6 Tips To Help Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer
Congratulations you’re getting married!!! Pop that bottle, jump up and down with excitement, and get to planning all the things. Your dream wedding is just around the corner and it’s going to be stunning!
Real quick, did you ever do this? Dive nose deep inside the plastic bin to dig and dig until you found … THE SHOE… the little white plastic high heel that somehow didn’t always fit on barbies perfect foot.
Then as you positioned Mr. Handsome so elegantly at the foot of the stage you started the precision music and pranced barbies bride tribe down the aisle toward the alter. Then as if it was the first time every time, their she was, as you walked her slowly down the aisle… veil over her face one shoe on because the other found its fate in the vacuum and you placed her in prince charming’s arms.
You rambled some quick “I do’s” and you made them kiss. All while dreaming of the day this would be you. Was this you???? Okay no, maybe just me lmao… WELL Girlfriend if only it were that simple… am I right?
Not today, now there is so much more involved to make this day simply perfect, and guess what? YOU my friend deserve as close to a perfect day as possible!
One of the key elements to making your day perfect is finding someone who can capture it all the way you want.
So with that here are 6-ish Tips… slash that … GUIDE points to help Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer(s).
1. Laugh With Your Photographer
Okay can I be real for one hot second? Like lets rip the bandaid off and talk in depth of WHY this first tip is probably the most important!!!
QUE the flood of photographers you will find as you start to research and hunt down one that is available on your day and their work excites you. Then get ready, if you are on the big ole’ Facebook, you will start to see posts of photographers in your feed…. “like, ummmmm how did you know what I was looking for Zuckerberg???” WEIRD. So why is this so important, and overwhelming but OH So Exciting?
The individuals you choose to capture your day are about to become GOLD status for you and your new family. They are capturing raw, intimate moments, that if you have any doubt of uncomfortableness around them (yep totally just made a word up!) then it will show!
So ask, does this photographer(s) make you laugh. Can you picture them with you during your day? Quick note, dates start to fill up 10-18 months out for most photographers. If it’s one that makes the creases of your mouth turn up in excitement, and you have a twinkle in your eye… DON’T hesitate – email, call, and set up that meeting.
2. Mucho Dinero!
We’re friends now right? Like we’re about to talk about one of the most taboo topics and I hope it makes you NOT uncomfortable but gives you an AHHHAAA moment when it comes to why some creative artists cost more than others.
Let me take a guess at your initial budget for photography…. is it about $1500-$2500? If so, it’s no surprise because the average price for a wedding photographer in the state of Arizona is $2200.
We have seen this time and time again, the glazed over eyes, the shock of OMG why does it cost so much to get married, the realization that the person they loved, the feeling they got, just crumbled because of the sticker shock of how much everything costs with some elements being a few $1000 over what they originally imagined.
So why is the #2 tip so important? Because friends, if I can help change your perspective on this craft it will help you select the right photographer that will have you looking back on your photos in awe for years to come. This first step is realizing the budget isn’t set in stone. There are ways to adjust.
CASH MONEY… So why do some photographers cost more than others. They all seem to have “collections, or packages” filled with information on what you will and will not get before, on, and after your wedding day. SO WHY isn’t it as comparable to venues, and why does it seem all over the place.
First, some photographers are hobbyists, and some like us ROCK this thing FULL FREAKING TIME, and it’s the bomb.com. Yep totally just aged my ripe ole 30 self with that comment LOL>!
No but seriously, this is probably the first question that should be asked. Do you shoot weddings full time? Do you take a limited number of weddings per month? On average how many weddings do you shoot a year. If you value attention to detail, customer service, and quick turn around… then this my friend will be the photographer who costs MORE.
On average a full time photographer will have starting prices anywhere from the mid $2000s and higher. This isn’t because they want to gouge you, it’s because they value TIME both yours and their own. They want to provide you with something you can never get back .. a visual story of your wedding day.
You’re going to see a pattern. Some will include prints, albums, digital items… Think about what’s most important to you and ask them if they provide that or will work with you. You can negotiate anything, all you have to do is ask.
Other questions to consider. How is the process of working with them? Do they provide a way to plan your day with them, or do they wing it?
