Finding The Right Wedding Photographer For You
How to find the right photographer for your wedding day.
This blog post may be a long read, but it will save you a lot of stress and disappointment - I promise! Read further!
You’ve just gotten engaged! Congratulations!!! Now that the diamond is glittering happily on your wedding finger and you’ve enjoyed all the celebrations with your friends and family… It’s time to start the wedding planning! Now begins the hunt for your wedding photographer. Chances are you’ve already read countless articles from bridal sites such as The Knot, started a (amazing) Pinterest board, followed a BUNCH of wedding photographers on Instagram, and asked all your married friends for glowing recommendations. (You may also have a dozen tabs open on your computer, an excel sheet with a running list of pricing and packages, and a headache from hearing that photos are the only thing that lasts.)
From talking to all my wonderful couples over the years, I know that it can feel very confusing and overwhelming to find the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding day.
There are so many wedding photographers to choose from. In the New Jersey area alone, they are over 1,500 full time, professional wedding photographers. They each have a different vision of how to capture your wedding day, with various different styles, editing approaches, quality of delivery, different people with different personalities and provide a unique approach to running business!
So… comes the question you are asking in your head right now.
How on earth do I know I picked the perfect photographer for us?
1. YOU LOVE THEIR STYLE
Did you know, there are MANY various wedding photography styles? If you’ve never thought about your wedding photography style preference, don’t worry, you’re not alone! But, just like you need to know your wedding style before you can start picking out flowers or decor, you need to know what photography style(s) you love before you can start looking at photographers.
My style can be described as fine art meets photojournalist.
With my fine art education in photography, I capture your love story using powerful imagery to reflect your true personalities. On your wedding day, I use my artistic eye to compose the best photographs possible that reflects all of those important moments with a true to life and airy edit to create those timeless photographs to cherish a lifetime.
Fine Art — Fine art wedding photography is actively creating art while capturing the story of your day. Every moment has the potential to turn into a photograph that could be a stand-alone piece in an art gallery - aka hanging on your living room wall!
Photojournalistic — The purpose of being a photojournalist is to unobtrusively capture the wedding day as a whole, not just the planned moments. I focus on less "stuffy" posing and more about the meaningful candids. I focus on the giggles, smiles and laughter. I believe in less stuffy posing, more laughter, and capturing you being yourselves! My passion is rooted in documenting love stories organically, with an artistic approach with guided posing as needed. If you don’t like stuffy posing or staging, then I might might be the perfect fit for you.
2. LOOK FOR HAPPY CLIENTS
Your best resource for evaluating a wedding photographer is always going to be a glowing referral from a friend or family member. No one but a former client can tell you exactly what it was like to work with someone.
You can check out online reviews such as The Knot to read reviews of your photographer. You can visit my page on the knot to read my 70 + reviews to hear what others are saying about their experiences working with me to read further to see if I may be a perfect fit for you!
3. FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
The most important step before booking a photographer is the connection. See if you genuinely click with your photographer and feel comfortable with being with this person on a 10 + hour emotional rollercoaster of a day.
Couples often overlook the personal nature of wedding photography. They don’t realize how much time they will spend with the photographer and how closely they’ll be interacting all day. In reality, your photographer will be with you and your loved ones for a full day on one of the most special and emotional days of your entire life, working by your side.
With that in mind, try to find a photographer who makes you feel at ease. They should be able to capture your joy and tears without being intrusive. They may also need to step in and help give you confidence about your timeline, offer to adjust your timeline to make the day flow even better, offer help with you getting in your dress, or suggest alternative plans in case of bad weather or handle timeline delays. You should feel like you can trust them to be kind and helpful and diffuse stress rather than add to it on such a big day!
I am also looking on my end to see if we are a perfect fit. There are so many photographers out there, and there is a perfect photographer for each special couple. I want to feel a connection with you so we connect and bond well.
I want to know you as a couple, learn about your wedding day, and even help you with your timeline, for the most stress free and photo optimized day- while allowing you to feel comfortable in front of my camera! Being comfortable, produces those "real" photographs were you can feel the moments and true emotions. For me, your experience starts with getting to know the people who are going to be in front of my lens- you. I want to spend quality time learning about you, so when your wedding day is here, you don’t see me as a vendor but a friendly face that you can trust, be yourselves and truly feel comfortable with me snapping your photos. I want every couples’ photos to reflect the real moments and who they are in this important time of their life, unscripted and real.
When you get off the phone or leave our in person consult, I want you to say, “Wow, we really feel connected with Heather and can trust her capturing our big day!” That is when you know the connection has been made and we will be a perfect fit.
4. CAPTURING THE MOMENTS
Your wedding day photographs will last a lifetime. Your wedding day will be a joy filled, spectacular day that’s going to be filled with too many laughs, happy tears and memories to count. It’s a day you’ve been dreaming and planning about for your entire life and you’re investment in your photographer is something you will cherish for your lifetime and generations beyond. After celebrating your weddings, all that remains are the photographs.
That being said, your wedding photographs will be there to stand the test of time. Having each and every precious moment captured is SO important. You want a photographer who can capture those moments skillfully and you can trust them to get them.
5. YOU TRUST THEM
Knowing you can trust your photographer and leave them to do what they do best is so important. After meeting your photographer, make sure you leave feeling confident and happy, ensuring they answer any questions no matter how silly they may be.
You don’t want to be worrying about them on your day, or making sure they capture certain shots or directing them around. They have had years of experiencing doing this, let them do what they do best. When it comes to creative fun shots with you and your partner, go with the flow, have fun and trust your photographer.
My biggest part is having my couples trust what I do. I am there with you to help you plan the perfect wedding timeline for best photo opps while leaving you confident to relax and know I will capture it all.
6. IF WE ARE A MATCH… BOOK EARLY!
Wedding photographers can be booked not just months in advance, but years. Many will be taking bookings for one to two years in advance – popular dates or popular weekends in peak season will be quickly booked. If you are planning your wedding and have your date set, then now is the time to find your wedding photographer and get them booked as quickly as possible. Don’t be left disappointed by finding a photographer who you love, but are already booked on your wedding day.
I tell all my interested couples, lets get on a phone call as soon as possible. Lets chat about your big day and go over what you are looking for in your photographer. If we are a perfect match, I want to lock you in because it breaks my heart to have a couple that really wants to work with me, to find out I am already booked on their date.
Answering the questions above will help you choose your ideal photographer. Of course, I would LOVE to be that ideal photographer. But as stated above, I really want to make sure I am a perfect fit for each couple. Read over my blogs, read my website. I have poured my heart and personality in my website so couples can get a vision of who I am as a photographer and a person.