You just got engaged! Yay! Congratulations! I'm sure you are still beaming and excited to start on your wedding or elopement plans. It may be as you start to dive into the world of wedding planning that you get overwhelmed. There is a lot of information out there! It's easy to get hit in the face with all the options, price points, packaging, and timelines that are going to start coming at ya. But it just so happens, I've been to a lot of weddings. And while I'm not a wedding planner, I can definitely help guide you with some tips on how to find a wedding photographer who's work you not only admire, but whom you connect with and adore. I've got your back. Check out the steps below on how to find a wedding photographer, just right for you, before you even start asking them questions.
1. Do a little Day Dreaming | It's hard to choose options if you don't know what kind of wedding you want to have. So take a little time and daydream about what is the perfect wedding for you and your partner. Keep a journal and write it all down. Outside or Indoors? Local or destination? Small guest list or big list? It's okay if you don't have your colors, or theme, or exactly what you want in mind. That will all come! Getting a good idea of what you want the overall event to feel like is going to help you hone in on who you want photographing it.
2. Book Your Venue First | Say what?? Yep. Choose and book your venue first. The venue you have in mind might be in high demand and only be available on certain dates. Once you have your venue booked you know what date to ask your photographer if they are available. Some venues also have restrictions on which photographers are allowed OR may have a photographer included in their packaging that is the only option to use. You may be cool with this or it may make you change your venue if you have a photographer in mind. Gathering this information will be vital in filling your photographer in and seeing if they are available for your date.
3. What type of photography do you love? | Do you love light and airy? Dark and moody? Colorful and fun? Start looking around on Pinterest and Instagram for photos that make your heart skip a beat. Then get real with yourself about what you want, in your heart of hearts, for your photos to look like. As yourself what is most important for your wedding photos? Killer romantic photos of the two of you? Amazing and fun reception photos? Vogue magazine posed group shots? There's no right or wrong answer!
4. Do Your Research | Okay, so now you know what you want! Yay! Go you. Do your research and start finding a photographer who's photos make you scream, "I've got to have them!" You know who they are. They are the ones you're fan girling over on Instagram and the first feed you find yourself scrolling through day in and day out. You have options. You can find someone who is local, or if you truly love someone and they aren't in your venue area, most people travel! Compile your top 3 or 5 list of photographers and send out requests to see who is available for your date and what they offer.
5. Ask Questions | Next week I'm going to give you a ton of questions and tips to ask your photographer that will help you know if you connect with them and what kind of experience you are going to receive. I pride myself on offering my clients the most amazing experience EVER and I want us to truly connect because lets face it, we're going to be spending a lot of intimate time together that day. If you are just looking at who is in your budget and who is going to get the job done, then I'm not your gal, and some other photographers might not be either. If you are pumped and ready to give all the high fives, then check out next weeks blog post for those questions.
6. Invest in your Photography | I'm going to say it again...INVEST IN YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY. I'm not just saying this because I'm a wedding photographer guys. I have had so many friends or family have a horrible experience with their photographers that either ruined the vibe of their day, OR they didn't love their photos. When your dress has been preserved, and you are used to the feel of those rings on your fingers, you are not going to remember those tiny details that made your day. You're not going to remember how you scrunched up your nose each time your partner made eyes at you, or that they put icing on your nose before feeding you cake, or that your dress was dirty and covered in leaves from dancing your heart out. If you have a truly great photographer though, they will capture these things and these memories will be with you always. A great photographer answers your questions before you have them, guides you along this journey, makes you comfortable and empowered, and loves on you the whole time. It is worth the money. It is worth making it a priority. Don't short change your love story.
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Beth Bowman is an intimate wedding, destination, and elopement photographer with a heart for adventure based in Lexington, Virginia. She thrives on awkward, intimate, and authentic moments. Her mission is to document moments of love and light that they may encourage and inspire others during hard times--that love is the only true adventure. Her style is romantic, creative, and genuine. She believes in getting out in the rain, head back laughs, taking risks, and brave love stories.