A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

First Things First

You are newly engaged, still basking in the glory of this new season of life--the every day congratulations, the constant ring admiration, the gushing over your "fiancé" as he stands in the kitchen cooking, the late night pinterest planning. It's all glitz and glamour. Then comes the wedding planning, and suddenly all this elated excitement becomes riddled with an overflowing inbox full of talented wedding vendors, and endless list of to-dos in the midst of everyday life. It can be A LOT, and it can be overwhelming. (My next thought is Hello wedding planner, but that's for a different blog post:). )

By now you've nailed down your date and venue, but what is the next most important vendor? Your wedding photographer. I'm not confident that all couples realize just how important the wedding photographer is, or just how much time a couple spends with their photographer on their wedding day. Realistically, you spend more time with your photographer than almost anyone else on your wedding day. Period. Therefore, if you want the best experience on your day, you want to choose a photographer who is a good fit, who's personality you like, who you think will not only provide you with your incredible heirloom photos, but will also add to the experience of your wedding day in a beautiful way. It's the second half of this equation that often gets overlooked, the images AND the experience.

And in sea of talented Georgia wedding photographers, here is a step by step way to narrow it down and feel good about your chosen wedding photographer.

1.) Editing Style

The first thing you need to do is nail down your preferred style. Are you drawn to light and airy? Dark and moody? Color? Contrast? Film? There are tons of different photography editing styles, and it is important to narrow that down. Every photographer has(or they should have) a signature style, one they have honed in on. Which styles stop your scroll the most?

PRO TIP: Choose a style you can see yourself loving 10, 20 or even 30 years from now. Trends fade. We as individuals evolve, as well as our taste. These are images that you will have in frames forever, that your children's children will see. These images will survive for generations. I strongly encourage not choosing trendy styles that will date your photos 10 years from now.

2.) Photographing/Posing Style

What is the photographer's approach to the wedding day? Are they a documentary wedding photographer?(think journalistic-style, hands off, exactly as it occurs) or are they more of a fine art wedding photographer(think emotionally driven, refined story-telling with a focus on aesthetic and details)? Some photographers approach as a fly on the wall, documenting things as they happen in a journalistic manner. Some take majority lead, ensuring the most beautiful lighting, the most flattering angles etc. Others are in-between, with a combination of guided posing & candid capturing. In my opinion the in-between is the sweet spot for a couple of different reasons: 1.) When in a pinch timeline-wise(timelines RARELY flow exactly on point from start to finish on wedding day), a wedding photographer who can step in with an efficient posing system means you can get a variety of images in a short amount of time. It's not left up to chance and a prayer. This photographer can also ensure you are posed in your most flattering ways, and 2.) That same photographer can read situations and step back to capture moments as they unfold without intervention. Perfect combination.

PRO TIP: Ask your photographer how they approach their wedding day---do they having a posing system?

PRO PRO TIP: Ask your photographer if they offer a wedding photography timeline, aka they aren't just winging it on one of the most important days of your lives. If it were my wedding, I would want someone to do a little bit of prep and have a plan of action that works with my Wedding Planner's timeline.

3.) Personality

I mean do you like them? Are they happy & excited for you? Are they funny? Are they introverted? Are they quiet? Are they outgoing? Do you love talking to them? Do you struggle to connect? Does it seem like they love what they do? Does it feel like a budding friendship or a transaction?

I'm an Athens Georgia wedding photographer, and I can say that that not every couple that comes my way is going to be a perfect match. Usually I can tell off the rip whether we align or not, especially with my ideal couples--but this is typically confirmed through a zoom call. I do believe there is a great photographer personality match for each specific couple, it is just a matter of what you are looking for, and who you are. Ultimately, you want someone that will ADD to your wedding day, someone that will amplify the good feelings, radiate positivity, subdue the angst, excite with energy. Your experience matters, and it is SO important to choose the wedding photographer that doesn't just talk about their images and their work, but also talks about YOUR experience, and what they will bring to the table on your wedding day.

PRO TIP: Look for experience-based reviews on their website, do the reviews mention how the Bride FELT in addition to her incredible images that she received?

PRO TIP: Read their about me on their website!

Final Thoughts

Choosing your wedding vendors can be overwhelming. Sorting through the noise, searching all corners of the internet, you don't have to do it alone. The helping process begins well before wedding day, starting with a list of recommended Athens Georgia wedding vendors at your inquiry from me. I hope this post can assist you in making your wedding photographer decision! Leave a message below of more posts you would like to see. Happy wedding planning Brides & Grooms!

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