I may be bias, but your photographer is one of the most important- maybe even the most important vendor you’ll hire for your wedding. It can seem overwhelming for brides (after all, photos are one of the only things you’ll have after your wedding day has quickly come and gone), but picking your photographer can really be one of the best parts of wedding planning. To help you narrow down your search, I’ve provided a quick list of things to look for when booking your wedding photographer.
1. Your photographer’s style should fit your vision
I have no doubt you’ve pinned tons of wedding photos on your Pinterest page, probably even before you got engaged, right? I mean, what gal hasn’t? When looking at the wedding photo galleries and pins, take note of what type of editing style you’re drawn to. Have you pinned photos that are a more light and airy look, or is your preference the dark and moody vibe? A photographer’s portfolio, website and social media pictures will show what type of editing style they have and the style should fit your vision, first and foremost! Once you have your preferred editing style, you can begin narrowing down your photographer. Once you have a few in mind, reach out and ask for more information or a full wedding gallery so you can get a feel for the full story.
2. Wedding photographers’ schedules fill up quickly!
We book faster and further out than almost any wedding vendor (because we are so in demand!), so we should be one of the first vendors you book when starting your wedding planning journey. Many brides typically book their photographer on or around the same time as booking their venue(s) and picking their date. I recommend 8-12 months before your wedding to make sure you book the photographer you really want before anyone else snatches them up. In St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area specifically, I have more couples reaching out 4-6 months prior to their event and I’m usually always booked. If photography and capturing these memories is a priority for you, make sure you check this one off your list first.
3. A connection is a must!
A lot of my couples are nervous before getting in front of the camera, and understandably so. People aren’t used to having a photographer around them for an entire day, especially someone they don’t know personally. However, all of my wedding photography packages include an engagement session, which is a perfect time for me to get to know you as a couple and so that I can help you get comfortable in front of the camera…this is actually one of my favorite parts! Having a strong friendship and connection with your wedding photographer will definitely show in your final photos. Check out a blog here on the importance of an engagement session.
4. Two photographers are always better than one
When researching wedding photographers, you’ll see the option of adding a second photographer. All of my wedding packages come with a second photographer so that we can cover all angles and get some of the shots that you just can’t get with one photographer. While I’m focusing on the bride walking down the aisle, my second photographer can get your hubby’s amazing reaction when he sees you! Plus, having two photographers saves time (hey, it’s more time you’ll get to spend with your loved ones) and allows us to be more efficient on the day of.
5. How long will you need your wedding photographer for?
Most wedding photographers offer packages from 6-10 hours. Before booking, think about what is most important to have captured on your big day. Do you want photos of you and your bridesmaids getting your hair and makeup done? Are you set on having photos of you and your hubby gettin’ down on the dance floor? Do you want your final exit photographed? All of these things play a role in deciding how long to book your photographer for. On average my couples book the 8 hour package, which really allows us to capture the day from getting ready all the way up until your special exit. However, if you’re having a longer ceremony in a church or just looking for more romance photos of the two of you, opting for the 10 hour package may be more ideal.
6. One size (or price) doesn’t fit all
Your wedding photography experience should be an investment worth taking if photography and your memories are a priority for you. As a bride or groom, I can understand how confusing or stressful it can be to shop around for the perfect photographer – comparing pricing with your budget. On average, my couples spend around $4000, but this includes so much more than just showing up on your wedding day. With this investment you are receiving my time the day of, a second photographer, an engagement session to get to know you, an online hosted gallery to share with friends and family, a professional USB of all images for safekeeping and on top of all of that, in person or phone consultations whenever it is needed, over 8 years of wedding photography experience, along with other fun goodies!
As a plus, I also offer a 10% discount on your wedding package if you volunteer your time together as a couple through my program #CouplesForACause. Many of my couples use this time to take a break from wedding planning, do something meaningful in their community, and to save a few bucks (with no catch!).
If my style fits your vision, let’s chat! I’m really looking forward to getting to know you and your hearts!