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Capturing Unforgettable Moments: Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

Lights, camera, action! Here’s how to choose the right photographer to capture the most magical day of your newly married life.

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Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue—and a checklist on how to choose the right wedding photographer! You shouldn’t agonize over your wedding photographer decision, and if you’re looking for a little more help beyond Googling “wedding photographers near me,” we’ve got you covered. You want your wedding photos to capture every painstaking detail and decision you made for your big day (plus all the money you spent!), along with the romance and whimsy of the day you finally got to marry the love of your life! 

When it comes to choosing the right wedding photographer, you want to research different wedding photography styles, decide what you’re willing to spend when it comes to wedding photographer cost and more. But once you make the big decision (read on for advice below!), you can enjoy all the photos of your Nana hitting the dance floor and your new spouse chowing down on the wedding cake while flipping through the pages of your wedding photo book. Here’s a pro tip: print your wedding photos in a super luxe coffee table book like the Premium Layflat Photo Book. And before the big day, you can also print photos from your relationship or engagement in a Classic Photo Book to make a personalized wedding guest book. No matter which photo book you choose, you’ll always be able to remember this magical and exciting time in your life.

Get a Sense of Their Style

Once you have a few candidates for photographers that have either been recommended by your venue, have great online reviews, or found through other means, begin research on their portfolio. Check out their website,and their Instagram and TikTok accounts to get a sense of their photography style. Are you looking for a candid documentary style, or a dreamy, romantic vibe? Do some scrolling to figure out if their aesthetic aligns with your dreams for your big day. And don’t be afraid to save some of your favorite photographs to use as inspiration for later!

Check Reviews and Recs

Whether you’re found a few photographers you love, or you’re unsure who should be your top pick, check out reviews and recommendations. Did you attend a wedding with an awesome photographer, or have any friends or family that tied the knot recently? Ask them about their experiences and if they have any recommendations. Hit Google and Yelp for reviews from real life couples to see photos and get the 411. Did the photographer go above and beyond? Were they flexible? How did they handle your grouchy Uncle during family portraits? Researching and asking for this advice is a must!

Schedule an Informational Meeting

It’s not uncommon to schedule an in-person meet up or Zoom meeting with potential photographers. Be sure to share all the details on your wedding vision, which photos of theirs you fell in love with, and details about the soon-to-be-married couple. Every little detail will help your future photographer understand your dream vision, plus develop a great back-and-forth that’ll be important when shooting your big day.

Let’s Talk Money

One of the biggest factors when it comes down to how to choose the right wedding photographer is your budget. What have you allocated for photos? How many photographers do you need? How many hours do you need them to shoot for the day? Discuss their packages, if they include drone photos, engagement photos or any other additions you’d like. 

And here’s a hot tip: Skip any photo albums they include in their package and make the highest quality wedding album possible with a Premium Layflat Photo Book. This way, you can control what photos make the cut (and you don’t have to go back and forth with your photography company), save money by creating an affordable wedding album, plus easily print duplicates for your family and friends. And use code CHATTERBOX for 20% off your wedding album!

Talk Timelines

There’s no wedding day without a wedding timeline! Be sure to ask your photographer about their process during the day—how much time do they need to set up, to travel, or to shoot family portraits? This is super important as you organize your wedding party and family on the big day. Ask what shots your photographer will prioritize, plus how they ensure the shoot goes smoothly.

Here’s a super important question to ask: How long will it take to get your wedding photos edited after the wedding day? How will you download them and who will have access to them? Your wedding photos are so special, and you want to make sure you not only know when you’ll receive them, but how you’ll have access to them so you can turn them into a beautiful keepsake to enjoy for the rest of your life.

Test Drive Your Photographer

Planning on getting engagement photos for your save the dates? Engagement photos are a perfect opportunity to test out the lead photographer that may work your wedding. Or, hire them for an event like a family holiday photo or birthday party, if possible, to see how their personality, photo style and editing style works with your vision. And before the big day, you can also print photos from your engagement photo shoot in a Classic Photo Book to make a personalized wedding guest book for your wedding guests to write sweet messages.

As you embark on your mission, remember picking a wedding photographer that’s right for you means trusting your gut. After you research, communicate and discuss vision and plans with potential photographers, in the end it’s up to you and your fiancé. Your wedding photos are more than just snapshots; they're a visual chronicle of the love, laughter, and memories created on your special day. Once you've made your decision, trust the process and focus on making memories from the moment you say “I do” to hours spent dancing the night away. And when it's all said and done, remember to turn those magical wedding moments into treasured keepsakes you can share with friends and family in the form of a wedding photo book!

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