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How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer

Posted By Sean Cayton On February 17, 2009 @ 8:17 am In Advice for Clients | 1 Comment

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First in a series.

‘Tis the season for couples to begin their search for the perfect wedding location, dress, florist — and, of course, photographer. Over the years, I’ve read a lot of the advice offered in wedding magazines, and I thought this year I would provide my own set of tips. 

I can’t speak to picking a wedding gown, but I can tell you a little bit about finding the perfect wedding photographer. Learning your photographic preferences is an important first step. 


Pick a Style

Use the Web to teach yourself about your own likes and dislikes. By viewing a lot of different photographers’ work online, you can quickly get up to speed on the latest trends, and identify styles that you prefer.

A photographer’s Web site can tell you a lot about his or her approach. Is there a broad selection of single images from different weddings, or does the photographer display portfolios from one wedding? 

Are the images candid (in the moment) or is the work more formal and directed? What compositions are typical for the photographer? What lens choices (wide versus telephoto) does the photographer employ? 

Is there a lot of work that is enhanced (soft edges, heavy vignetting, selective color), or does the photographer give it to you straight without much enhancement? 

Whichever style you prefer, by looking at many different photographers’ Web sites, you can teach yourself about the trade and learn about your own preferences.

Ask Around

Once you’ve settled on a wedding date and have a location in mind, you can start your search for a photographer by asking around.

Coordinators will often know of photographers who do a good job. Another option is to check with your friends — particularly those who have recently married. If you were impressed by their pictures, this makes your search much easier! If you attended their wedding and saw the photographer at work, then all the better.

 Carrie shares a laugh with her soon-be-husband. Carrie  hired me on referral from her friend Kelly, below. They worked together in the same office and Carrie attended Kelly's wedding, saw me at work and hired me for her wedding the following year.breckenridgewedding-771004

Referrals give you a more comfortable starting point to make your decision. Buyer’s remorse is just as common with weddings as with any large investment, and a referral reduces this risk.

A referral means the photographer has worked for someone else you know, made great pictures, provided exceptional service — and at the end of the day, created a relationship worth talking about.

Next: First contact. What to know about price and how to negotiate.

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1 Comment To "How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer"

#1 Comment By Alex On March 31, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

I used to be a wedding photographer in Australia. Before I ceased covering weddings I had photographed about 700 weddings.

I congratulate you on your series of articles about wedding photographers. The structured series of articles give very good hints for couples in love looking for a photographer.

Apart from technical skill and good business manners, the best referrals come from couples with whom you have created a special relationship. I found those relationships lasted for years after the wedding.

Well done.

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