Need help picking the right photographer? Here are 7 east steps for you.
When you’ll start searching for a wedding photographer in New-York, you will quickly notice just how many websites you’ll come across. We are everywhere. And our number keeps growing. We are an invasive species!
You will probably get overwhelmed with the many choices offered to you so I decide to write this little blog post to help refine your search a bit so you can choose the perfect wedding photographer for you.
1. Have your venue and price point down
Before you start your search, you should book your venue. That will set your wedding date in stone. Without that major criteria, it will be impossible for us to tell you whether or not we can be there for your wedding. Second, set a budget. And a realistic one. Price will be the major deciding factor in all your wedding-related decisions, and you’ll need to have a good understanding of how much things cost to avoid disappointment. To give you a very rough idea, good wedding photography coverage should not cost you under $3500 for a full day (8 hours) of coverage in New York State. If this gave you instant cold sweats, I encourage you to read this extensive guide, as it will help you understand why wedding photography costs so much in New-York.
2. Know what style you want
There are a myriad of wedding photography styles out there, and you’ll want to know what you are looking for before you can even zoom on any wedding photographer in particular. That’s pretty great, because it will give you lots of options to choose from. But it can also make things a bit confusing! Are you more into traditional or photo-journalistic wedding photography? Are you drawn to darker, moodier images, or to bright photographs with an airy feel?
I wrote a little guide highlighting several major wedding photography styles so if you are unsure of what wedding photography style you want to go for, check it out HERE. It should help!
3. Hit up your social circle
Now that you have an idea of what style you want, it’s time to start researching actual photographers. Maybe you’ve even found a couple you already love while looking for the various styles of wedding photography out there, and you want more options. And there is nothing better than real life recommendations! By asking past brides and grooms for their recommendations will assure you great and trusted service. Nobody would recommend their vendor if they were not happy with them, so these recommendations are gold.
You can also ask your like-minded married friends, coworkers, and acquaintances for their recommendations. “Like-minded” is the keyword here, because you’ll want the recommendations to come from people who are more likely to share the same inspirations and vibe as you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to people you might not know so well; former brides and grooms know how stressful picking vendors can be, so they will probably be more than happy to help you.
4. Get to know your photographer
Once you have a solid list of wedding photographers that check all the boxes, it’s time to learn about them on a more personal level. You will be spending lots of time with your wedding photographer on your big day, so you will want to find someone that makes you comfortable!
First, head to the “About” or “Information” page on their website. Some photographers like to get very personal and detailed in this section, and some like to keep things succinct and efficient. This is where you will get your first glimpse into their personality but also their way of working. You might also find out that you have things in common, which should help you connect with them ahead of the first contact. This is also where you should find information about their pricing.
Look at their Instagram and Pinterest as well, these will help you connect a bit more with your prospective photographers.
5. Time to write some emails!
If you are dead set on one photographer after these first 4 steps, email them asap to make sure they don’t get snatched by someone else. But if you want to email a few (or even a bunch), don’t feel bad about it; we know you guys are testing the waters and comparing quotes.
The first contact is ver important, so make sure to include your wedding date and a bit of information about you and your wedding. Mention your photographer by name, and avoid the generic “hi” or “hello”. Wedding photographers need to feel excited and engaged with you too! Finally, ask to see a complete price list. This is when you will start weeding out some photographers that are out of your price range.
6. Meet your prospective photographer(s)
Maybe the previous step got you really connected to one photographer in particular. That’s great! If they are available on your wedding date, are within your price range, their style matches your tastes and you liked speaking to them by email, you probably found the perfect photographer. You don’t need to meet a bunch of them; once you found a good fit, stop looking (just like with your wedding dress) (or, you know, your significant other!).
Whether you are set on one photographer or several, you should meet them. The first live contact is important, so be sure to meet them physically or via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or by phone.
Have a list of questions to ask them, but don’t overdo it. You’ll want to let the conversation unfold organically. However, there are important questions you should cover. Here are a few:
- Ask them about their booking process: what does the contract look like? What is included in it?
- Ask them about payments: what is the deposit and when is the balance due? How do they want to get paid?
- Ask them about the photo rights; although it is super rare, some photographers don’t include high-resolution images in the price you agree upon! So make sure that you get downloadable high-res images.
Words of wisdom: go with your guts
This guide covers all the important steps you should take to make the best decision. But like everything else in life, you also need to trust your instinct. You are choosing a human to come and capture your day of love; your heart needs to have a say.
There! You now have 7 easy steps to find the perfect photographer for you. It might feel like a lot, but don’t worry, you’ll make it in one piece. And if you want a bit more advice on how to get the best out of your photographer, here is a little article I wrote for the Greatist!