Here’s the deal: you just got engaged to the love of your life, and the two of you are absolutely over the moon! Although it’s been a couple of months now, your hearts are still pounding, your minds still racing, and your stomachs are still fluttering with butterflies.
While you’d love to spend the rest of your days gushing over the engagement, there’s still the pesky task of planning for the big day. As you begin searching for vendors, it’s important to make sure that you find a wedding photographer worthy of capturing your most precious moments.
After all, these are the memories you’ll want to hold onto forever, so you need a photographer who can truly preserve this day. Keep reading to discover the secret of finding a trustworthy photographer to help tell your love story.
Why It’s Important To Find a Photographer You Can Trust
From beginner-level equipment to sleek cellphone lenses, professional-grade cameras are becoming more and more accessible. When it’s easier than ever to get your hands on a quality camera, what’s the point of hiring a pro that you can trust?
In a world of photographers with ranging talent, customer service, and experience levels, trust is the one thing that you can’t put a price on. On your wedding day, there’s nothing more important than protecting your peace of mind so that you can enjoy the moment.
Hiring a trustworthy photographer means that you can spend less time second-guessing and more time celebrating with the ones you love. For this reason, you’ll want to find a pro that will treat your big day as if it were their very own.
How To Find a Photographer You Can Trust
Review Their Portfolio
If you’re in the early stages of scoping out wedding photographers, this is the perfect place to start. Checking out a photographer’s previous work will give you a great idea of what they’re capable of producing, as well as whether their overall style aligns with yours.
When reviewing their portfolio, we recommend making sure that they have plenty of material from weddings posted. This will show that they’ve got experience handling all of the nuances, challenges, and responsibilities that come with covering events like this.
Former Client Reviews
The next best thing you can do is take a look at the photographer’s reviews. Since these comments are left by real couples who have actually worked with them, you’ll get plenty of insight into how they approach wedding photography.
Whether negative or positive, client reviews can help you determine if you can see this photographer capturing your event. Odds are, the experience that previous couples have had with them will give you two an idea of what to expect.
Word of Mouth
While former client reviews can provide valuable information, you’re sometimes better off with personal recommendations. This way, you can ask specific questions that get to the heart of what you’re looking for in a wedding photographer.
Before starting your hunt for photographers, try asking your close friends, family, or social media followers for their best suggestions. So long as you trust their judgment, you can rest knowing that they’ll point you to a photographer you can trust as well.
Once you’ve got a handful of photographers in mind, it’s a good idea to set up a private consultation with them. Typically, this will involve setting up a brief meeting (over the phone, Zoom, or IRL) for you to get to know them better.
We suggest coming to the consultation with prepared questions that cover the things most important to you. If they pass the vibe check, then you can trust that they will prioritize your vision and needs when the big day finally arrives.
Questions To Ask During Consultation
How long have you been doing wedding photography?
When it comes to finding a trusted pro, experience matters. While there isn’t exactly a 1:1 correlation, more years behind the camera typically means that they’re better equipped to deal with some of the challenges that you may face on your big day.
Newer photographers may still be figuring out their style and settings, but they tend to charge a more modest price than others. Experience is a great starting point, but ultimately, there are several other questions to help you decide where to place your trust.
How did you get into wedding photography?
While this may not seem like the most practical question, it can provide much-needed insight into your photographer’s commitment level. Whether you prefer to work with a hobbyist or someone who’s dedicated to their craft, asking this question will help you to determine where their passions lie.
How would you describe your overall style?
Some couples prefer heavily stylized, editorial photography, while others want a more candid approach. It’s important to get a clear picture of what you can expect when looking for a photographer to trust with your special day.
Although you may have already reviewed their portfolio, it’s helpful to ask about their style directly during the consultation. This will provide additional details that explain how they get the results shown in their work.
How do you approach shooting weddings vs. other events?
In your research, you’re likely to find lifestyle photographers that cover a wide range of important events. From birthdays and senior portraits to maternity photos and weddings, many photographers have chosen to branch out and explore other fields.
If you love a photographer’s style but haven’t seen their wedding portraits, it’s completely understandable to want a little reassurance. Asking about their approach to weddings can help alleviate any concerns you may have.
I’m envisioning X for my wedding (passions, interests, themes, etc.). Is this something you feel like you could capture?
If you’ve got a specific theme in mind, you need a photographer who can be trusted to capture it just as you’ve always imagined. For this reason, you’ll want to search for someone who has a similar style, as shown by their previous work.
While their passions and interests don’t need to match yours exactly, it is important to make sure that you see eye to eye on the overall vision. An honest, trustworthy photographer can communicate whether they have the background, experience, and equipment to meet your expectations.
Questions To Avoid
Can I get a discount?
When meeting with potential wedding photographers, this is one question you don’t want to ask. Asking for discounts can communicate that you either don’t value their work or don’t respect the pricing model that they’ve worked hard to calculate.
This frequently happens when there is a pre-existing relationship between a couple and their potential photographer (old friend, relative, etc). However, your relationship is all the more reason for you to show them just how much they mean to you, building a foundation of trust in the process!
Can you change your editing style?
In your initial research, you should be on the lookout for photographers with an editing style that suits your overall vibe. This will save both you and any potential vendors so much time in the long run!
If you find yourself in a position where you need to ask this question, consider it a strong sign that you should go with someone else. After all, a photographer you can trust will provide consistent, cohesive work that’s in line with their professional style and brand.
Do we really need a contract?
As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to make sure that a contract is in place when agreeing to any business transaction. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so you’ll want to ensure that expectations are set beforehand.
We understand that contracts can be intimidating, but photographers use them to make sure that both parties are protected. If your photographer requires a contract, we’d encourage you to review it with your partner and/or attorney, and trust that this will help to keep everyone accountable!
How to Spot a Scam Artist
Red flag: extremely negative reviews
While any photographer may have a handful of bad reviews, watch out for frequent, consistent complaints. If several former clients are sharing similar negative experiences, that’s a strong sign that this photographer shouldn’t be trusted.
Red flag: no portfolio
When searching for a photographer you can trust, you must view their previous work. If they claim to be experienced but have nothing to show, you’ll want to start exploring other options.
Red flag: no contract
As previously stated, photography contracts exist to protect both couples and vendors. Hiring a photographer without a contract can lead to misunderstandings, lack of accountability, and unmet expectations.
Red flag: poor/inconsistent communication
If your photographer is generally hard to get in touch with, this may be cause for concern. While all photographers can be busy at times, you should have a solid timeline that explains how often you can expect to hear from them before/after the wedding.
Wedding planning can be an overwhelming process, but when the big day arrives, the reward is oh-so-sweet. With a trusted wedding photographer, you can experience the most precious moments without worrying about their preservation.
You will know that your style, personality, and overall vision will be captured perfectly in all their beauty. From the first look to the grand exit at the end of the night, your dream photographer will make you two feel like the most important people on earth.
Whatever your journey to the big day looks like, you two deserve a wedding album that is as beautiful as your love story. Keep these tips and tricks in mind, and your wedding day will be one for the ages.