You just got engaged and shared the news with all of your family and friends. You’ve popped the cork and celebrated. Now it comes time to start planning your big day! You will most likely want to choose your date and your venue first, then the next step is to choose your photographer!
There are so many decisions to make when it comes to wedding planning, and there are a lot of vendors that you need to research and hire. Most of these vendors will provide you with goods or a service and are minimally involved in your day (not to say that they are not important as well!). Your photographer is the one vendor that will be with you every step of the way on your wedding day.
Besides capturing all of your candid and posed portraits throughout your day, your photographer will help you to develop and create your timeline for your wedding day, be there when you are getting ready, coordinate and execute your bridal party and family portraits, keep everyone together on the timeline, and coordinate with your DJ at the reception for event timing and placement. Those are the basic functions of a wedding photographer, but most photographers go above and beyond that by escorting family members, pinning boutonnieres, fixing hair and dress issues, helping pin the veil and so much more.
There’s always the go-to Google search for wedding photographers in your area, but that can be overwhelming as there are page after page of search results with a lot of descriptions. A good option is to think of your friends and family that have recently been married. Not only will they have photos to show you from their photographer but they can also give you honest feed back about what it was like to work with them and what their experience was throughout the entire process. You can also ask your venue or planner if they have any preferred photographers, most companies will have a list for you.
Another option is to search hashtags on Instagram to see visual representations for these photographers. Ideas for hashtags can be: #quadcitiesweddingphotographer #iowacityweddingphotographer #iowaweddingphotographer Most photographers will use hashtags that include their location (whether it’s their city or their state). Then look through the feed and write down the names of the photographers whose style and images you like. (You can even research further and look through their feed to see more images). Finding a photographer whose style and images you like is step 1 in selecting a photographer you are going to love.
Research, research, research! This doesn’t sound like fun but trust me, it can be! Find their Facebook pages and their websites. Look through their posts, their images, and their blogs. Do you like their photographic style? Does their personality resonate with you? Do they seem like someone you could get along with? Are their prices within your budget?
Contact them! Most photographers will have a contact page on their website – that is the best option to get ahold of them. If there is no contact page then look for an email address or phone number on their website or Facebook page. (Remember – if your photographer is hard to get ahold of now, how much harder will they be to get ahold of throughout the wedding planning process?) You will want to contact them to ask if they are available on your date, ask for more in-depth pricing and ask them any general questions you may have about their business or your wedding photography. The next step would be to meet them in person.
Meeting your photographer in person is a great way to get to know them and get a feel for their personality. This is important because you want to make sure that you hire someone that you like, that you’re comfortable with, and that you know you will get along with. Again, this person will be with you all day on your wedding day so you want to be sure that it’s someone you mesh well with.
You should also be able to view an entire wedding gallery that they have photographed. This will give you a look at their work from start to finish; not just their favorite or best images from every wedding.
You can view any products that they offer. We personally bring along our Signature Books and Heirloom Albums to our consultations. These are our most popular products, and ones with the biggest investment. It’s nice to hold something in your hand and get a feel for the look and quality before you drop $500-$1,000 on it.
You can ask any questions that you may have about how they photograph weddings and what their process is.
Once you have met it’s a matter of following your gut and choosing someone that you feel 100% confident in! Remember, your photographer will be with you every step of the way on you wedding day – you want to hire someone that you click with and will get along with.