The Best Tips to Hire Your Ideal Wedding Photographer! This made it so easy to find my perfect photographer! Love her!

The Friend of the Bride is thrilled to partner with Hannah Barlow, owner and photographer of Hannah Barlow Photography, LLC in informing brides about Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Photographer. Check out her guest post below but also check out her fantastic photography skills (check to see if she is available for your special day!)!

Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Hiring a photographer might be one of the most important steps in planning your wedding. Yes, it’s true that all the steps of preparation complete the day, but you’re not going to have to look at those flowers or listen to that dance music for the rest of your lives as man and wife. You WILL, however, have to look at your pictures, so you want to make sure that you hire someone who can do exactly what you envision. Photography is a very saturated industry these days and it can be very overwhelming trying to decide who is the best fit. It’s important you do your own research and make an educated decision before you sign a contract and hand over a booking fee. Here’s some tips to get you started!

Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Prepare Yourself

  • First and foremost, set a budget and stick to it.

  • Make a list of things that are important to you.

    • What exactly do you want to have photographed?

    • Do you only want the ceremony and reception or do you want the whole day from morning to night covered?

    • How long will you need the photographer to make those things happen?

    • Do you need an engagement session included?

    • Do you want a second shooter present?

    • Digitals or prints? Both?

    • Decide what style of photography you love. Browse the internet and get a feel for what draws your eye and interest. There are so many different styles to choose from, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for ahead of time.

Start Browsing

  • The internet has become one of the most convenient and efficient ways to browse your options. Start there. Google does a great job of keeping websites that are active and have heavy traffic at the top of its list. The photographers that pop up first are usually the most well-known. Keep an open mind though – some really great photographers haven’t jumped in to internet marketing, so they might not pop up. On the flip side, new photographers need opportunities too. Just because they don’t have heavy traffic or huge portfolios doesn’t mean that they aren’t great at what they do. Check out their work. If it looks good to you and fits within your budget, then they are someone to consider.

  • Make a list of your top choices.

 Hire a Wedding Photographer


Make Contact

  • Reach out to the photographers on your list and find out if your date is available. There’s no point in wasting time and effort on someone who is not available on your day.

  • If a price point seems too good to be true, it might be. Do your homework. It’s not unkind to ask if the person has a license to practice business. Photographers aren’t required to carry special certificates or licenses like hair stylists, makeup artists, and caterers. Therefore, any person can claim to be a photographer in business when, in fact, they aren’t running a legit business at all. When someone is not paying for licensing, insurance, taxes, etc. they can offer much lower prices, but it’s not honest and you can never guarantee results. You want a professional who takes pride in his or her work. Just ask!

  • Check to see if they carry liability insurance. It seems silly, but in today’s day and age, it’s important. Some reception venues even require it!

  • Does their style match your style? You NEVER want to ask a photographer to do something that is outside their own style and comfort. Wedding photography is a very complex art. You want to hire someone who creates work that matches your tastes. They might be able to do what you are requesting, but they won’t love doing it and the final product (your pictures) may not be as perfect as you’d hoped they would be.

  • Meet in person. If that’s not possible, have a phone conversation. This photographer may be with you the entire day. You want to make sure ahead of time you are comfortable with this person. Not all personalities match and that’s ok. You’re going to feel and look much more comfortable in your photographs if you’re comfortable with the person behind the camera.

Extra Points to Consider

  • When you made contact with the wedding photographer, did they get back to you quickly? Did they seem organized? If any red flags are going off, you may want to consider another person.

  • Is their work consistent? Are the colors and clarity consistent? Do all of their pictures in their portfolio seem to flow? If not, you may want to consider someone else.

  • Do they have references or reviews?

  • GET A THOROUGH CONTRACT! This not only protects them, but it protects you. A contract outlines the entire relationship between you and the photographer. You want to know exactly what is expected from all parties…in black and white.

  • Finally….pay a booking fee to reserve the date! Don’t just trust that someone will hold your date and show up! Pay the money. Lock them in, sit back, and relax!

  • You can check “Hiring a Wedding Photographer” off your list! YAY!

  Hannah Barlow

Hannah Barlow is the owner and photographer of Hannah Barlow Photography, LLC located in the northern Panhandle of West Virginia. She serves the Ohio Valley area and Pittsburgh and specializes in children and wedding photography.

Did you like this post? Check out these other posts to help you with wedding planning!

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Don’t Be THAT Bridesmaid (27 Things to Avoid!)

3 Ways to Add the Wow Factor to Any Venue

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