Inside Weddings shares the trusted wedding professionals in our Editors Circle, plus a directory of local wedding vendors to find your wedding photographer!
Congratulations on your upcoming celebration! In addition to your wedding venue, wedding planner, and the style of your big day, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the artist who will capture your wedding photography. Aside from your memories, your wedding day will live on forever in your photos, so it's important to make the right decision for you!
When searching for your perfect wedding-day photographer, it's important to keep three things in mind: style, cost, and personality. The best wedding professionals are those that align with all three of these elements.
First, you'll want to find photographers who have a style you're drawn to. Do you want romantic, fine-art photography? Do you prefer formal portraits and crisp imagery or candid and creative images? Do you want a heavily filtered look or a raw feel? From here you'll have an idea of whether or not you'll be happy with the style of the photographs to ensure you'll have a hard time picking a favorite.
Next, you'll want to choose a photographer who fits your wedding budget – like all vendors. The price for full-day coverage ranges widely, so once you know what the cost will be, make sure you ask key questions so you're not surprised later. Will they offer back-up equipment, file storage, and album production? Are the images edited and enhanced by them or outsourced? Will they have an assistant or second shooter on the big day? Do they charge overtime?
Finally, you'll want to make sure you get along with your photography team. If you have an opportunity to meet them in person or have a conversation over the phone, Facetime, or Zoom, take it. You'll want to make sure that you feel comfortable with them since you'll be together the entire wedding day – bonus points if they're fun to be around. Also, if they offer engagement sessions, this is another wonderful way to confirm that you do in fact love their personality!
Depending on where you are located, your wedding photography could cost a couple hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. Before committing, it's important to understand their rate, as well as what's included. Some photographers will include an engagement shoot session or a wedding album, while others may charge extra for those items as well as travel costs, and more. Have your budget in mind when looking for the artist who will be capturing your ceremony and reception – you want the photos to look amazing, but you also don't want to spend your entire budget on the photos; however, great wedding photography is worth the investment!
Wedding photography costs range wildly; however, what holds true for most photographers is that their wedding rate doesn't just include the time they spent photographing your celebration. In addition to the prep work beforehand, most of the hours will come during the editing process. While photographers are talented at capturing the emotion of the day on film or digital mediums, you likely chose them partially because of their editing style. Since editing can take hours and hours, they need to factor this into their pricing.
For small weddings that have a quick timeline, four hours may be enough time for your chosen professional to capture authentic, genuine moments from the day in each photo – while also getting the must-have family and detail shots. However, if you're having a longer wedding or a "first look," you'll definitely want to hire your professional for more time. Talk to your wedding planner about the timeline of the day and be sure that the photographer's timeline fits with the overall timeline of the event.