So you got engaged, and after hopefully a LOT of celebrating and fun, you start planning and choosing your vendors. And when it comes to a photographer, you’re thinking…I have to LOVE their photos! And it’s so true…you do. But remember, sweet bride…
You’re not JUST paying your photographer for the photos.
So much goes into the process with your photographer and if you will end up deeply enjoying your decision, so today I wanted to share about some of those considerations! The truth is, a lot of wedding photographers are using similar equipment (though I would make sure your chosen person is using a professional camera with TWO recording slots!). We can all learn from the same classes and workshops (though of course how much we have invested in our education varies a lot too). But there is so much that differentiates each of us, and I hope this helps you think through it all a bit!
Beyond JUST the photos and photography package, you are choosing (and paying for):
1). Our ability to pose you well. When you are considering photographers, look closely at the photos in their galleries…do you find them flattering and natural looking? Do they look like poses you could see you and your fiance in?
2). Our skill to find the BEST lighting. What do the photos look like when it’s daytime? Closer to sunset? Does the light seem even to you or are there lots of splotches and or uneven spots that you don’t love?
3). Our editing style. Are the colors muted and soft… or are they too washed out? Do you like the way the skin tones look? Is it too saturated or dramatic for your taste? Your Photographer should have a very consistent editing style where all of their photos look like they were edited by the same person…so you want to decide if it’s a style you LOVE! There are huge differences between the way photographers edit and it will greatly change the look and feel of your gallery!
4). I think this is one of the most important…Our personality. There is NO right or wrong personality type for a photographer, but there are types of personalities that mesh better with YOURS. Remember: Your photographer will spend all day with you…more time than anyone else (honestly!) on your wedding day…so you want someone you really enjoy! Do you prefer someone really calm who was going to make you laugh? Or would you rather the joyful cheerleader type? A quiet onlooker type? Or someone with a big personality that would keep everyone really focused all day? When you check out your photographers website, any videos they have, chat with them, or meet with them in person, you should be able to get a feel for what style of person they are in general- and you want to pick a personality you will mesh with well on a busy, high stress sort of day!
5). Our organization of the day. Some photographers really leave it up to the bride and groom to get everything together and let them know what the day looks like, and some photographers get REALLY involved in every single part of the planning and process. And there is lots in between! How much help do you want? Do you want someone who will take charge and keep things moving the day of, or someone who will feel really relaxed and go with the flow no matter what? Your photographer can tell you how much they help you organize the day, and what they are like the day of– so it’s a good thing to know!
6). The ability to get photos that are really “in the moment”…without interrupting every moment. You can tell by the photos if they feel really “in the moment” or seem really distant/far away. But regardless of the photos, if your photographer is less than 5 ft away the WHOLE day, always right there, never giving any space, super close during the ceremony, etc…that might be less ideal for your style. I have had a lot of brides talk to me about this after their wedding day, and how they felt like I was somehow always there and yet never in the way, and I think it’s something that people don’t always think about BEFORE they choose a photographer- but it’s really important! Part of it is just personal style and personality, and part of it is equipment (if I didn’t have a wide variety of lenses it might be harder for me to be able to give some space but still get great shots). I’d check out reviews from past couples of your potential photographers or ask friends how this felt at their weddings or weddings they have been to!
If you are looking for a longer list of specific questions I highly recommend you as the photographers you are considering, click here! It is one of my most highly viewed blog posts ever! But these are areas beyond photos that you want to consider when looking for a photographer, and when asking your friends about their recommendations!
The photos matter so much…but there is so much more to the story!
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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!).
As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids. I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!
click to learn more about me
You're in the right place! As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business! I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).
I'm so glad you are here! Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business! I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).