I’m probably a little biased but I think picking a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make about your day. Few things can make or break your wedding – and the way you remember it – like the person who takes your photos. But the decision can be incredibly hard. Believe me, I get it.
There are loads of articles floating around giving advice on what to ask a potential photographer. How many photos will I get? How do you back up your photos? Do you have insurance? And while all those are important and certainly worth asking, I’d encourage you to go a little bit deeper than that.
Photographers are a dime a dozen these days and a whole lot of them are turning out incredible work. If you want light and bright shots – there’s a photographer (or several hundred) who can do that. If you’re into a darker, moodier vibe? It’s the same deal. So how in the hell do you chose?
I’m here to tell you that at the end of the day it comes down to more than just the photos.
Of all the vendors you choose for your wedding or elopement, your photographer is the one you will be spending the most time with. They’ll be hanging out with your friends while you all get ready, following you around like paparazzi for six or eight hours, and wrangling your drunk uncle when he doesn’t want to take another photo. If you’re having an adventure elopement and the plan is to say your vows on top of a mountain with just the two of you (which is totally legal in Colorado, by the way!), your photographer will be 1/3rd of the people that are there.
You’re going to be spending a ton of time together so it’s important that you click.
I’ve been involved in dog rescue off and on for the better part of a decade. There’s a saying in the rescue world that goes something like “not every dog is right for every person but every dog has a person that is right for it.”. Those might to be the exact words but you get the gist. It applies to wedding photographers too.
If you’re the type of couple who wants everything to be perfect on their wedding day – and defines “perfect” as polished, clean, and formal, I’m probably not for you. And that is totally, TOTALLY ok. There are plenty of photographers who are more than happy to help you capture those memories and at the end of the day you will love their work. They’ll make it look like the high-glam event that it was and you’ll walk away with photos that you love. Everyone will be happy.
If you’re the type of couple who isn’t afraid of getting your dress a little bit dirty for a chance at an amazing shot (or just to watch a killer sunset on the most important day of your life) you want someone who is down with that – and may even encourage it. If you have to pry your friends (and maybe yourself!) off the ski slopes to get them to come to your wedding, you want a photographer who gets it. If you have a dog or kids that might cause some chaos, you want someone who will roll with it – not get flustered.
Obviously you need to figure out if your photographer is legit (that’s a subject for a different day) but once you’ve done your homework I think the decision can come down to two very important questions. Do I love this person’s work? and Is this someone I’d want to have a few beers with?
Because at the end of the day it’s important to connect with your photographer’s work – but also with them as a person.
What do you guys think? Any other advice? I’d love to hear your thoughts!