We like to take all of our couples on a journey. From the moment they say “Yes” to us as their photographers, we plan! This helps to make sure they have nothing to worry about. From the creation of their heirloom, to the shot list of their day… even down to a custom timeline that will support them ensuring everything stays on time.
We provide them an experience that evokes emotions, because have you ever looked back at a photo, and remembered a feeling? That’s what we want to create for you, a feeling of excitement and trust… and to watch the crease of your lips turn up again in a smile, as you see all your wedding planning come together and can relive your magical day.
3. To ENGAGEMENT or not to ENGAGEMENT?
“She already said YES, so why do we need photos taken again? This is not a plot to exploit more money or time from you. This is, by far, going to be a determining factor, if shooting with someone is GOLD or not.
Picture this… shooting with a photographer during an engagement session, is like test driving a car. You read the reviews, you love the images, now is it going to be your dream car/photographer? Okay maybe a bad analogy LOL but literally only thing I can muster up to show you how important it is to have a test run prior to your day.
You receive a private, one on one experience with your love, and the photographer has zero distractions with outside guests, wedding day timelines, and other factors at play. They can focus on you, prompting you to pose as natural as possible, while showing the perfect amount of affection.
PLUS you get images that are professional, that you can use for a plethora of things, i.e. Save the Dates, Announcements, Bridal shower, and reception decorations. We have even seen this session turned into a guest sign in book, where questions prompt guests to leave funny and witty comments to love on the newlyweds.
All in all, we value this time with you, it’s a part of the journey of wedding planning so why not bask in the moment, get all dolled up and dapper, and have fun sharing your love with the world. Does your prospective photographer offer an engagement session, do they have knowledge about it and encourage it? Ask… it’s the perfect test drive.
4. The art is in the Details
Okay it’s true, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a photographer, but how do you know if one is in fact just a good price tag or an all out work of art and a dream to work with.
Through years of shooting, we have found that NO wedding is the same and every single one is a unique experience filled with love, laughter, and memories to be captured. There is a very special art when it comes to taking an image that is NOT planned and during a moment that is fast paced. Throw in timelines and waiting on others… life and things that happen. It can be hectic, and smooth all in the same moment.
Tooting my own horn here for a second. We have seen it all… NO JOKE from the Best Man being MIA, to the bride who just found out she is expecting and is SICK… to deciding at the last second they need to see each other before they walk down the aisle.
We have learned to be flexible, and appreciate the story that is unfolding. I don’t try and fit your day into the stereotypical box and make something of it that it isn’t. Yes, I will guide you on what’s next with your photo opportunities, but I also can see the signs when you have had enough and you need to settle the nerves and walk away. Understanding those moments throughout a day and being able to go with the flow and embrace the chaos allows the details of the day to unfold naturally and it allows for those authentic moments to be captured.
How does this person work under pressure, both kinds – excitement and craze. Are they someone who can handle flexibility? If you don’t know ASK.
5. FIRST LOOK … what is this?
Staying on trend is huge in the photography world. OKAY on trend doesn’t mean the latest edit style… it’s the list of what opportunities you can have for photos during your wedding. One of these is a first look, just the two of you, an intimate moment after you both get dressed where your Groom can check you out without 100’s of eyes all staring at you for the first time as well.
You can touch and hold each other, pray together, laugh and cry. It’s hands down one of my favorite moments to capture during a wedding.
We have been told time and time again from the Groom’s we have captured, that this moment was an addition to the aisle moment. It didn’t take away from that traditional aisle first glance but in fact added to it.
These are options we want for you. This is from the experience of shooting weddings over and over again. This is part of your story, and we will help you plan the aspects to make it perfect, and to capture it all as you see it should.
6. Client Testimonials
Take a look at a few client testimonials. Testimonials provide a great way to see from another Bride and Grooms perspective as to what stood out to them.
This is one of the biggest moments of your life and we love celebrating it together! You can find our client testimonials on Facebook, wedding wire, our home page, and google.
We hope these tips serve you well as you continue on your wedding planning journey. If you would like to talk more about wedding photography or just simply grab some tacos and talk about your day email us at [email protected] or call 661-483-6469.
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