In the past 3 weeks, I’ve have had three people tell me they are considering breaking up with their photographer…for me. My first reaction is “wow, really? You love me that much? I’m so flattered!” But then my next reaction is “hang on…that’s awful. What went wrong in the photographer selection process? What do these people have with me that they don’t have with their photographer? How did this happen????”
Clicking with your photographer is more important than you may realize, even more important than their portfolio. Also, that pun was definitely intended. You’re welcome. Read on to learn 3 easy steps to choosing the right photographer!
1. Imagine your ideal photographer
In the same way that some photographers come up with an abstract representation of who their ideal client is, you can do the same thing for your ideal photographer. You can even be specific! Maybe your ideal photographer is a really quirky guy that takes you across the street to an abandoned warehouse and climbs in trees to get your photos. Maybe it’s a husband and wife team that are pretty much like a second mom and dad on the big day! Maybe they’re super bossy and you love that, because your family really needs someone to whip them into shape! Maybe your ideal photographer thinks weddings should just be giant parties and as irreverent as possible! Whoever your ideal photographer is, they’re out there. Thinking about who they are will make it easy to recognize them immediately when you meet them!
2. Meet your favorite prospects in person
It’s tempting to choose your photographer without meeting (or Skyping) with them, but I don’t recommend it. Meeting photographers in person may sound like a big time commitment, but wedding photography is a big investment and the only thing that will last your entire lives (well, besides your marriage)! When you meet with these photographers, go to a coffee shop, a restaurant, even a bar, and hang out for awhile. Talk about non-wedding things as well as your wedding! At this meeting they’ll go over their packages and pricing with you, and also show you their wedding albums and portfolio. This is your chance to ask them all the questions you’ve been saving up and get immediate answers! If one of the photographers is clearly your ideal photographer, but they’re more expensive, don’t immediately cross them off the list. Their ability to connect with you could be worth pushing past your budget a little bit.
3. Trust your gut
Just like you knew your fiance was the one, you’ll know when you meet your photographer. You’ll be like “oh my god, you’re the one. I love you. You are so psyched for my wedding and I just have no doubts you will do an amazing job. I want you!” If you haven’t felt that yet, keep looking; ask for recommendations from someone that looooved their photographer! Otherwise you may end up like my new friends here, trying to break up with their photographer!
Why it’s important to get along
Your photographer is going to be a huge part of your wedding. In some cases, they may be attached to the bride’s hip. They’ll be there when you get dressed, when your mom cries when she sees you. They’ll be there if you have a freak-out. They’ll be there when you’re vulnerable, when you see your fiance for the first time, and during some of your most intimate moments. They’ll be there when you say your vows, when your flower girl talks during the ceremony and everyone laughs, when you’re pronounced married…when you share your first kiss. They’ll gather all your family for photos, asking Grandma to nudge over one step or come forward, and getting all your loved ones to smile and laugh. They’ll be there at the party, celebrating with you, and possibly dancing to Gangnam Style. They’ll be there when you cut your cake, take your first bite of food, and have your first dances. They’ll be there when you crack up at the toasts, when one of your friends does a handstand on the dance floor. And they’ll be there when you depart. This is someone you want to love and trust completely.
In a world where there are so many amazing photographers, what sets them apart is who they are and how they relate to people.