Any bride will tell you that planning a wedding is hard work, but one of the hardest aspects is choosing your vendors, photographers included! Not only will your vendors be a significant investment, but you also have to take into consideration the fact that these people will have a direct impact on how your wedding day unfolds (in the case of photography, also how you remember your wedding day!), aaaand that you will be spending a lot of time with them! Considering what’s at stake here, I can’t say enough how important it is that you do the research and make an informed decision!
When it comes to your photography, I always encourage prospective Brides to do the legwork to make sure they find the perfect match for them! Here’s my recommendation for how to narrow it down to THE ONE!
1. Ask family and friends for referrals– If someone you trust can give you a referral for a photographer that they loved, that’s a really great place to start!
2. Search on Google– Check out the listings on the first few pages. Google ranks listings based on about 200 factors, including site age, content, usability, and a lot of others that I don’t even understand– but what it comes down to is that those businesses that appear in the first few pages have likely put a lot of hard work into getting there.
3. Trust your gut– While sifting through photographers websites, don’t overthink it and trust your gut. You might not be able to pinpoint exactly what you love about one photographers work over another, but quickly eliminate those whose work you don’t care for and focus on the ones you love.
4. Don’t just look at the photos– A photographers pictures are of course suuuper important, but once you’ve narrowed your choices down to the photos that speak to you, look closer at their website. Learn what you can about the people behind the business and try to pick out the ones that you feel connected to.
5. Pick a top 3– You’ve probably looked at dozens of websites, but try to narrow it down to the top 3 to reach out to. Get in touch with your favourite photographers and try to set up Consultations.
6. Meet with them, then go with your gut! If they’ve made it this far in your selection process then you must love their work and the way that they come across online. Now’s the time to see if you connect with them just as well in person.
Red flags: Sometimes even the most attractive prospective photographer (and I don’t mean dreamy eyes and a charming smile) can send up red flags that might make you want to re-think your options. Some red flags for me would be:
-Inconsistent or slooooow correspondence. A good business person should be responding to your emails in at least 48 hours or sooner. There are of course exceptions to this, and even I’m guilty of turtle-slow responses sometimes! Wedding season, vacation, illness, or family emergencies can impact ANY of our lives, but if it becomes too much of a habit I would move on.
-No contract. For some reason a lot of people hear the word “contract” and they think it’s a scary thing, but I’d be much more scared of a vendor that doesn’t use one! A contract is important to outline exactly what is included in the services that you’re paying for, and protects both parties.
-Incompatible personalities. Sometimes you absolutely love someone online, but then you meet them and you just don’t mesh well. That’s totally ok, but I wouldn’t choose to work with someone that I didn’t feel completely comfortable with on the biggest day of my life.