How To Find The Perfect Wedding Photographer

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Googling “questions to ask a wedding photographer” produces the same advice again and again: “How long have you been in business?” “What’s your style?” or “What happens if you become ill?” These are all good questions, and you should plan on asking them, but in today’s world, with so many photographers to choose from, it’s more important than ever that you click with the photographer you choose — that you like his or her style of photography, feel confident you'll get great results, and understand each other without constant clarification. "Clicking" means you sense your photographer will do a good job on your wedding day and that if something goes wrong, he or she will make it right. Here, some guidelines.
Related: 75 New Must-Have Photos With Your Partner

One of the best ways to tell if you click with someone you might hire is by contrast.
Plan to meet with at least five photographers. Don’t worry about the details — albums, timelines, deposits. Save those for later. Be open to digital meetings, using Skype or FaceTime to save time and eliminate unnecessary travel. When you meet, there are only two key things you need to know. First: Is this person able and willing to give you what you want? And second: Do you sense that, as people, you click? Once you’ve met with enough photographers, those who feel right will be clear. Use these opportunities to see how well you communicate with each other as you narrow the field.
Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Ask your potential photographers to show you images from entire weddings they’ve shot.
It helps clarify their ability and gives a more complete sense of their style. But just seeing isn’t enough. You should discuss the photographs. Ask each pro to talk about some images and to explain the context, the choices he or she made, and likes and dislikes. Express your opinion and weigh each response. Does it feel right? If you felt eager for the meeting to end, you probably weren’t clicking, and it probably doesn’t matter how good the photography was for another couple.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Photographer

Be aware that there are two categories of photographer: art-oriented and customer-service oriented.
There are incredible photographers in both categories, and the two are not mutually exclusive. What matters is what resonates with you. An art-oriented photographer might take longer on your wedding day and cause schedule delays in order to get the perfect shot or the right light. But couples that click with that will treasure the results. A customer-service-oriented photographer, on the other hand, will be prompt and have a streamlined process that helps your big day run smoothly. There is a chance, however, that a great photo could be missed. There is no right or wrong here; there is only what feels right to you. As you review potential photographers’ wedding portfolios, asking about the logistics and backstories behind select shots will reveal which way your photographer leans. Ask yourself: Which would be better on your wedding day?

Once you’ve met with enough photographers, the one who feels right should be a clear standout.
This photographer makes you feel comfortable and confident, and you’re communicating with ease in anticipation of your beautiful day. Congratulations — you’re clicking!

Next: How To Take Gorgeous Wedding Photos

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