Your wedding photos are a forever reminder of your big day, so it's important to love the images you receive. But in a world of so many options, how do you choose the photographer who is right for you? We've asked wedding photographer Chelsea Gee to share her expertise. She has put together five helpful tips based on her experience in the wedding industry. Use Chelsea's guidelines to find the best photographer for your special day.
Define the style of photography you love
This is the first step, before you even start to reach out to photographers. You need to understand what style of photography you love. You may think that this is quite obvious, however it can be harder than you think. Start by selecting a handful of wedding photos that catch your eye and put them together. Then decide what component of the photo makes you love it so much. Is there a consistency between the photos that you chose? Ask yourself. Is it the colors or ‘editing,’ the way the couple is posed, or how they don’t feel posed, is it the location, or the feeling you get when you look at the photo? It could be a mixture of these things or different components from each photo. Identifying what you like most in the photos will help you find a photographer that specializes in that style.
Find a photographer that matches your style
Once you identify what style you love, you can now begin the process of searching for photographers that fall under that category. When you come across a photographer’s work that you like, you should start by reviewing their portfolio and website. While browsing their website, read their ‘about me’ to find out what inspires them. Does their overall brand speak to you? Can you see yourself in their photographs? If the answer is yes to these questions, reach out to them. When you reach out to a photographer, give them all the details! The information you give, allows the photographer to understand if their work fits with what you are wanting. It is so important to pick a photographer you love, but also find one that believes your vision aligns with their work. This is where the magic happens. If you find a photographer you love, but they live in a different state or country than you, I still recommend reaching out. Many photographers are open to travel, and would be honored to travel to you!
Set up a phone call
You are going to spend a lot of time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day. It’s important that you get along and feel comfortable with each other. The difference between emailing someone and actually talking to someone will help you decide much easier if they are the right photographer for you.
Ask to see a full wedding gallery
When you are reviewing a photographer’s Instagram or website, you are often seeing a small portion of a wedding day or some of their favorite photos. This is why I highly recommend asking to see a full wedding gallery. See if they have one that is similar to the size or style of your wedding. When looking at the gallery, try to look past the overall aesthetic of the wedding, but pay attention to how the photographs make you feel, and how the photographer performed in different lighting scenarios. Do you feel like you could relive the day through the photos that they included? How did the photographer’s work change in different lighting throughout the day? Reviewing photos from all parts of a wedding day will help you decide if the photographer’s work still aligns with what you are looking for.
Ask them the overlooked questions
Ask your photographer how they approach a full wedding day. One may prefer to observe and use a documentary approach, while others may like to direct and pose. Some may like to do a variety of both depending on what part of the wedding day it is. Also, ask them how they get inspired for a wedding day, and what their planning process looks like. Tell them what is most important to you photography wise and what you envision for your day. Tell them what you have already completed in the wedding planning process and if you have a planner. Explain to them what drew you to their work and what specific parts you love about it. All of these questions and details will help you both decide if you are the right fit for each other.