The search for the perfect wedding or elopement photographer continues to be a daunting task for many couples!! Throw in the fact that it is likely your first time planning a wedding and having to consider things like photography editing style might be a little out of your wheelhouse. Never fear!!! I’ve gathered a few tips to help you book your dream photographer (from a destination wedding photographer’s perspective).
As a general rule of thumb, photographers are normally booked after you’ve picked a date and a location/venue. Some couples know exactly who they want to capture their day so they will work around their schedule. If that is not the case for your and your boo thang, start reaching out as soon as you have a date locked in!
My top 10 tips to keep in mind while searching for and booking your wedding photographer:
- Begin your search on google, instagram and pinterest.
- Type in [location of your wedding] wedding photographer into a google search and see who pops up in the first few results.
- search and follow hashtags on instagram and check out pages for top photographers. For example: #bigsurweddingphotographer #nycelopementphotographer #alternativeweddingphotographer #inclusiveweddingphotographer
- Follow wedding and elopement blogs on instagram and pinterest. They will often feature the work of talented photographers on their feeds. Follow those photographers if you like what you see!
- Steer clear of big wedding vendor search sites. In my experience, those that are listed on these sites don’t represent the area’s huge pool of talent (and these sites tend to be outdated).
- Scan their website for these important highlights:
- read the about me section to see if you vibe
- testimonials from previous clients
- Read through their reviews on Google.
- Check out more of their work on their blog posts of previous weddings and Instagram posts to make sure you like the way they edit and their style of capturing moments.
- a question to ask is do you see yourself in their photos??? Each celebration is unique so no two weddings will look the same but being represented is important.
- Use their contact form to inquire about availability and give details about your vision and other important priorities upfront. Save everyone sometime and fill out as many details about your celebration as possible and don’t skip any of the boxes!
- Respond to their initial email letting them know if you’re interested in chatting more or if you’ve found someone to work with already! If they are available after you send an inquiry, they will let you know! And being told you’ve already found a photographer for your wedding is a way better way to let them down easy than ghosting us once you see pricing. Feelings will never be hurt if you are going in a different direction or if the photographer is out of budget. They would rather know then be left hanging!!!
- Respect their preferred form of communication for their business. They are legitimate businesses providing a service and they deserve to be treated as such. If they say “no inquiries via instagram DM” then that must be respected. Some may prefer to text you after you’ve booked to talk about plans, others will keep things in an email thread and some will want to meet in person to finalize everything. Just ask them!
- Once you have inquired and confirmed that a photographer is available for your wedding, talk to them on the phone or on a video call. Even an informal discovery or get to know you call will put your mind at ease and build a connection so you can hire them with confidence.
- Actually read through the contract you sign for important details on coverage, photo usage and delivery times. Everything should be listed in a contract so you can refer back to it if you ever have a question about those specifics.
- If they send you questionnaires to complete after you’ve booked with them, fill them out with intentional answers from both of you. They are for your benefit and help curate and personalize your experience!
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