Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer

tips & advice, weddings

January 2021

Kaitlyn Neeley

bride and groom walking down beach at destination micro wedding

If you’re reading this, congratulations!! I’m sure you’re knee deep in wedding planning, and are trying to find the perfect wedding photographer. I remember thinking once I got engaged, the rest would be easy, I was so wrong! Wedding planning can be so tough, and finding the right people to work with can be even tougher. I’ve come up with a list of tips to make sure you have the perfect wedding photographer for your big day.

Find Your Style

The first thing you need to do when picking out a wedding photographer is figuring out the style of photography you love. Do you like a moody editing style? Bright and airy style or more of a true to color look? Or are you more into candid images or more formal images? Not sure what you like? Look on Pinterest! The perfect wedding photographer is going to edit photos in a way that takes your breath away.

groom pushing bride against wall posing and smiling while the perfect wedding photographer takes their bridals

Look at a bunch of different styles and see what resonates with you the most. If you love a photographer’s work, can you picture you and your fiancé in the photos that they take? I find my style very personal to me. I edit my photos in a way that I see life. My images are full of color and joy and life. The couples that are drawn to my work also see life the same way and love my editing style.

bride and groom laughing together on big day after getting married

Discuss Your Budget

This is an important step because it narrows down your options a little bit. Wedding photographers can have a wide range of prices. Knowing your budget can help you find perfect wedding photographer for you. When it comes to wedding photography, it pays to have the best. It’s important to have an experienced professional to help capture every moment for you.

This is not the time to have Uncle Bob photograph your wedding for you!! The perfect wedding photographer is going to make sure all the important moments are captured forever. Don’t worry about stressing on your big day if I got the right shots, I’ve got this!

Your wedding day is an extremely special day that you want to remember forever. After the wedding is over, all you have left is your spouse, the ring, the photographs, and the memories. The food and cake are gone. The dress, as beautiful as it is, most likely won’t be worn again. The flowers won’t remain.

If your budget is truly an issue, then you should be even more selective! The cheapest photographers are likely to be not as qualified for the job. They might have not established their client experience well. May not have all the equipment they need or might not take precautions with their backups. Or may not know how to shoot in various lighting conditions. I know we all start out somewhere and don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being new to the wedding photography world. But that is something to keep in mind when going a cheaper route for a photographer.

groom kissing bride's forehead during outdoor bridals at backyard wedding

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you have found a photographer that you are absolutely in love with and can’t get enough of their photos, but their pricing is a little out of your budget, just be transparent with them and let them know. Maybe they can work a bit within your budget and customize a package. Sometimes they are able to find something that fits a little better. It may have less hours of coverage, but enough to cover all the events you need.

Or maybe your wedding date is in a slow season and they can offer a little discount to you. Every photographer is different and will do what is best for their business, but being completely transparent is always the best route to go!! You never know!

Read Reviews

Read the testimonials and reviews of the photographer you are looking at. Are you seeing raving reviews? What are some things that the couples say that stick out to you? Reviews are a great way to see how other clients’ experiences were and give you an idea of what to expect when working with them!!

bride walking up to groom during first look session

Here is one of my favorite reviews I have ever gotten: “There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t 110% recommend Kaitlyn to anyone for any occasion. Not only does she capture every perfect moment, one’s you couldn’t even dream of, she is a joy to be around and makes any day so much brighter!”

bride hugging groom's arm during outdoor bridal session

“Kaitlyn is someone to highly consider to record your precious memories. She takes it seriously and considers it an honor. These pictures are something she’s given me to share with my husband, my kids, and my grandkids. I will be able to love and look at them more than I did the day before. She doesn’t just take pictures, she records memories”.

Cue the tears.

After you have narrowed down your options:

Figure Out How They Approach the Wedding Day

Are they a fly on the wall? Are they posing people to capture moments? Do they give a lot of direction or capture a lot of candid imagery? This is good to know before hiring your photographer because you know what to expect. Some photographers will let the day unfold naturally and have a more photojournalistic approach on the wedding day and some photographers will pose people to capture certain moments.

I have heard of a couple getting disappointed because they were expecting more intimate and tender moments to be in their wedding image gallery because that is what they saw in their photographer’s portfolio. What they didn’t know is that the photographer was more of a photojournalistic approach and all of the intimate moments shown in their portfolio happened naturally. The couple had expected the photographer to help create that intimate environment for those tender photos and were sad when they didn’t get those images.

bride and groom posing during bridals in outdoor wedding

Communication is Key

I think it is always important for a photographer to communicate how they approach a wedding day, but if they don’t it is totally okay to ask! Knowing beforehand will prevent any disappointment from certain expectations you have of your photographer. Some couples like a photographer that is very involved and some couples want their photographer to be a fly on the wall.

bride and groom pictures on the beach in california

Decide what is best for you! Personally I’m a mix between having a photojournalistic approach and giving direction! I don’t like to be up in everyone’s business and love capturing candid moments. But, I also know how to take charge to get those family portraits done quickly or help give direction to get the best getting ready photos or bride & groom shots. I love to help offer lots of tips before the wedding on how to have the best wedding photos and let my clients take and use whatever information they like!

bride and groom walking during bridal session

Get to Know Them and Their Experience and Background

Have they just started photography? Or have they been doing it for years? Do they show images from a wide variety of locations with different lighting situations? Knowing how to handle different lighting situations is probably the biggest thing to master when it comes to doing wedding photography because your lighting can change drastically during the entire day. It is important that your photographer knows how to correctly use the functions of their camera and can adjust quickly to different lighting.

bride and groom kissing in front of barn at wedding

Do you and your fiancé genuinely like this person?

Your wedding photographer will be the vendor that will be with you the entire day. They will shadow your every move, and the more comfortable the both of you are with the photographer, the better the photos will turn out! You want to feel like a friend is there will you capturing your day. Look for someone that can add fun and emotion to the wedding day. Sometimes things on the wedding day don’t always go as planned. Maybe the timeline runs a little behind or a bridesmaid shows up late. A good photographer can help ease any stress you may have and can help the wedding day run a little smoother. When you love your photographer, you love your photos! It’s as simple as that.

bride and groom kissing under veil in utah wedding

Are you planning your wedding? Contact me here and let’s make your dream wedding photos happen!!

bride and groom laughing and celebrating recent marriage

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