Brides, I've been there. Right where you are. Newly engaged with the daunting task of wedding planning ahead of you, nervous, yet weirdly excited to take the first step into that process. It can be so exciting at first: Pinteresting to get decor ideas, choosing colors, asking your best friends to stand by your side. Then the more you dive deep into wedding planning, the more the fun seems to get sucked away. You start dealing with tricky seating charts because Aunt Helen hates Aunt Sue so they can't sit by each other, groomsmen who can't seem to all get the same color of pants making you want to rip your hair out, and lastly, every single person having an opinion about your big day to the point you ask yourself, "Who's wedding is this again?"
Trust me. I know what you're going through. Between planning my own wedding and photographing many more, I've come to know a thing or two about the wedding planning process. As a wedding photographer, I don't believe my job stops at just taking photos. I'm here to be a resource to bounce ideas off of, help you destress, and assist in making your big day a beautiful reality. So today, I want to give you some helpful tips and advice as you begin planning your wedding...namely, the top 3 questions you must ask yourself when picking your wedding photographer. Since I am a photographer, it only makes sense that we start there, right?
When you begin searching and reaching out to photographers for your wedding, I want you to ask yourself these three questions. Let's dive in.
1) Am I obsessed with their style of photography?
First and foremost, before you ever send an email to a photographer, ask yourself, "Am I obsessed with their work?" Do you love how they pose their couples? Do you like the way they edit? Does your wedding aesthetic match their photography style? Can you see yourself in their images? All of these questions are SO important. Asking yourself these questions before you ever inquire, will save both you and said photographer lots of stress down the road.
To illustrate this even more, here are some examples of different types of clients and photographers who may not be the best fit:
- A bride who loves candid images, but inquires to a photographer whose portfolio is mostly traditional posed images. When you look at a photographer’s portfolio, can you image yourself in the images? How they pose or direct other couples is how they’ll pose or direct you.
- A bride who loves a classic and light style of editing, but inquires to a photographer who edits more dark and moody. Professional photographers are not going to change their style for you or hand over their RAW photos for you to edit yourself. So loving the way they edit is vital.
- A bride who is having an adventurous outdoor elopement, but inquires to a photographer who mainly does indoor, artificially lit, traditional church weddings. This might seem silly, but photographers showcase certain work on their site for a reason. They love that type of work and excel at it. If your wedding doesn’t match up with what is primarily on their website, they might not be the best fit to serve you.
All in all, one style of photography isn’t better than another. Just like one style of wedding isn’t better than another. The beautiful thing about weddings is that every one is unique because YOU are unique. You deserve a photographer whose style aligns with what you envision your day to look like. Trust me, you’ll be so thankful in the long run.
2) Do we click like long lost BFF's?
I think this one might come as a bit of a surprise to most brides, because I don’t think it’s naturally something you think about when inquiring to a wedding vendor. You’re probably thinking, “Why should I be best friends with a person I’m just hiring to document my wedding? Do I need to be best friends with my caterer too?” No. You don’t need to be best friends with your caterer, but I so fully believe you should click like kindergarten bffs with the person you choose as your photographer. Why? Because your wedding photographer is the one person other than your spouse-to-be that will be by your side from start to finish on your wedding day. Do you want to have a random stranger you don’t jive with follow you around all day on the most important day of your life? Yeah…. me neither. Not only that, but your wedding photographer is creating one of the only things on your wedding day that lasts longer than the day of. Your cake will get eaten that evening. Your DJ will play the songs, and people will enjoy them that evening. But your wedding photos? Those are forever. You see, an amazing thing happens when you feel comfortable (or dare I say bff-status) with the person taking those forever photos. You relax. You act like yourself. You are able to let your guard down and fully let them in to capture your love story – your intimacy, your quirks, your raw emotion. Trust me when I say that a bff bride/photographer relationship ALWAYS makes for the best images. If you choose a photographer you don’t naturally click with or relate to, your wedding photos will reflect it.
3) Do I trust this person?
Last but not least, this question is absolutely necessary when choosing your photographer and goes hand in hand with the first two questions. Do you trust this person to use their expertise and talent to capture your wedding in a way that will leave you free to just enjoy your day stress free? Do you trust their skill to deliver for you? Do you trust them as a person to help when needed? I think trust is a no brainer when choosing the person who’s going to be capturing something that only happens once, something as important as your wedding day. Trusting your photographer looks like a beautiful collaboration. Here’s a few examples of what it looks like when a bride DOES trust her photographer:
- She won’t give them detailed page long shot lists she got from Pinterest, because she trusts them to create amazing photos other people will want to pin.
- She’ll plan her timeline around when they recommend the best light is.
- If they suggest something for the sake of the shot, she’ll happily oblige, knowing that they are creating something she will value years from now.
These examples only can happen when a bride fully trusts her photographer, because trust = better photos. Brides, pick a photographer you can trust hands down.
There you have it my dears. I hope this is so helpful to you as you begin wedding planning and searching for your photographer. If you come across a photographer you are interested in having photograph your wedding, please ask yourself these three questions. If your answer to each of these is NOT a resounding YAAASSSS, it might be worth it to rethink your choice. Your future self will thank you profusely.
Now I’d love to hear your thoughts!? If you’re a current bride, did you find this helpful? If you’re a past bride, can you agree? Is there anything else you’d add? If you know of a current bride who would find this helpful, please don’t hesitate to share!
Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and intimate elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.