Welcome to your Ultimate Guide to booking the PERFECT Wedding Photographer!
It's more than just a wedding. It's the day that you and your person, become one. As photographers, we are here to capture every moment, so you can relive this day time and time again through the images you receive. Precious memories you can always look back to, and feel like you're there all over again.
" A picture is worth a thousand words" - Henrik Ibsen
First off, let me start by simply saying CONGRATS! You're getting married! I am so excited that you're here, and considering us for your journey. Let's get started!
Weddings are one of the most important days of our lives. Most of us have dreamt of this day since we were kids. When you dream of your wedding, what do you see? A castle with luxurious natural lighting? A garden surrounding you with beautiful flowers? Maybe a certain décor style that you love? There are so many, and so many vendors who can help you with planning your dream wedding. But one thing I cannot say enough, especially after working over 100 weddings in the last 3 years, investing well for your big day is always worth it. Who you bring in to make your vision come to life is so very important. In this guide we can help you learn everything about specially what to look for with a wedding photographer.
There is so much to more than price to consider when it comes to finding your perfect photographer. We are there to capture every moment, for memories that will last a lifetime. Photos to hang on your walls, that you can one day show your children, and grandchildren. With that being said, who you choose MATTERS!
Finding Your Perfect Style
Let's get into one of the top things that people search for in a photographer, their style.
The style means more than just the editing and colors, it also has everything to do with the quality of the images. Finding a style that you love, and fits your personality is SO important when looking for your photographer. There are so many styles to choose from. Natural, light and airy, moody and dark, brown-toned, luxurious, vibrant, and so many more! I recommend Instagram for this search method. Its a great place for finding photographers since the entire platform is based around media! You can easily search for photographers based in the area that you're getting married, or where your from. Majority of photographers do love to travel so their location is not as important as you may think. If you find one with your perfect style, you will want to check out their website before reaching out, because it should be based off of more than that! No matter where they're located, if the style speaks to you, it's worth reaching out to them.
I'm a photographer based out of Charlotte, NC. The photos below are an example of my work. I love using as much natural light as possible to create a luxurious, romantic look, and playing around with flash for a timeless, fun, and more editorial look. If I had to describe my style, I would call it "Luxurious, Romantic, and Story Telling."
Research The Photographer
Once you're set on a few that you like, there are a some things you will want to check out before sending in a inquiry. First and foremost, their reviews. Most people will always put good reviews on their own websites, but if you search them on other platforms such as Facebook, Google, The Knot & Wedding Wire etc. you will find the reviews that cannot be deleted. It is important that you make sure there is no red flags from others who have worked with them. Scammers are also a very real thing in the wedding world, these reviews will help you determine if they're real or fake. After looking through all of this information, if you're feeling good about one, check out their website! This is where you'll find the most information about them, including where they're based, a bit about their personality, photos they have taken, and of course how to reach out to them! Some photographers will also include pricing or starting rates on their website, but not all of them do. I have a list of questions you can ask them once you've connected and set up a call/meeting! They will want to know all of the details of your wedding, getting on a call/facetime/zoom is also a great way to meet them and see how well your personality's would work together!
Questions to ask photographers:
Where are they based?
How far will they travel?
How much wedding experience do they have?
What is their style?
What is the time frame for delivery on galleries or sneak peaks?
Do they offer second shooters/videography?
What are their deposits/payment plans?
Do they offer engagements/bridals?
Do they offer prints?
Who is Your Photographer?
Next, learn more about who they are as a person! While someone might have great work, they may not always have the best personality. You don't need a Debbie-downer, or someone to stress you out on your wedding day. Look for someone you can automatically feel a great connection with, be able to talk to comfortably, and feel confident in. Someone that shares the same joy and excitement for your big day as you!
I've found with my clients that the best way to connect is by doing either a zoom/facetime meeting, or setting up an in person meeting over coffee or lunch.
Learn Your Photographers Pricing
If you're feeling pretty good about it all so far, then dive into the pricing! According to research, the average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $30,000, and the average cost of a professional wedding photographer in the US is $3000-$4000. This can vary on their experience, style, location, travel, and what they offer in their packages. Some require deposits, and some even offer payment plans. It's also a great idea to ask them how their booking process works, and most importantly, make sure there is a legal contract in place to protect both parties, read it thoroughly before signing anything!
To get a better understanding of the pricing, here are what majority of professional photographers do, and why they charge what they feel they are worth.
- Time spent with emails/texts from clients, or even potential clients
- Setting up calls/meetings for potential clients
- Writing up contracts & Invoices
- Setting up & traveling to sessions such as bridals or engagements
- Photographing and guiding poses for sessions prior to the wedding
- Culling & Editing
- Setting up photo delivery
- Helping your coordinate your timeline to work with best lighting for photos
- Photographing and guiding poses on your wedding day
- More Culling & Editing
- Setting up more photo delivery
- Selling prints
- Follow ups for reviews
The investment for your wedding photographer should make you feel good, and confident. We all work very hard to make sure you are happy, and love the images you receive. After following this guide, knowing you have found the perfect photographer will come easily. I hope this short guide has helped you with your planning with some great tips and tricks to make the process a bit easier!
Goodluck to you and your lover on all of your wedding planning! Oh, and CONGRATS!! :)
Hi! I'm Hannah!Wedding, Editorial and Lifestyle Photographer
Hey there! I'm Hannah! I'm the gal behind this wedding guide! I'm a photographer based out of Charlotte, NC. I've been in business since 2012, and I love what I do. This is more than just a job, this is my PASSION!
I hope you loved the guide! If you'd like to learn more and maybe chat about what I offer, check out my website or fill out the contact form below!
Let's set up a call!
Our wedding collections begin at $3,000 with payment plan options. Once we receive your inquiry, we can set up a call, or in person meeting to discuss the details of your wedding, and go over the packages we offer!