How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

Marianne Stenger
22nd May 2017

Ten years from now you probably won’t care what food you served at your wedding or what flowers you chose for the centrepieces, but you’ll still be kicking yourself if the most important moments of your wedding day weren’t caught on camera.

Of course, not all wedding photographers are equally skilled or shoot the style of photos you’re looking for, so if you’re wondering how to choose a wedding photographer, here are a few steps to follow.

Step 1: Narrow down your options

There are likely thousands of wedding photographers working in your area, but one of the best ways to find a good wedding photographer is through word of mouth. Start by asking your friends, family or even industry vendors such as your caterer, florist or venue manager whether there are any wedding photographers they know of and would recommend.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few professional wedding photographers, you can check out their work in more detail and set up some interviews before making your final decision.

Step 2: Check the photographer’s portfolio

When choosing a wedding photographer, you should always view their portfolio to check their skill level and style of shooting and post-processing. Of course, a good wedding photographer should be versatile and able to shoot in a variety of styles and conditions, but checking their portfolio gives you an idea of what you can expect.

Do the photos seem very traditional and posed or more artsy or edgy? Do they look high-contrast with rich and vibrant colours or low-contrast with muted pastel colours? Do you see a lot of variety in their work or do they stick to a particular genre or style? Can they shoot in low light conditions?

Keep in mind that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers when it comes to the style of the photos, it just depends on what you like and how you want your wedding photo book to look.

Step 3: Make sure you get along with the photographer

Although the style and quality of the images you’ll be getting is of the utmost importance, you’ll also want to make sure that the photographer is someone you feel comfortable with and will be able to work with well on your wedding day.

Every photographer has a different style of working, and of course we all have different personalities and may simply click better with one photographer then another. The best way to get a feel for whether you’d be comfortable with a particular photographer is to set up a face-to-face interview during which you’ll be able to discuss everything from pricing to your preferred style of photos.

Step 4: Find out what will be included

When you’ve found a photographer whose style you like, it’s time to check out their pricing and packages. You’ll likely be able to choose between a different few packages, so make sure you understand exactly what services and products your chosen package would include.

For instance, how many hours will be covered? What equipment will they be using? Will there be a second shooter? How many photos will you receive? Will you be getting any prints or a wedding photo book?  When will you receive the final images?

Step 5: Check for reviews and references

No matter how much you like a particular photographer’s style, you should always check his or her reviews to see if their previous clients were satisfied with the final images they got.

If you can’t find any reviews on the photographer’s website, Facebook page or vendor sites like Yelp, ask him or her directly if they are able to provide any references. Most experienced wedding photographers will be able provide you with references and a few sample wedding albums to look at, so if a photographer isn’t willing or able to do this you should think twice before hiring them.