Anna & Andrew, my future sister-in-law and brother-in-law, are a newly engaged couple who share a love for photography. Read their excellent advice on finding the perfect photographer to capture your wedding day!
"Anna and I share a passion for quality photography, so choosing who was going to capture the images of our engagement and wedding was extremely important to us. Luckily for me, Anna had known who she wanted as our wedding photographer for a full two years before we were even engaged! Nevertheless, we have some words of wisdom for all you couples who don't know what to look for in the search for the perfect photographer.
To make things easier, we have put together a list including how to get started, what to look for, and how to go about looking for the photographer that best suits you.
1. Do your homework!
No, simply looking up the photographers with the highest rating on "The Knot" does not count. The truth is, most people can't tell the difference between good and bad photography, so looking at generic reviews won't do you any good. As a start, simply do an internet search for wedding photography in your surrounding area. Every quality photographer will display his/her photos on a web site or blog. Peruse them. Look for pictures that stand out to you and fit your style. A good photographer has a unique style, just like a talented artist.
2. Personality is just as important as talent.
When choosing our photographers (Ray + Kelly Photography), it was critical that we got to know them before we ever had a photo session. Being comfortable with your engagement/wedding photographers is critical, because they will be following you around during the most important and best day of your life.
3. You pay for what you get, so know what you're looking for.
Just like everything else in life, there is a reason some photographers charge $400 while others charge $4,000. Anyone can pick up a decent camera and snap some pictures, but the true professionals will come prepared. Look for duos, or ask if the price includes a second shooter. Make sure your photographer comes with backup equipment. If photos are important to you, then pay what you can. It will most definitely be worth the money. If you are simply looking for generic staged photos, that is fine too! Don't spend the money. Either way, if you know what you want, you won't have any regrets.
4. Hire the same photographer for the engagement and wedding.
This is a great idea for a couple reasons. First, engagement photos are often an afterthought, but they are a great opportunity! If you hire your future wedding photographer, you can begin developing a relationship, and once the wedding rolls around, the level of comfort will already be there. Second, it is one less thing to worry about come wedding-planning time. A photographer is one of the biggest worries in wedding planning, so by doing this you'll be ahead of the game.
In the end, choosing a photographer is all about what you want. Anna and I want photographs that will last a lifetime, and we want to form a friendship with the photographers who will spend the entirety of our wedding day with us. Because we knew what we wanted, Ray + Kelly Siler were the obvious choice. Figure out what your looking for, and everything else will fall into place. Best of luck on the path to your big day!"
Anna + Andrew