How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer

how to choose a great wedding photographerhow to choose a great wedding photographer
First things first. What draws your eye? Not all photographers are the same. Visit a variety of wedding blogs to get an idea of what you really love, then search for photographers with a similar style.

Think about your budget (but don’t let that discourage you).  Are you crazy for Jose Villa and Tec Petaja?  Search for a photographer who shoots film.  Do you want to emulate Max Wanger’s quirky brilliance or Our Labor of Love’s vintage beauty?  There is a photographer out there for every budget.  You might not get a carbon copy of the famous photog you love, but you can look to replicate the qualities that drew you to them in the first place.

Look at vendor directories.  There are so many great resources out there for recommendations.  Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, 100 Layer Cake, Once Wed, Wedding Chicks… they all have fantastic vendor directories, in addition to the big sites like The Knot.

You can also head back to the real weddings on your favorite blogs… click over to the featured photographers’ pages and check them out.  That’s why they’re there!  They would love to hear from you, and just because they’re featured that doesn’t automatically mean they’re not affordable.

Check reviews.  You should do this for all of your vendors.  It will help you to narrow down your list.

Once you’ve found a few photographers you really love, ask about their availability and pricing.

Then, if everything looks good, set up an interview and ask tons of questions.  How much experience do they have, how do they approach the day, is there anything they don’t or won’t shoot… you can find a pretty exhaustive list of question ideas here.  And if you’re thinking outside the box (maybe you want something you don’t see on their price list?) don’t be afraid to ask, they’ll be happy to give you an answer, and in most cases to customize a package for you.

Don’t underestimate the importance of liking your photographer.  You’re going to depend on them to catch you at your very best… if you don’t really click with them, it will make the process that much harder.

And, last but not least, sleep on it.  Remember that your pictures are going to be your best reminder of the day for years to come.  Take your time with the decision, you’ll be happy you did.

(Speaking of great wedding photography, I’m crazy for these shots from Chris Orange Photography, submitted via Two Bright Lights.)

10 Comments

  1. Posted February 27, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Author Nicely Explain that how to select and choose Your Best Wedding Photographer for Your Best Day. I Agree with All Tips.
    Hunter Valley Wedding Photography

  2. Posted February 27, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    These pics are so cute!! My friend has just started wedding planning now – I’ll have to send her these fab tips!

  3. Posted February 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Love these photos, and your really helpful tips! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    This is such fabulous advice–sending it to all the brides-to-be I know!

  5. Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Featured photographers on blogs have paid to be there, so I would not trust those recommendations.

    The best recommendations are from your friends and relations who have recently got married.

    Also, inexpensive photographers should be avoided. A wedding will take anyone 40+ hours work, so if you multiply average wages by 40 and add something for their operating costs (advertising, replacing equipment etc) then you have the ball park figure for what you should be spending, then add the cost of an album.

    • Laicie
      Posted March 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Hi Robert — thanks for your input!

      Featured photographers on A Thousand Threads are never charged. I feature only those photographers whose work (and individual submissions) I love. Some vendor directories are paid, but most vet their lists very highly and will not include those photographers whose work and work ethic they do not know personally.

      I agree with your point on cost. In photography, you should absolutely expect to get what you pay for. I would never advocate that brides hunt for a bargain photographer, but brides should also know that they don’t have to pay elite prices. There is an in-between, and there are plenty of great photographers out there still working to make it big who should be given a chance. If a bride (or groom) does her research, as she should, she does not have to limit herself to word of mouth to find the perfect photographer.

  6. Posted March 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    sooooo, when do we get to see YOUR wedding photos??!?

    • Laicie
      Posted March 4, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      Oh my gosh SO soon — I promise! I’m dying to show you guys!!

  7. Posted May 9, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    It’s always crucial to choose best photographer with affordable charges when we planning for our wedding shoot. But the above mentioned points are the finest solution for this difficulty. Thanks to share this.

  8. Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I think you are not engaged this time. Right?

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