How To Find An Amazing Wedding Photographer
It’s a question that pops up all too quickly in the planning process: how do you find a wedding photographer? And a really good one at that? Luckily, nabbing an amazing photographer is much easier than checking off other things on your nuptial to-do list (finding daisies in December? Good luck).
Finding the ideal wedding photographer for the most important part of your day is an essential component within the planning process for the big event. It’s as essential as securing the venue or finding the magical, groovy movie star dress. However, the photographs from your wedding are something that lives on and gives back for generations to come. It can be difficult to find a photographer who matches your groove.
To help you navigate the often overwhelming photo galleries, Instagram feeds, and directory listings, I’m sharing my tips for streamlining the process. Whether you’re looking to find a photographer in the San Francisco and Bay Area (hi!) or are reading this from some other corner of the globe, this info will greatly help your hunt.
Here, my five steps that will get you closer to finding the grooviest photographer to suit your wedding groove. Yes, I do like using the word “groove.”
1. Word On The Street From Friends
Word-of-mouth is one of the most tried-and-true methods for finding a wedding photographer, and for good reason. You are actually receiving firsthand experience from someone that you trust. Plus, because you’re getting a recommendation from a friend, you probably will dig the same type of styles.
Itʼs the latest “it” thing. A modern day art gallery. Instagram has made finding a great photographer as easy as one swipe of your finger (check out mine here). You can really get a sense of the photographer’s style. You can also tell how much they are focused on brand by the consistency of their photography grid. In the process, you will be able to get a feel for what you actually want in terms of style from you photographer. You may even realize that what you thought you wanted has changed after digging into their Instagram feed. I also find it may be easier to start here first before diving into websites as that may be too overwhelming. Also, donʼt forget to search through hashtags and even venue locations (photographers often tag a venue’s location in their pics) to explore photographers in your area. For example, in San Francisco, you might search the location tag “Flood Mansion” or the hashtag #sanfranwedding.
3. Head To Their Website
Once you have found your top two to three wedding photographer choices, go to their website and see if they are still consistent with their brand. Examine some of their additional wedding photography and even take a peek at their engagement sessions or non-wedding work. I believe that having more than two choices really takes away from what matters and so you must ask yourself first: do you want a photographer or do you just want someone to take photos?
4. Meet Meet Meet In Person!
This is one tip for finding a wedding photographer I can’t stress enough. Take the time to talk in person if you are able or chat on Skype. Emailing a photographer for just a price list defeats the purpose of personal attention. We live in a world where the way we communicate is losing the human touch. For anything regarding your big day, being able to meet the person and get an honest vibe over coffee is better than simply receiving a price list via email and leaving it at that.
5. Start Pricing
Cool, cats, now we have our budgets, so take this with a grain of salt. This is always everyone’s least favorite part of finding a wedding photographer, but let me tell you something to put your mind at ease. As I said earlier, photography will be passed on for generations. Flowers and food will not. They’re nice things, but photography will transport you back to your special day over and over again. Period.
Wondering what the average price for a wedding photographer in the San Francisco and Bay Area is? Most experienced photographers will be in the range of $3,800 to $5,500. For the super high-end, you will be looking at $7,000 and up. Now, donʼt get caught up in the packages. I feel the industry has done a disservice to customers through packages. It shouldnʼt be all “whatʼs behind door number one” and “here is what you get.” It should be simple and clear. Hours + photographs. Understand that you are paying for experience, quality, personality, and knowledge. So if they are a bit out of your budget, donʼt be afraid to see if a payment plan can be arranged.
There you have it. My five quick tips for finding a good wedding photographer. Got questions? Ready to hash out your dream photo shoot over coffee? Contact me in the comments, on social, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.