This is Part 3 of a five-part “To the Newly Engaged” series about making your engagement, wedding planning, and wedding as enjoyable and productive as possible! This is from my personal experience as a bride, and from my perspective as a wedding photographer as well. Check back for the next 2 weeks to catch the remainder of the series, and share with your friends who are engaged as well!
Part 3 is alllllllll about picking your photographer… Sure, I know I’m biased in thinking that this should be one of the major considerations in planning your wedding, but I promise it’s not ONLY because I’m a photographer. This was obviously one of my most important decisions because I do loooooove some great photography, but there are also a lot of other things to take into consideration as well.
- Pick the photographer, not just the photographs. I’ve written a little bit about this before, but I really can’t stress this enough. Take the time to get to know your photographer. If they have a blog – read it. If they regularly post on social media – follow them. Make sure you like them as a person, AND make sure you like their work.
- They are more than just another vendor. Following along with point number 1, you want to make sure you like and get along with your photographer. There are a lot of vendors involved in a wedding – cake, linens, DJ, caterer, officiant, etc. Most of those people drop off their items and leave, or they are part of a certain part of the wedding day. Your photographer will be with you all day long. They will be there as you gather with your mother and your bridesmaids as you put on that beautiful dress. They will be there as you wait at the end of the aisle for your music to cue the start of one of the most important walks of your life. They are there as you are introduced by your new name for the first time. There as you cut your cake. There as you exit one of the best parties of your life. They are there with you the whole time. Make sure they’re the kind of person you want around in all of those moments.
- They are an experience, not just a product. As wedding photographers, we tend to also be there in those moments when things might not go as planned. There to help with a stubborn bustle right before your entrance into your ceremony. They are there to give the belt off their dress to help out a bridesmaid. They are there to re-pin a wild curl that’s come loose from your carefully selected wedding hairstyle. They are there to help you with what you need – and if they aren’t willing to do that, I’d say they shouldn’t be lucky enough to have the honor of photographing your day. Their primary role is to get gorgeous images, sure. But the best kind are there to make your day easier in the process.
- Really think about the investment and what it means for you. If you’re just starting to look at photography pricing for the first time, you may have a little sticker shock. But trust that the money you invest in your photographer will be one of the most lasting decisions you make – That decision will be the one providing you with visual memories to share with your grandkids in the future.
- BONUS TIP: Invest in Engagement photos! They are so much more than just getting sweet images of you and your fiance prior to your wedding day. They afford you and your photographer to build a relationship before your big day – you’ll have those jitters all worked out, so that when you take time for portraits on your day, you won’t have to worry about taking time to get comfortable with your photographer & their camera. (This is one of the reasons why engagement sessions are included in wedding packages.) You can also then have great (recent) images of you and your fiancé to display at showers, engagement parties, your rehearsal dinner and your reception if you choose!