The photographer/couple relationship is often 9-15 months long. That’s too long to be with a photographer who you don’t like or one that doesn’t meet your needs. As it turns out, the qualities that make a good partner are mighty similar to the ones that make a good wedding photographer. Here’s some tips to help guide you in your search!
1. Make sure you like her/his personality
This cannot be overstated. You will spend so much time on your wedding day with your photographer and she will be present for all your intimate moments with your partner. If you don’t like his sense of humor or think she’s annoying, you will be annoyed ALL DAY. That is not the photographer for you.
2. Organization is key…
As creative types, we’re not usually known for our organization. A wedding day is a lot of chaos, and your photographer has to be able to stay organized and know what’s coming when. Don’t be afraid to ask prospective photographers about how they stay organized. You can even ask for a sample timeline they’ve created.
3. And so is communication.
At every step of the booking or planning process, you should clearly know what the next step is. There should be an official contract (to cover everyone’s ass!), you should know exactly how much their services will cost, and how/when you are expected to pay.
4. Know your budget (or budget range)
Nothing hurts more than falling in love with a photographer only to crunch the numbers and find out it’s not the right investment for your wedding. I recommend figuring out a range of what you’re willing to spend before you start contacting potential photographers. If you have a coordinator or planner, normally then can make recommendations based on your budget. Be upfront with any potential photographer about how much you’re willing to spend.
5. Be clear about your style and realistic about your venue
I love when clients have a few inspiration photos to show me what kind of style they love, especially if those photos are specific to your venue. It’s important to manage your photographic expectations, if you love light, bright airy photos but you’re looking at a portfolio of dark, shadowy, moody photos, then maybe that photographer’s style isn’t for you. Also, if you love natural light photos and your wedding is in the evening in January, you will likely not get those photos.
6. Communicate what’s important to you
If it’s incredibly important for you to have photos of your Grandma watching your first dance, please god, tell your photographer that incredibly important and specific information! We can make anything happen if we plan for it, but we can’t be everywhere at once. And it’s painful when you email us after the wedding to request a specific photo we don’t have because we didn’t know how important it was to you.
7. Don’t buy products you don’t want
You might not know what kind of products you want and that’s ok! If they’re high quality, then they’re an heirloom piece for you to invest in. Try to imagine how you’ll want to use your wedding photos. Is it important for you to create a gallery wall in your home of prints from your wedding? Do you think you’ll want to have a big album you can display or pull out when people want to see your photos? Do your parents want one of those albums to show every person that passes through their house? If you can start to think through that scenario, it will help guide what kind of package you want. I’m always willing to customize packages for clients who have an idea about what kinds of products they want for the future.
Here’s What You’ll Like About Me…
I only accept 8 weddings per year.
I love shooting weddings and working with all kinds of couples. I’ve found that 8 is my perfect wedding number. I can give you a lot of attention and creativity with that number. I can stay excited about shooting instead of turning it into a factory-like experience. I can offer a very high level of service and energy, because I am genuinely excited to work with you.
I don’t want to sell you things you don’t want.
I would love to connect with you and chat about your ideas and vision for your wedding. After that, I can get a sense of what you are looking for and what you might need from me. I’ll put together a custom quote for your wedding and you won’t pay for a single thing you don’t need just because it comes in a package! Plus, I love to personalize my services for you whenever I can. You should get exactly what you want from my photography services, and I’d love to make that happen for you.
I’m big on communication.
It might not seem like a huge selling point now, but trust me, when you don’t have to worry about me at all during the lead up to your wedding, you’ll be thanking me. The to-do list will grow steadily as the date gets closer, but I’ll be one step ahead of you! Checking in to see if you have questions, letting you know the specifics about what I need to know from you, and giving you plenty of time to do it all. I’ll even do a venue consultation with you where we can walk through any details or questions you have on your mind in person, at your venue. I want to be a vendor who puts your mind at ease and doesn’t add to your stress! As someone who recently planned her own wedding, this is huge.
“Our pictures turned out better than we could have expected. The images that Kate captured reflect the beautiful people and moments that we love just as they are, without any added drama or retouching, reflecting the day just as I remember it. If given a second chance, there is no doubt in my mind that I would hire Kate Miller Photography again.”