How to Choose a Wedding Photographer!

What is the first thing you think about when you get engaged? Yes, your wedding day, picking a dress, your theme, but what’s next??

I’m guessing who you have in mind for your photographer. Or if you have no clue where you start you embark on a search to find the photographer that fits you best. To help your search be more productive and help you hire the photographer that is right for you, I rally my best girls, who yes happen to be photographers, to give me their advise on choosing a photographer.

So here it is straight from the sources themselves and from some of the most talented ladies around.

They are the real MVP’s (Love you all)

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Shelby with Shea Brianne Photography:

“So you’re engaged and you have a vision in your head of how you want this season to go and what you want it to look like. You envision the perfect engagement dress, your hair blowing in the wind, perfect shade of lipstick, and on your wedding day, you want that iconic photo of you two walking back down the aisle after the big kiss, cheering and laughing. What you might not realize, though, is those things aren’t what you really want. What you want is a feeling. You want this season to feel like love: heady, like a rush, beautiful, simple, and heartfelt. You want to feel special, seen, loved on and like the whole world is celebrating with you. You want to feel beautiful, listened to, and understood. You want to feel like someone gets your love story and is as excited about it as you are.

This, my friend, is what you need to keep in mind when choosing a photographer!

When brides tell me what they want, they say things like “beautiful photos,” and of course they will get that, but what they don’t always know is that I am also opening up the conversation to connection with what they truly want. 

Choosing a photographer is less about budget and style and more about finding someone you connect with— someone who understands your vision and who you’ll enjoy working with.

Do research on your options, go on lots of consultations and coffee dates, and then choose the photographer that you know will leave you with the best experience possible!”

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Riley with Riley Whitson Photography:

“My best tips for choosing a photographer are:

-Make sure that you request to see a full wedding gallery so that you know exactly what you would be getting on your wedding day. This will not only give you an amazing and full overview of what to expect in your own gallery, what the photographer's style is like, and if YOU like their style! (If all of those things click, you're well on your way to making a decision!)

-What a lot of couples may not realize, is that you spend a LARGE amount of time on your wedding day with your photographer. (Maybe even more than you spend with your friends and family.) You're literally hiring a paparazzi to tag along for all those special and intimate moments of getting ready, your first look, and bride and groom photos and every thing else too! Choosing someone who you enjoy personally is pretty important, knowing they will be there for all of that. I make it a priority to have a phone call or in-person meeting before booking with couples, because personalities "clicking" is just that important. I want you to feel comfortable and at ease with having me around so that you can enjoy each and every moment of your day. There will already be enough butterflies and nerves on your day and I never want to distract from what is truly important.

-Engagement photos with your wedding photographer are highly encouraged from this photog. (In fact, they are free this year for all Mathews Weddings and Events brides that book me & Sam for their wedding day!) There are a few reasons why: 1. They can help you become more comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day arrives. (Since you'll already be a pro after the engagement photos, it's one less thing to worry about when the big day rolls around.) It is basically a practice session! 2. It can help you get to know your photographer really well and again, it eliminates any "getting to know you" moments from the wedding day and into a more relaxed session. 3. It gives you all sorts of lovely images for your save the dates, invitations, and decor for your wedding day!

-This isn't really advice for choosing a photog, but more for after you do choose a photog: Anyone that you choose will have photographed an enormous number of weddings in their career. Use them as a resource! They will be happy to offer advice on anything from getting ready locations, to DJ's, to honeymoon locations! We've seen it all and we love to help”.

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Mari with Mariana Ziegler Photography:

“Ok my biggest advice for brides and grooms:

Embrace that this day is yours, from beginning to end. Your photographer tends to be the vendor who is spending the most one on one time with you and your family/bridal party throughout your day. Knowing that, pick someone who you feel comfortable with. You may love a photographer’s images and style when looking through a website, they may even fall into a budget you have come up with- but if you end up having personalities that are incompatible that will 100% affect your day in a negative way. You need to find YOUR photographer.

Take me for example: I’m talkative and outgoing, I get to know your family and bridal party, I may even get out on the dance floor with you guys. If you are looking for a photographer who is a ninja bouncing around and never noticed- well I’m not your gal at all. If you are looking for a photographer who will help you bustle a dress, pin boutonnières on groomsmen, make you laugh and remind you to EAT- well then, I’m your gal and let’s be friends”.

There you have it, advice from some of my best gals. Choose a photographer who you click with and can have a blast on your wedding day with. The beautiful images will be there regardless :)

Much love,

XOXO Sam

Samantha Mathews