For those married folks who have been through the wedding planning process, you understand the importance of working with vendors that will bring your vision to life and help make your wedding day as seamless and stress-free as possible. Researching and comparing wedding photographers will help you understand what you are looking for in terms of style, personality, experience, and package options and, by finding the right fit, you will be able to look back upon your celebration with timeless photos that you love while enjoying your big day at the same time.
If you are a bride or groom planning an upcoming Vermont or New England wedding, here are some items to consider checking off your list when choosing your wedding photographer.
Find Someone Who Matches Your Style
Photographers pride themselves on their unique and artistic style, and no two photographers will produce the same exact work. Consider whether you prefer a more documentary style (candid and behind-the-scenes) or someone who will be more directive to help pose and guide you throughout the day. Post-production editing techniques can also have a huge influence on the style of the photographer’s work, so consider whether you are looking for a light and airy feel or an album that is dramatic and artistic. Think about color versus black and white -- what appeals to you more? Take some time to discover your photographer’s work through their website, Instagram and Facebook, or even ask them to send along a recent complete wedding gallery as an example.
Read Reviews or Ask for References
Reviews are a great way to get a sense of a photographer’s reputation from previous clients. Check out Google or Facebook for recent reviews but also consider asking the photographer for the name of a recent client if you would like a personal reference! It’s also important to consider how your photographer has worked with other vendors such as florists, jewelers, and bridal boutiques, as many of these detail shots will be influential in remembering every moment of your celebration. Check out their Instagram or Facebook page to see some of their recent wedding work, especially if it is between the months of May - October, which is peak wedding season here in Vermont. And again, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for an example of a full gallery from a recent event, as it will help you understand what you will receive as a package from the entire session.
Meet In Person! (Or at the Very Least, Chat on the Phone)
Once you have narrowed down your interest to a handful of wedding photographers, send an introductory email with your vision for the event and the date you are looking to book. Provide some details such as the venue location, the decoration style, and number of guests and bridal party. When you sit down with your photographer to meet, have some questions ready! Here are some examples of questions that can help you get a better feel for this person and their process. Check out a detailed list of questions for your photographer here at Brides.com.
What are the details of the package I will receive?
What add-ons do you offer? (photo book, prints, etc.)
How many hours are included in the package? How much do additional hours cost?
What is the post-production process? (re-touching, color correction, etc.)
How many weddings have you shot, and where?
What does the contract look like?
Is a second photographer or assistant recommended for this event?
What equipment do you use?
How will you direct/pose us for photos?
How long before you provide the digital photos and how will they be delivered?
Is there a travel fee?
Can we request specific shots?
Make Sure Your Personalities & Styles Mesh
When I meet with potential clients, I want to make sure that we are not only have the same vision for the event, but I also want my clients to feel comfortable around me and who trust me to capture their day with a little bit of guidance and direction. Figure out if you like their personality, especially since you will be spending eight or more hours with them on the wedding day. Do you want to work with a photographer who will be creative and directive, or someone who is more laid back and observant? Consider the following:
“To get the best photos, your photographer needs to be assertive enough to seek out great moments, cajoling enough to coax relaxed smiles and natural stances from guests, and calm enough to be a positive force. They should ask lots of questions and be a good listener.”
Compare Rates & Packages
It’s important to consider your budget when planning for a wedding, and hiring a talented photographer will be a big investment. Vermont and New England wedding photography packages can range from $1,000 to $15,000 for a full event, depending on the experience and hours required. Though you may be inclined to go for the “cheapest” option, consider that that may be a very limited or basic package that does not necessarily include amenities such as an engagement session, second shooter, a wedding album, or prints of your photographs. Find out what exactly is included in each package, and what is most important to you. How many hours of coverage will you need? How many guests will be at your wedding? Will it be in your best interest to have a second or third shooter? These are all considerations to take into account while planning your photography needs for your big day.
Prepare a Timeline
It’s important for your photographer to understand the scheduled events of the day to help plan for things like bride and groom preparation, first look, ceremony, family photos, first dance, reception, and more. The Knot sums it up quite nicely:
“Remember that your photographer is the pro, so—while it’s helpful—you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed shot list for them. Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured (like a shot with each of your bridesmaids in addition to wedding party portraits) and let them do their thing.”
It is also helpful to provide a list of requested group shots to ensure that the bride and groom get a photo with every family member or friend that is important to them. One of my best friends says she regrets not getting a photo of the bride and her at her sister’s wedding, so make sure this doesn’t happen! Plan accordingly and keep your photographer in the loop.
Ready To Book?
So you have found the perfect photographer for your wedding celebration and you are ready to book! Keep in mind that most photographers get booked up to a year in advance, so make sure you have adequate time to confirm their availability. The next steps include signing the contract/wedding agreement and paying a deposit to hold the date.
Interested in booking Amelia Marie Photography for your Vermont, New England or destination wedding? We offer affordable packages and are now booking for 2020 weddings! Reach out today to inquire about your upcoming event!