During my time, in a plethora of wedding groups, I kept seeing the same question asked over and over again… “Do I reallyyyyyy need a photographer for the wedding?” THE ANSWER IS YES. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. YES.
Why? Why is it so important to spend money on a photographer? Simple.. So you have something to look back on in 20 years from now, to share with your future kids/grandkids/friends, etc. Trust me when I tell you, the night goes by before you can blink your eyes and then it is all a blur. I literally don’t remember getting any photos with anyone but my bridal party and family. I can’t wait to get my photos back and see me interacting with all my friends and extended family. I’m not saying you need to go hire the top wedding photographer that shoots celebrity weddings, but something better than your cousin Susie’s iPhone is the goal here.
But, more importantly than just having a photographer, it should be the one that is right for you. Let me tell ya… YOU WILL NOT CLICK WITH EVERY VENDOR YOU MEET. That is okay, don’t just hire someone just to hire someone. This person is capturing the most important day of your life. You should feel comfortable around this person. That’s not to say you need to be BFF’s but you should certainly trust your photographer. Having an engagement shoot first with the same photographer that’s doing your wedding is a great way to meet and bond with your photog before the big day!
If hiring a photographer is not in your budget, there are a few different approaches you can take.
- Reach out to your local college’s photography department and see if there is anyone willing do to it for free. Many beginners will do it for free/very inexpensive, in trade for building their portfolio.
- Look for people in your area that are wanting to trade services for portfolio building. You can find these people on craigslist.
- Ask around – a friend of a friend might just be a photographer willing to work with you!
Got the budget but don’t know where to start?
- Websites like The Knot and Wedding Wire are great starting points. READ THE REVIEWS. Most people are brutally honest with their reviews.
- Ask around – maybe you saw your friends wedding pics and loved them, ask for their photographer! Vendors get a lot of their business from word of mouth! Don’t be shy to ask!
- Find your style – do you like photos that are more light and airy or do you like the deep, dark romantic look? Do you like photographers that edit your pictures a lot or do you like very minimal editing? Once you decide your style, start looking for photographers that shoot in that style.
- Don’t be afraid to contact someone NOT in your area! Most photogs will travel and some will do it for a great deal!
- Look at the packages they offer! Most photogs probably won’t have their pricing on their website, but you can always email them and ask for it. You don’t have to get the highest, most expensive package! If you love a photog and really want them, most are willing to work with you on price.
Questions to ask your potential photographer
This is a FANTASTIC all in one resource from Here Comes The Guide that I absolutely LOVE! This has all the questions you could possibly think about asking in one easy form. Print one out for each photographer you are interviewing so you have each one’s information separately.
Last, but not least, I’d like to give a HUGE shout out to my photographer! In my opinion, she is THE BEST OF THE BEST. I may be bias, but seriously, check out her work! Her name is Chelsea Gould and her company is called Finding Light Photography. She is based out of S Florida but travels frequently for weddings, in and out of state. She is truly incredible! Not only is her creativity unmatched, but her personality is the greatest! It’s near impossible not to love Chelsea! Here’s her website if you don’t believe me https://findinglightphotography.com/