Wedding Planning 101 Series: How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

As a wedding planner and wedding designer I am thrilled to share our latest series on wedding planning 101. Over the next few months we will be dishing out wedding planning tips from wedding pros.

Grace + Vine Studios

My first guest post is from the talented graphic designer and photographer, Madison, with Grace + Vine Studios. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Madison on designing my new logo and on an upcoming wedding!  Ever since Madison’s dad put her first camera in her hand, she’s had a heart that beats for great pictures and quality design.

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Madison Grace + Vine Studios

Friends, I’m so excited to be sharing today with you! Sarah asked me to share some of my experience with being a wedding photographer based out of North Carolina. A little background for you first, my name is Madison and I run Grace + Vine Studios, a graphic design and photography studio, as well as my blog, The Wetherills Say I Do.

Getting engaged is such an exciting time! The excitement of calling family and friends to share the good news and being showered at engagement parties and friends wanting to see the ring only lasts for a short while though, before you have to get down to business and start planning. There are five main things people focus on planning at the beginning of an engagement: the date, wedding venue, bridal party, the dress, and the photographer. If you’ve been researching for months before you got engaged, finding the right wedding photographer may be easy. But if you haven’t, it can seem like an incredibly daunting task to try to find the perfect photographer.

how-to-choose-the-right-wedding-photographer

As a wedding photographer and a former bride, I have some tips that should help you narrow down the perfect one!

Style

This is the number one thing to determine when looking for a photographer. Even if you cannot articulate the style you’re looking for, there are going to be photographers that you dislike or like based on how their photos look. There are a few styles that photographers fall into.

traditional-wedding-photographer

Traditional: These are photographers who may do a lot of in-studio photography and for weddings they have specific poses they utilize in their bridal portraits and family shots. A traditional photographer is great for couples who want formal photos with lots of family members or desire to have lots of prints made or even a wedding album made by your photographer (as opposed to taking care of that yourself later on).

photo-journalist-wedding-style

Photo-Journalistic: These photographers focus on catching the little moments throughout the day. They’ll have photos of jewelry laid out for the bride, groomsmen putting on cufflinks, the father of the bride’s arm wrapped around his daughter’s. These photos all montaged together tell the story of the wedding day from start to finish.

artistic-wedding-style

Artistic: Photographers with an artistic style are known to have unique photos that might be detail shots that add to the story of the wedding. They’ll focus on unique angles and capturing creative details from the day.

Budget

This one always hurts. The big B word in wedding planning always stings a little. Here’s the reality though when it comes to wedding photography. You pay for what you get. If quality photography is important to you, you have to make it a priority in your wedding budget. No matter what your priorities are for your wedding, you should be setting a list of them and making them the most important part of your wedding budget.

Personality & Professionalism

After you’ve found a photographer you may like from their photos or website, it’s time to meet. Emailing can be a great way to get a sense of the photographer. Are they prompt? Are they accommodating? Once you’ve emailed a bit and gotten the details out of the way, I highly recommend meeting in person! There’s no better way to figure out if you click with a photographer than meeting in person.

Remember a few things:

-You picked your photographer based on their style, but they should be willing to capture the things you want for your wedding. They may not copy exact Pinterest images, but if in your first meeting they keep pushing their ideas on you over listening to yours.

-If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask! If you’re unsure of anything, ask!

-As a photographer, I highly recommend a first look. For more on my thoughts on a first look you can read my post here! But regardless of if you choose a first look or not, be sure to work with your photographer on a schedule that maximizes your time to take photos. This is a once in a lifetime chance and you will regret not having enough photos of you and your new spouse!

-Make sure you know what’s included in your contract. Many photographers opt for packages that include engagement shoots or a certain amount of hours shooting. Be sure to look over it and know what you should be getting.

Former brides, I’d love to hear your experience picking a wedding photographer! Current bride-to-bes, what’s been your biggest challenge in finding a wedding photographer?

Grace + Vines Studios is known for capturing essence of who people are, whether it’s for a wedding, 1st birthday shoot, or company logo.  Grace + Vines Studios has quickly become a weddings, events, and parties since 2010. “Who you are matters, it matters to us. We’d love to be part of your dream!”

Let Grace + Vine Studios capture the essence of who you are for your big day!

Contact Grace + Vine Studios: Website / Blog

Follow Grace + Vine Studios on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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12 thoughts on “Wedding Planning 101 Series: How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer

  1. These are great tips. We really lucked out almost 8 years ago when we found our photographers through a mutual friend. We really clicked with them and they made our whole experience awesome. We are still close friends and have them do our pictures as a family. Definitely meet with them in person first!

  2. My daughter just celebrated her second anniversary. We had the most fun planning her wedding 2 years ago. We budgeted carefully, scrimped in other areas so we could splurge on the photographer. He was awesome! He listened to her about the shots she wanted and was a huge help throughout the entire wedding day! If he hadn’t been there, I would have never gotten her bustle tied up, he knew exactly how to do it!
    Interview photographers just like interviewing caterers for best results and check their ratings, that is what we learned from the experience.

  3. Daughter #3 will be getting engaged soon and as a photographer herself, she thinks this is THE most important splurge in the budget. She already has her photographer picked out. It was the first thing on her list. Daughter #1 and #2 had great photographers, but daughter #1’s FORGOT (I guess) to take a picture of me (and my beautiful gown) being escorted to my seat!!! 🙂 She had many of the groom’s mom. Did she forget who was paying her? LOL Great read, Madison!

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