1. Style. The first step is to decide how you want future generations to see you. Do you want them to see strong, bold and creative images? Do you want them to see more traditional, posed and laid back images? Or do you want something in between? Do you want bold editing, or do you want a more traditional feel? Is it possible you want a mix of the two?
2. Personality. I promise you, you will know within 60 seconds whether the person on the other end of the phone is someone you will want to walk alongside you on your journey to the altar. You do not get personality through texts or emails. GET ON THE PHONE! Spending 20 minutes talking to your potential photographer should feel more like catching up than anything! If it doesn’t, they may not be the one to swipe right on!
3. Policies/contract. Is this candidate open to questions? Are they asking you more questions and providing you the information before you can even ask? That’s usually a great sign. They want you to know that they have a plan for even the worst case scenarios and aren’t afraid to share that with you. Do you have the option of reviewing a contract in advance to gather further questions? Do they even utilize a contract? I would sure hope so!
4. Experience. It is 2021, and a lot of photographers want to offer you the sun, moon and stars for $500! I used to be that guy, in the very beginning, as I was getting my footing set in the world wide web of being a wedding photographer. Experience is priceless. Seeing as it is one of the only ways to truly immortalize your wedding day, you want to ensure the photographer you choose to capture one of the most important days of your life has not only the experience but the in-the-moment-knowledge to be able to think fast, move fast and keep a smile on your face (while they’re sweating through their clothes)! Pro tip: sometimes wedding days don’t go as planned. You cannot wait until you’re in that situation to try and get out of it. Wedding days are not for practice. They are the absolute real deal!!
5. Price. Now some people reading this will say, “Well why do any of these other four things matter if I cannot afford them?” At some point in your life, there has been something you absolutely wanted to have but didn’t have the money for at the moment. You had put it on a Christmas or birthday list, you saved for it and then the day came and you got to make that purchase! How did it feel? Incredible, right?! You wanted to show it off to everyone! Most photographers offer hassle-free payment options. If they don’t bring it up, just ask them! Your wedding is one day, maybe a few days depending on your culture, your wedding photography (and videography) will be what lasts. I want everyone to have amazing wedding photos to relive their day. While I do understand that everyone has a budget, is a wedding cake more important than your wedding gallery? Only you know the answer to that!