5 Things You NEED to look for in a Wedding Photographer

Finding the perfect wedding photographer doesn't have to be a nightmare, but so often, it is! I want you to make the best decision for your big day so I've put together a list of 5 things to look for in a photographer to make it easier for you! 

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1. Photos that make you SWOON. Do their photos look posed and stiff or organic and natural? I'm begging you. Don't pick a photographer who's photos don't make you feel something when you look through their website or social media sites. Find a photographer who you absolutely love, talk to them, and start a conversation about shooting your wedding. Even if you think they might not be available or might be out of your price range, give it a chance. Tell them why you like their work, and talk about your budget. Sometimes it can pay off! A lot of the time, I'm willing to work with payment plans or make a custom package for a bride if our visions really line up and we both value the same visual happiness. It never hurts to be open and honest! (But please be respectful. Don't undervalue the price of your photographer because you want free stuff. HERE is a great article about why photography is so expensive).

2. A contract! When talking to a photographer, make sure that you will have a contract. It's there to protect you and your photographer and usually has a lot of helpful information in it! If you're looking at a photographer who doesn't have a contract, run the other way. You need to know you're protected in any situation. You don't want to just book someone and have the chance of them not showing up to your special day. 

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3. A friendYou'll probably look around at dozens of different photographers websites over the course of your search. You should be able to see their personality all over the place; from their website all the way to their instagram and facebook page. That same personality should be evident in the first few email exchanges. Pay attention to that. If you don't think that you would mesh as friends with your photographer, you probably shouldn't book them. You want to feel relaxed and comfortable around them throughout your wedding and any portrait session you might book with them. If it's not super clear, ask to grab a cup of coffee with them, jump on FaceTime, or at the very least give them a call. I don't book anyone without talking to them first because if you're going to get the best photos from your wedding, you have to be happy with the one person who follows you around. all. friggin. day. We're gonna get cozy

4. A good listener. If you hire a photographer that only talks about him or herself, then you have another thing coming. Usually that type of vendor has their own agenda and aren't really interested about YOU. I've heard so many sad stories of the bride and groom hating their photos, or being put in an awkward situation because their photographer didn't listen to their needs. If you don't feel valued and pursued by your photographer, then chances are you're not going to be happy with your photos. 

5. Honesty. If your photographer just wants to make a sale, run far away. They should make you feel comfortable and you need to be able to trust their opinion. If a bride wants to book with me, but I don't think we're a good fit, I'll refer her to another photographer who can make her happy! The last thing you want to do is get into a relationship with a vendor as important as a photographer and not love the photos. You'll cherish these forever. Don't make a mistake in picking someone who doesn't value the same things you do! 

Have anything to add to this list? Put it in the comments below and share!