It’s that time of the week again! Things have slowed down considerably now that we have our venue and are waiting to start tastings with caterers next week but today is the perfect day to share my tips on how to find the right photographer for your big day because we just received our welcome packet from our photographer (so exciting!).
Step 1 – Research
Since before we got engaged I had heard that great photographers often get booked a year or more in advance so I started scouring the internet for potential photographers. I found them on websites like WeddingWire, the Knot, as well as Instagram (could there be better advertising for a photographer?!) and trusty Google.
Step 2 Organize
The next step is to compile a spreadsheet of all of the different photographers. I happened to use Google Docs but feel free to use software on your computer or good old paper and pen. I made tabs for location, price, if they included a second photographer, if they included engagement photos, number of hours and if they included a wedding album. Feel free to change these categories however you’d like because I know everyone has different wants and needs. Also as a side note – I had to contact more than a few photographers to actually get all of these details which were not provided on their website. My spreadsheet ended up having more than 40 potential photographers (I totally wasn’t overdoing it…right?)
Step 3 Narrow It Down
This is the point at which I got Carson involved – we went through each of the photographers websites/photos and decided if he wanted them or not (we ended up with a scale of yes, no, maybe, maybe+1, and maybe+2). Carson is much better at judging photography since he went to school for video production and was able to immediately veto some and say yes to others (and some fell into a gray area hence our odd scale).
Step 4 Re-Organize!
Now you should have a good list of people that you definitely would want – I would focus on those and ignore the others for now (and possibly forever). I re-organized my spreadsheet at this time so that our favorites were organized by price point at the top because while photography was very important for us, not going into debt was also important. You will also want to take into consideration your other categories and if your favorites offer what you want as well.
Step 5 Contact!
It’s now time to officially reach out to your favorites and set up meetings (note: some of the photographers we had chosen were already booked or in some cases said we were out of their service area so this helped to eliminate them). From our list of 40+ we only met with 3 photographers. We were in awe – while trying to keep our game faces – with the first photographer (who we ended up booking!) but we decided that we still wanted to meet with others to be sure we weren’t making a mistake and considering all options. This step only took us a week but we took several more weeks to decide officially.
Next week I’m going to be sharing the must ask questions for potential photographers!
What helped you to decide on your photographer?