The Best Tips for Finding a Wedding Photographer

There’s no need to stress about finding the best photographer thanks to these helpful tips from local professionals.

Photo by Randi Voss Photography

Planning a wedding can be a stressful time, but finding a wedding photographer doesn’t have to be. We talked to some local wedding photographers who gave us their best tips for finding someone to capture your perfect day.

Photo by Goldstein Photography

Ask Friends and Family about Their Wedding Photographers

If you don’t know where to start, most photographers get their clients from referrals, so ask around about others’ experiences with their photographers.

While social media and websites can be a good tool to look at photos, they “can be misconstrued,” says Lynne Goldstein, owner of Goldstein Photography. Just because a photographer has a great Instagram presence or beautifully crafted website, does not mean they are the best photographer, she explains.

Photo by Goldstein Photography

“I do not suggest searching on Google just generic search terms,” says Amber Belveny, owner of Amber Marie Photography. “The ranking in Google is not going to give you the best photographer; they’re just going to show you the photographer that spends the most money on advertising.”

Instead, she recommends using search terms “more specific to your venue” to find a photographer that has shot a wedding similar to yours. 

Photo by Annie O'Neill Photography

Meet with the Photographer in Person

If possible, it is important to meet face-to-face to see if you vibe with the photographer, says Belveny. 

“We’re going to be there with you throughout the whole entire day. We’re very much a part of the process, more than just taking the photos,” she says.

Photo by Annie O'Neill Photography

You should come prepared with questions and a list of what you want for your wedding day, says Annie O’Neill, owner of Annie O’Neill Photography. She also recommends having an engagement shoot with the photographer first, if you can, to make sure you like their style.

“Think about how you see the life of the photos throughout your marriage,” says Randi Voss, owner of Randi Voss Photography. “[You want] long term happiness with the photos.”

Photo by Amber Marie Photography

Decide on Your Budget

“Cost should be your last thing to rate a photographer on. It’s definitely worth it to know you definitely get what you pay for for photography,” says Belveny.

You should have an idea of what packages you want and how much you're willing to pay. Some packages include products, such as DVDs, albums or the rights to all images, while others only include the photographer with add-ons priced a la carte. Goldstein recommends finding someone that is full service and will stay until the end of the night — that’s when some of the best memories are made and the best photographs taken, she says.

Photo by steven dray photography

“If a photographer charges more, they usually have more experience,” says Steven Dray, owner of Steven Dray Photography. He says to look for someone with a good workflow and experience in weddings in particular.

Photo by Amber Marie Photography

Know What You Want 

Goldstein says you should “hire professionals versus bargain hunting” because you should be fully confident in your vendors and your day. Find a professional that has a routine but can still make the day special for the client. “Hire someone you trust to do their job,” Voss reiterates.

Have a shot list or a name list prepared of the people and moments you want photographed, but trust that the photographer can find the best moments and photos organically, says O’Neill.

At the end of the day, the photography is what you have left from your wedding — “you can’t relive your day,” says Goldstein. Think about how important the photography is to you and find the photographer who will give you the best experience and product.

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