2018 is over I’m guessing more than one gal is entering the New Year with a ring on her left hand! The start of wedding planning can feel extremely overwhelming - you’re immediately asked to make a multitude of decisions all at once. It doesn’t help that the market of photographers today is HUGE, providing a vast array of choices that can be hard to narrow down. I, Kelsey Prater, a real life wedding photographer (and yes, also a former bride) am here to advise on what to look for so you can make the right choice for you. 

Here are the top three things to consider when you’re choosing the photographer who will make your photo dreams come true!

  1. Style:
    You don’t have to come from a fancy art background to feel confident choosing a style of photography you like! Do you prefer darker, high-contrast photos, or ones that are light and airy? Think about colors - are you drawn to warm tones, cool tones, or tones that are more neutral? All of these things help contribute to the “mood” of a photograph. Art is all about personal preference, so take some time to figure out what suits your personality.

    While a photographer’s website is a great tool for delving into their portfolio, chances are that their Instagram boasts MUCH more current work. At least that’s true in my own case! Another insider wedding tip: if you’ve narrowed down your search to a few photographers, it’s so helpful to ask them to see a few full wedding galleries. Not only does this give you an idea of their capabilities with a variety of shooting circumstances, but it can even help you visualize what a wedding day looks like from start to finish

  2. Budget:
    Even if I wasn’t a photographer, I’d still recommend that a large portion of any couple’s budget be dedicated to photography. Most of the vendors you choose work together to make a single day of your life beautiful. Your photographer, however, is the one vendor whose effort extends beyond just your wedding day. Think of your photos as an investment, one that will help you relive your wedding day for years to come. One that you’ll show your grandchildren. If you don’t have a videographer, photographs are literally the only way you’ll be able to look back on your wedding day. Based on their longevity, it makes sense that you’d invest a higher percentage of your budget towards photographs of beautiful quality.

  3. Personality
    This is the MOST important thing to take into consideration! There are tons of great artists on the market, and I mean TONS! You could book any number of skilled photographers that will help you remember your moments beautifully, so why not pick someone that you enjoy being around? After all, your photographer is going to be with you for the majority of your wedding day, and maybe even beforehand if you do an engagement session. They’ll see you in all moments, ranging from tender and emotional to wild and silly. I’ve buttoned dresses for brides, held their dress while they went to the bathroom, and danced with my couples at their receptions. It’s a privilege to be present for so many moments!

    I highly recommend meeting (or at least chatting on the phone) once with a photographer before booking them. Think of it as a job interview where you get to be the boss! Ask to see their work, why they love what they do, and how they help put their clients at ease. Come prepared with a list of questions for them - there’s no question too silly or small. And then, trust your gut - you’ll know if that connection is there.

Hopefully this helps in your search to find the perfect wedding photographer! Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about wedding photography or planning in general.