. What’s included in the packages?
This too will vary from photographer to photographer. A “standard” wedding photography package might include: two photographer, 8 hours of coverage, and engagement session and a viewing gallery. Decide what your bare minimum is and go from there.
8. Ask about worst case scenarios
As dreadful as it is, it’s not impossible. Especially in this day and age.. looking at you covid.. anything can happen. Don’t be afraid to ask your potential photographer what plans they have in place in case something were to happen to them. At this point in the world, they should have a solid answer.
9. Ask about how involved they are in the process
Like I’ve mentioned before, this varies from photographer to photographer. Some do the bare minimum: you sign the contract, they shoot your engagement, they shoot your wedding day and they send off the gallery with a few emails here and there. Others send you a booking gift to welcome you, have a detailed outline of what you can expect from them, help you prep for the engagement session, have a meeting to discuss building your timeline, create the timeline for you, send a detailed questionnaire before the wedding day, and more. Again, figure out what’s most important to you and if you think these things would make for a better overall wedding experience.
10. Make sure you mesh well together
Like I mentioned briefly on #1, your photographer is the one vendor you are going to spend the most time with on your wedding day. They are with you while your hair and makeup is getting done all the way to the end of the night when you climb in the send off car. It’s important that you and your wedding photographer mesh well together. I promise, it’ll make for a better experience for both of you.
If you’re in the process of booking your wedding photographer, I hope this was helpful to you! Check out a previous blog on how to choose your outfits for your engagement session!
February 14, 2022