Choosing a Wedding Photographer

One of the biggest regrets brides have from their wedding day is not getting a good photographer. It’s one of the expenses where we usually recommend a little splurge. A lot of brides think that they can just get a friend or family member to take the photos. Well imagine that you spent $1500 on a glorious masterpiece of a cake, then Aunt Agnes forgot to get a picture before you cut it. Was all that money really worth it?

Photography looks like a fun job, so you get a lot of armatures trying to pass themselves off as professionals. Believe it or not, wedding photography is actually a ton of work. When they charge you $2000 for one wedding, it’s not just for the 6 hours on the day of the event, but for all the hours that they spend editing the photos.

With that being said, you don’t want to spend all of that money and live to regret it. There are things you can do to prevent photo catastrophe. We’ve provided some tips for choosing and getting the most out of your wedding photographer.

  1. Make a Photo Wishlist

With all of the chaos going on during wedding day, it’s easy for the photographer to miss something that was important to you. My photographer did not get one single full length shot of me in my dress with my husband. We have tons of close-ups. And we have tons of singles of me in the dress. But unless I want to frame pictures of only myself (can we say narcissism?), then I’m stuck.

Another story…. One of our brides had to rush through before-wedding photos. The single shots of her and each bridesmaid were poor. After the wedding, the photographer got tons of shots with each bridesmaid and the groom, but we have NO pictures of the bride with each of her girls.

All of this to say: make a list of important photos that you want! Are you planning any big surprises or special moments? Tell your photographer ahead of time so they can capture the moment. You want pictures with certain people? Tell your photographer! Make a list ahead of time, so he/she can be prepared.

  1. Create a Photo Timeline

Next tip, make a day-of wedding timeline with your photographer. A good photographer will have the day planned minute by minute. Example: 3:00 photos of girls in robes getting ready, 3:15 photos of girls in dresses, 3:30, etc., etc.

Follow the timeline! We had one wedding where the photographer had to start an hour later than planned because the bridesmaids were still curling their hair. Your bridesmaids are there to help you, not to prep for glamour shots or hook up with the groomsmen. Inform them of the timeline at the rehearsal, and stick to it.

  1. Use the Engagement Session as a Trial Run

Finally, use your engagement session as a trial before booking the photographer for the big day. S/he should be someone who makes you and your fiancé comfortable, as that is how you will get the most natural looking pictures. How long does it take them to return the photos? You do not want to wait 3 months for your wedding pictures. Do you like the photos? Did the photographer do everything you asked? If you’re unhappy with them, don’t be afraid to use someone else for the big day. Remember, the wedding is one day, but the photos last a lifetime.

Are you looking for a photographer in Middle TN? An Elegant Encounter has worked with some of the best in a variety of price ranges. Email for a referral.