On Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s there’s a lot of people that get engaged. It’s one of those things that happen each and every year. Scrolling through Facebook, Marta and I saw a couple of people on our feed that got engaged. Congrats to them! I’m sure that the search for the perfect wedding experience will ensue. After that, the search for the best wedding photographers in Orlando (or destination wedding photographers) starts. We’ve talked about what makes a great wedding photographer. Narrowing it down further, how to choose your wedding photographer? That’s a whole different thing.
How to choose your wedding photographer?
See, everyone can talk day in and day out about their wedding pictures and how awesome they are. In the end, though, how do you go about it? What makes one wedding photographer more valuable over the other one? What makes them worth the investment? I’m going to talk about a few key points on how to choose YOUR wedding photographer. It doesn’t matter if you choose to work with us or not, just take these things into consideration when you go looking for the right wedding photographers.
1. Pick a Photography Style
Every photographer has a unique style to their work. Over time, there have been a couple of styles that have solidified which way a photographer prefers shooting weddings in. How to choose your wedding photographer can take time. This can quickly help narrow down the search.
For a long time, photographers have stuck to photojournalistic. It’s more or less the same thing as the documentary. There are very little, if any, posed pictures in your wedding photos. They strive for more of a candid and natural look to the images. This is the style that Marta and I strive for the most. We want to photographs to show real emotions and tell the story of the day.
This style is where the wedding photographer will take full control over every single image. The best way to describe this style is to think of your parents or grandparents wedding album. Everything is going to be very posed and there’s going to be very little candid photos. The more creative shots in this style is simply different backdrops.
When thinking of Fine Art, I almost immediately think of muted colors and editing. The thing with this style is that it’s very much like the documentary style, but the photographer has more control. It’s this awesome mix of documentary with a more pristine eye. Photographers show the day as it unfolds, but not in the exact way you see it. The day is photographed in the way that the photographer sees it. In essence, the photographer has a little bit more control.
2. Set a Budget with Flexibility
Let’s get this one out of the way. Price, fee, investment, or whatever you call it, the money that you pay to your wedding photographer is what I’m talking about here. I will be 100% honest here. According to Every Last Detail, the average wedding photographer cost is $3,743. According to XO Group (the Knot), the average wedding photographer cost is $2,618.
Does that mean that photographers are going to charge that much? No. They might charge more or less. We’ve seen photographers charge around $3,000 to upwards of $20,000. It all depends on what you want.
The numbers The Knot and Every Last Detail have are good numbers on where to start budgeting for professional wedding photography, even in Orlando, FL. Anything significantly lower might seem odd.
Even if they’re having an insane sale, consider why? There’s a reason that there are wedding horror stories. Do your research and find a reputable wedding vendor.
3. Get a Unique Wedding Experience
I feel like this one is crucial. I firmly believe that the mental and physical state of one’s body and mind affects their creative processing and thinking. In other words, burnout is real folks. The last thing that I want to do is to go to a wedding and not be creative. To take “safe” shots for the sake of “getting it done”.
If a studio is taking 80+ weddings a year, then run the other way. It doesn’t matter how much they talk, they won’t be invested in you two as a couple and as a unique experience. Busier isn’t always better. This is important, because some photographer get booked really early.
Make sure that you get a unique wedding experience. One that will take care of you.
4. Make Sure you all Click
A wedding photographer will spend more time with you on your wedding day than any other vendor. They will spend more time with you than your mom. Heck, they might even spend more with you than your soon to be husband.
How do you choose your wedding photographer? With so many out there? It’s not just epic wedding photographs, but the personality. If you think a photographer is a complete and total jerk, then don’t hire them. Remember to ask them the right questions. Ask around and see what other people are saying about them.
You should have some sort of relationship with them. They’re there for the majority (if not all) of the most important days of your life. Make sure you click with them. It will make your wedding day stress-free.
5. Ask for Wedding Galleries
When looking at how to choose a wedding photographer, remember that the proof is in the pudding. Ask a potential photographer to show you a full wedding album. Most photographers today have online galleries of weddings. Look for specific moments that you want to be captured on your wedding day. How to choose your wedding photographer shouldn’t be hard. This is an easy way to filter the professionals from the amateurs.
6. What are your rights with the photos?
Make sure that you get an exact explanation of what you can or can’t do with the wedding photos once they’re delivered. A lot of people think that “rights to the pictures” and “print release” are the same thing. The truth is that they’re totally different. Make sure everything is in the contract, and ask if something doesn’t make sense. For us, they’re your pictures, so why should you be able to use them.
7. Destination Weddings and Elopements
If you’re eloping or having a destination wedding, then ask if there are any additional travel fees. Every wedding photographer is different. Some will include the travel costs in their packaging, while others charge accordingly. Ask what kind of coverage you’ll be getting while you’re at your destination and see if you could also have a destination engagement session.
These are just some of the points on how to choose your wedding photographer. Everyone has different tastes, styles, and values. I just want to make sure that I say that 20+ years down the line, these images will be priceless. Make sure that they are something that you treasure, and that your experience will be exactly what you want it to be.