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8 Tips on How To Choose a Wedding Photographer

wedding couple hold hands with meg hudson photography logo

CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

First of all, Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding can be a rollercoaster of emotions and I understand how important it is to find the right person to capture your special day.


Style of photography, wedding experience, budget, and personal connection are all important to consider when finding your wedding photographer.


With so many photographers available, how do you choose the right photographer?


I want to make choosing a wedding photographer as stress free as possible, so I have put together some handy tips and tricks to help find the best wedding photographer for you.



THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OR A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY PACKAGE

Choosing your wedding photographer can be a challenge. There is so much variety in styles, prices and people to choose from that it can become overwhelming and quick decisions can be made that end poorly. Budget is a big factor of consideration for most couples when it comes to planning a wedding, but there are also a few other things to consider when picking the person to be at your big day!


I am professional photographer and I have also had a wedding (2 technically, as my husband and I got married during COVID and had 2 celebrations!). I've been through the process of finding the right photographer for our day and I wanted to share 8 key things you may want to consider when choosing your wedding photographer.



1. TRUST-WORTHY RECOMMENDATIONS

Word of mouth is always a great place to start. Why not ask your trusted network for recommendations? Recently-married family, friends, and colleagues can share who they used and offer their opinions. Beyond word-of-mouth referrals, searching online for photographers and videographers in your local area or the area of your chosen wedding venue is a great place to build your list of potential photographers. Look for legit online reviews and check out their wedding portfolios.


2. Photography style

Make sure you know what kind of photographer you are hiring. There are a range of photography styles, so ensure you have viewed portfolios to see if you like the look and photo editing style before making you add them to your shortlist.


  • Lifestyle - Candid, natural action shots showing your most-authentic interactions.

  • Documentary - Visual storytelling capturing real-life moments and emotions as they happen, without much posing or staging.

  • Natural and Traditional: Traditional portrait and group photo approach with a classic feel. The photographer will often use natural light and will not heavily edit the images so they’re true-to-life.

  • Artsy - Use of costumes, props, and staging to create unique effects

  • Film: Being captured on film rather than digitally can have a unique and vintage feel to them, characterized by a slightly soft and grainy quality.


Here are a few questions to help you think about the photography style that suits you best:


  • Do you want a documentary approach that delivers the story of your day?

  • Would you like certain special guests to receive extra focus in photographs?

  • Do you want most of your photos posed?

  • Do you want most of your photos candid without posing?


You should also consider their editing style - look at the colors and skin tones. Some photographers prefer natural light and don't rely heavily on flash (like me). While, other photographers use a lot of flash, resulting in images with a higher contrast. Some photographers go for a soft and natural look, while others opt for a bold and edgy aesthetic.



3. Your Budget

Your budget is an important factor when choosing a wedding photographer. You can likely find a wedding photographer in Los Angeles anywhere in the range of $900 - $9,000+. Realistically, you should expect to pay at least $1,800 for a professional photographer, or the service may lack quality. Remember your wedding photos are important lifetime memories, so it's important not to compromise on this investment.

Allow yourself to be flexible with your budget, if you feel strongly for one photographer.

You'll treasure the photos more than a cake in 50 years time!

Most photographers have their prices and wedding packages listed on their websites, if not, reach out and get a few quotes.


I'm a wedding photographer in Pasadena, CA and you can find my package prices HERE.


4. EXPERIENCE + reviews

Take a look through the business's website, social medias, and always read reviews before committing to anyone!


  • How long have they been in the photography business?

  • Do they have a well-reviewed Google Business?

  • Do they seem professional and trust-worthy enough to hire?


If a photographer is charging what seems like a low price compared to other quotes you’ve received, there could be a reason. Of course, there is nothing wrong at all with hiring a beginner but make sure you do your research because a business with a long trading history is always a safer bet compared to a business that has only been trading for a few months, as you want them to still be in business come your big day.



5. How many final PHOTOS CAN YOU EXPECT?

Different photographers have different approaches when it comes to the number of images they deliver. However, it's important to remember that quantity alone doesn't determine the quality of the photographs. I deliver anywhere between 500 and 1000 final edited images, depending on the size and style of wedding day. I make sure to remove any duplicates or unnecessary shots, but I never delete good quality images.


It's worth noting that some photographers may charge separately for the day and for the files or prints afterwards. Make sure you fully understand what your package includes before choosing your wedding photographer!


Feel free to ask photographers to view a complete wedding gallery sample. Their website or social media pages will show you their best shots, which is great, but you might want to see a finished photo gallery before making your decision.


6. How will you receive YOUR PHOTOS?

There are several ways photographers might share a wedding gallery including drop boxes, online links, or on USB. I choose to provide an online private gallery where you can conveniently share your photos with your loved ones. You have the flexibility to download the entire gallery or individual photos in the highest resolution. Additionally, I offer optional add-ons for printing and canvas packages should you also want physical photo copies.


You might also want to know if the photographer plans to use your images in their online marketing material. If you don’t want your photos used, just make sure to get it in writing.



7. availability and LOCATION

How busy are the photographers? Professional wedding photographers often have their schedules booked, sometimes years in advance. If you have already set a date and venue, reach out to them as soon as possible to inquire about their availability.

Also, don't forget to check if their service area covers your wedding location or if they are able to travel to it (usually for an extra charge).


8. Do you like the photographer and their personality?


This is probably my most important piece of advice on how to choose a wedding photographer. Not only are you trusting them to capture your special day but remember you also have to spend the whole day with them!

I highly recommend you meet with your short list of providers in-person or over a video call, so you can choose someone you and your partner connect with and can be completely comfortable with on your wedding day!



I would encourage you to interview photographers or videographers beforehand and have compiled a few suggested questions to ask a wedding photographer below.


Questions to ask a Wedding Photographer


  • How long have you been in the business?

  • How would you describe your photography style?

  • Can you provide a completed wedding gallery sample?

  • What wedding information do you need from us?

  • Are you insured?

  • What equipment do you use?

  • Do you have backup photography equipment?

  • What are you like on the wedding day? (in the background or giving lots of direction for certain photos)

  • How many final images will we receive?

  • When will the photos or video be delivered?

  • Will we receive printing copyrights?

  • Do you offer any add-on photo packages? (prints, canvases, albums, etc)

  • What is your booking process?

  • When do you need the deposit by?

  • What’s your cancellation and refund policy?


Hopefully you have found these tips helpful on how to choose a wedding photographer and feel more prepared to start your research and contact some local photographers.


If you like the style of photos in this blog, and are planning to tie the knot in So-Cal, I'd love to be considered as your potential wedding photographer!

I am a Pasadena-based, photo-loving Brit specializing in weddings in Pasadena, South Pasadena, and all around LA.

I offer a natural and relaxed style of photography. To find out more about my prices and experience as a wedding photographer you can visit my website HERE.


I hope to connect with you soon and hear all about your special day!



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