Picking Your Photographer

Bride Groom Bull Valley Golf Club walking

We’re engaged!! So what to do now?

First of all congratulations. It’s so cool to officially say “This is who I am spending my life with”. You’ve gone through all the channels of telling your friends and family, even the nice lady you bump into once in a while at the grocery store while waiting in line at the checkout line. I mean you gotta tell everyone right?

Now that your done telling the world. I guess you can think about planning the wedding. Where to start, or at least when it comes to picking out your photographer. My favorite topic.

So the steps you could go with is this.

  1. Budget
  2. Resource
  3. Style
  4. Personality
  5. Availability
  6. Getting ready to book

Budget
Well, yes budget is obviously a factor. So if you're going by a formula, then the average is about 10% of your total wedding budget. Although that could change based on what your willing to change or live without for your wedding. You could also put a lot more value on photography over other portions of your wedding and willing to splurge a little more for that look you want. At least you have range from where you would start.

Resources
I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of photographers out there. Where do you begin? Yes, the knot, and wedding wire is one of the most popular places to go through, along with other online platforms. You can sort each photographer by review and price range, which is a good way to go in general. My wife picked out her coffee maker on Amazon. Although you are dealing with a person who’s going to be with you for about 8-12 hours of your day. You can have a skilled artist with no personality or connection, or you can have it the other way and get the funnest person to be around, but when they have a camera in there hand, they look at it like they just opened a can of spam for the first time. “Hmm, what does this button do?” You’d be surprised what pops up on all the social media channels these days. A simple search on the venue your having you wedding or something similar could bring up something close to what you're looking for. There’s no one stop shop, just time and a good pair of slippers along with a cup of joe.

Style
You gotta balance art and personality to your own comfort. First would be the art. Look for what obviously speaks to you. It’s no different from picking out clothes or furniture. Something about the style or look is drawing you in, so you really go with your gut. There are going to be photographers with similar styles of course, but you can put those in a pile to sort out for the next step. You might not know what it is about the style like. There’s different ways to describe it, but maybe not in the terms your used to. Photography is very subjective, what you feel is traditional, could be light and airy to someone else. The point is you like what you see.

Now keep in mind what your picking is what you get. Not to say that you can’t request a shot of a skyline or a photo with your favorite aunt. The style is what I’m getting to. If you ask a photographer to take a photo you found on pinterest. It’s like making a recipe you found online, it’s fine, although it’s like a mexican chef making italian dish, it’s not the same, it’s not really his or her thing. They shine through what they like doing.

Personality
So let’s get to know who’s behind the camera. There is something to seeing if you mesh with the individual taking pictures. Can you imagine someone so serious and boring making you smile? It could also be someone so loud and outgoing only to make the most reserved person cringe internally and grind their teeth out of fear. In some ways this is like dating. Now you don’t need to fall in love with the person so much that professionalism doesn’t matter, but you’re getting married and not working with a boring substitute teacher. Beular, Beular, ...Beular.

The people I’ve connected with have brought out some great shots, which creates a great experience and good vibes all around. There's something being comfortable in your own skin with the person you trust. Guards are left down and all you have left is just being yourself, which as all you want to convey in your photos.

Availabilty
Hopefully you picked a date already at this point. You need that info before you work with any vendor really. The variables on someone being open for your date are across the board, and you have to be ready for it. This can be vendors in all areas. They might be barely booked starting the year off, and then slowly start booking as time progresses. They might even be booked 2 years in advance. Even though they may have said they are open for your day, unless you put down a deposit, it can change literally within hours. Yup. So if you have that specific photographer you know for a fact you’d like to work, you might want to be ready to move forward. Then all is left for you to give the A OK.

Booking
Booking with down payment for the vendor is very normal. It secures the day for both parties. We need as much as a guarantee as you, that we will be your photographer and you will be our client for that day. Photographers don't always have the luxury to wait around for a decision. Although at this point in your selection, you’ll have gone through the research, comparisons, eliminations, consultations, that when it’s all said and done, you’ve come out with the photographer that will put those heartfelt moments in the images you’ll cherish for a long time. The only thing left to do is to count the down the days to your special event.