How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

When planning a wedding, how to choose a wedding photographer isn’t usually something most couples give much thought to. But it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make!

In this post, I’ll show you what to look for in a wedding photographer. I’ll also give you some helpful questions to ask a photographer to find out if they are the right fit for your wedding.

What questions should I ask my wedding photographer?

Every wedding photographer has their own way of doing things and you should be aware of what to expect before you sign a contract. It’s not safe to assume that one photographer has the same social media policy as the last photographer you spoke to. We’ve all had different experiences and training, so be sure to clarify your most important questions before signing anything.

Here are a few questions that I recommend asking your photographer. I’ve also included my own answers so you can get and idea of the types of responses you can expect.

bride kissing the groom's cheek while he looks at the camera

Ask your photographer…

I average 100 images per hour of coverage. Smaller weddings usually have slightly fewer and large weddings tend to contain a bit more, but this is my average image count. All images you receive in your gallery will be fully edited.

2-3 weeks. I know it’s hard to wait for your wedding photos, so I so my best to get them ready as soon a possible. However, I will never sacrifice quality for speed. Rest assured, I will be obsessing over you photos, making sure you love them as much as I do.

When your images are ready, we’ll have a reveal party in my studio where you can invite your family and friends to the big reveal! It’s a really fun way to see your photos for the first time and my couples really love the experience. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Absolutely! Your wedding photography package is complete. There are no hidden charges or extra fees. Your entire wedding gallery is included.

Of course! Sharing your wedding pictures is half the fun of having a wedding, right? I completely agree! You are free to share your wedding photos on social media any way you would like.

Yeppers! There are very few times that so much family is gathered together and it makes perfect sense that people want pictures. I get it. As long as time permits, I always try to make sure anyone who wants the shot, gets the shot.

There are a few exceptions to this…
-The ceremony. The ceremony should be as distraction free as possible, so guests should remain seated and let the professionals get the photo of the bride walking down the aisle.
-Time constraints. If family photos or group photos are taking too long and threatening the wedding timeline, I will politely request that guests take additional photos during the reception.
-Bride and groom preferences. If the bride and groom simply don’t want guests to take photos, I have no problem taking the blame and letting them know it’s my policy for them to step aside. This is, after all, your wedding day and you should have things the way you want.

How Do You Know If A Photographer Is A Professional?

You don’t want to risk hiring an inexperienced photographer for your wedding, but sometimes, it’s hard to know! There are a few ways to tell is a photographer is experienced or not.

  • Ask the questions above. If they have satisfactory answers, they will likely do a good job for you.
  • Ask about insurance. New photographers often forget about carrying business insurance until it’s too late.
  • Meet in person or via video. You’ll get a great sense of their professionalism and experience when you can see them face to face.
  • Check their website. Sparse content and not enough variety is a red flag for a wedding photographer. It often means that they haven’t photographed many weddings.

Why Does Experience Matter?

It’s no secret, wedding photography is tough. Most photographers choose not to photograph weddings for various reasons. Experienced photographers are still photographing weddings because they love it!

In wedding photography, experience is everything. Inexperienced photographers may miss important moments or forget key photos. Experienced photographers have learned how to look for the moments that you’ll want to remember. They know the general flow of a wedding and can easily adjust their work flow based on the needs of each specific wedding. Professionals know the right questions to ask to make sure they are getting the most important photos at the right time.

Experienced photographers can easily deal with the multitude of different personalities present at each wedding and can make your guests feel just as special as the bride and groom, without taking anything away from the happy couple and their wedding experience. These skills can take years to master and are an invaluable asset to any wedding.

groom dipping the bride in an open walkway at the Santa Barbara Courthouse
Bride and groom looking at each other in front of a back staircase at CaliPaso Winery
bride and groom dance in front of the Kaleidoscope Inn

What Photography Style Is Best?

This is a common question among couples and for good reason. Most people don’t need to consider what style pf photography they like best and they usually aren’t even aware of the different styles.

Here’s the thing…styles come and go. They change over time. This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, but is something to think about when choosing a wedding photographer.

Personally, I like true-to-life images that are slightly on the brighter side. This is a more traditional approach. Some photographers like the “dark and moody” style and some like the “light and airy” style. Both are beautiful, but very different from each other. If you are drawn to a certain style, stick with what you like. Keep in mind, however, that the style you choose may be wildly out of style in a few decades. If that doesn’t bother you in the least, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Just be sure to choose a photographer that has a portfolio full of images in the SAME style. If their portfolio is full of different styles, they likely haven’t found what works best for them yet and your wedding photos will reflect that. You may end up with several different editing styles within the same gallery, which won’t make your wedding photos flow very well.

Character Traits To Look For In A Wedding Photographer

  • Friendly Personality
  • Helpful
  • Flexible
  • Knowledgeable
  • Prioritizes Your Vision
Bride and groom sitting on a bench in the mural room of the Santa Barbara Courthouse

See a real wedding at the Santa Barbara Courthouse

This beautiful elopement was at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

bride and groom dancing in field with oak trees

Visit Spanish Oaks Ranch

If you’re looking for a wedding venue, I highly recommend Spanish Oaks Ranch. See more on their website!

coffee on a table with a laptop, scissors and a camera lens

Wedding Photos List

Must have wedding photos list and other ideas to help with your wedding planning.