This week on the blog, we’re continuing our series featuring vendors providing you with insights into picking the right vendor for you. Today, we feature Andrew, owner and photographer of Andrew Smith Weddings. Andrew is sharing what he considers the most important and overlooked aspect of hiring a photographer – connecting with the photographer that will capture your special moments.
Wedding planning can be a very daunting task. You spend hours upon hours looking for the perfect venue, wedding dress, shoes, cake, bouquet, details, the list goes on and on. All to bring together that fairytale wedding you’ve always been dreaming of. A year after planning your big day finally comes. You’re standing in front of all the people you love, and most importantly that one special person you’ve vowed to spend the rest of your life with. The day was beautiful, and went exactly how one would hope. Then as quickly as you said “I do” your special day is over. The dress comes off, the details get boxed up, and your guests part ways.
At the end of the day all you have left is each other and the memories of how joyous and perfect the day was. Although your wedding only lasts a day, the memories of it will last a lifetime, and what better way to materialize those memories than through photos? That’s where your wedding photographer comes in. I might be biased, but I truly believe that photography is one of the most important investments you can make for your wedding. I call photography an investment because you are investing to ensure that the details you spent countless hours on, the moments both big and small, and the emotions you felt that day don’t go forgotten. You want to not only ensure that you will remember your wedding day exactly how it was, but to also ensure that someday your grandkids will have something that tells your story. Wedding photography will tell that story, and below I’ve written five things to take into consideration when choosing a photographer to capture it.
Set a budget
Photography is certainly an important investment, but at the same time it’s not one that should break you for all your worth. Professional wedding photographers can range from $3k-$10k depending on the experience and products they offer. The Knot says that you should invest 10-12% of your total wedding budget on photography/videography. However, I don’t agree with this. I believe that the percentage should be weighted on how much value you put on it. For example, someday when I get married I plan on spending over 30% of my budget on a photographer because I place that much value on my photos.
Find a style that you love
We each are unique, and have different tastes from the food we eat, to the music we like to listen to. The same can be said for photography. There are countless styles of photography to choose from, and each photographer has a certain style to their photos. Some photographers love to create bold and dramatic photos while others create soft and natural looking photos. If you don’t already know yet what kind of photography you absolutely love that’s alright. Websites like Pinterest are perfect for discovering that!
What matters to you?
Every photographer is different, and what they offer will differ as well. Before you ask for pricing think and figure out what it is that matters to you. Do you care for an album, prints, or perhaps digital copies? When searching for a photographer look for someone who can give you the experience you want. I call it an experience, because that’s what photography is. Twenty years from now how do you want to experience the memories captured on that one special day? Find a photographer that can offer you that experience!
Find a photographer that you connect with
I believe that finding a photographer that you can connect with on a personal level is one of the most important things to consider. It comes down to one word, trust. When you’re researching photographers by visiting their sites I recommend going straight for the “About Me” section before anything else. If their site is well put together they will be very personal and tell you all about them! You should make sure that they are someone that you can trust. Once you find someone that fits your style and personality reach out to them to get together! When couples reach out to me we’ll grab coffee and talk for at least an hour before ever talking photography! Your photographer is with you your entire wedding day, and what better than to have someone there that you can trust and call a friend?! Just as quickly as venues can book up, so can photographers. Photographers can book up over a year in advance. Once you know who it is you want to photograph your wedding don’t waste time contacting them! I have numerous engaged couples that contact me each year that don’t even have dates set, and I LOVE IT! I love it because they liked and trusted me enough to place me as a top priority. I have even had couples ask me for my availability so they could book their venue on a date I was free! As flattering as it is…I’m not saying it’s something you HAVE to do, but just keep in mind that if you find a photographer you love someone else probably does as well, so waste no time!
Thank you Andrew for sharing your tips on finding a photographer that connects with the bride and groom. Check out his website if you have any more questions. We hope this post helps you on your quest for a photographer that captures all of your memorable moments at your wedding. Look for more posts from vendors in the future!