we’re getting married

5 Steps to Choosing a Perfect Wedding Photographer

Michael and I just chose our wedding photographer, and we could not be happier with our decision. Choosing a photographer felt like a really big decision. I mean, they are in charge of capturing one of the most special days of your life. Also, wedding photographers are typically a pretty big investment, so you want to be happy with what you are getting. Of course we have not seen our wedding pictures yet; however, there’s not a doubt in my mind that we made the right decision!

If you have already read articles like this, and you are looking for something unique, make sure to read tip #4! Also, if you are having your wedding on Long Island, make sure to check out our photographer, Claudia’s, website.

1. See Your Venue at the Time of Year of Your Wedding

We booked our wedding in the fall, yet our special day is booked for the spring. Because of that, the venue will look pretty different than it did when we visited. Luckily, our venue was able to print out a packet of photos from past spring weddings so we could get an accurate picture of what our wedding will look like.

This was an important step. Wedding photographers all have different styles, and depending on who you choose, your pictures can capture a totally different vibe. If your venue has more dark red flowers and darker decor in the winter, you might want a photographer whose images are a little moodier. Maybe images with more shadowing and contrast. On the other hand, if your venue has a lot of white and pastels in the spring, a photographer whose portfolio is full of lighter, softer images might do a better job capturing what you are looking for.

April in New York can go either way. We wanted a photographer who preferred warm images that could capture the beauty of the beginning of the spring season.

2. Skim Through A LOT of Photographers

We looked through a ton of photographers before finding the right one for us. Not only did this help because our photographer was not at the top of our searches, but also, skimming websites helped us refine what we were looking for. In the tip above, we mentioned how photographers typically have a vibe and a style. After skimming tons of photographers’ websites, we realized we did not like when photographers did a lot of focused photos with blurry backgrounds, when photographers took lots and lots of black and white photos, or photographers who had perfected beautiful posed photos, but shared very limited fun candid shots.

Michael texted me weeks before we found the right photographer and told me he was really searching for a photographer whose “gallery has highlights of people with their tongues out and wacky dance floor scenes”. He definitely didn’t want a photographer who focused mainly on “stuffy or overly posed wedding type family photos”.

3. Talk to Your Venue About Suggested Vendors

This does not apply to every venue, but a lot of venues have suggested vendors. Our venue gave us a list of six photographers who they suggested. If you use suggested photographers, you might get a discount on their photography services. You also usually pay a lot less per plate for these vendors.

Aside from the price benefits, the biggest bonus is that you know they have taken many pictures at that venue before. They know the best spots at the venue and how to best capture you and your loved ones in that space. This means you know exactly what you are getting from your photographer because you can see their past pictures at you venue, and their experience typically speeds up getting the perfect shots.

In our case, we decided not to go with one of the suggested vendors. They were all more expensive than we were hoping to spend. They also weren’t as fun—or candid—as we were hoping for. I am going to be 23 when we get married, and our party is going to be very young and fun. None of those expensive, fancy photographers seemed like they would be able to keep up with and capture how fun our party is going to be.

Luckily, our photographer has still been to our venue many times. I do believe that this helps get shots in the best hidden spots of the venue, and it speeds up the photo process the day of the wedding, which we were definitely looking for.

4. Use Google Maps

This is our biggest secret tip! Use google maps!

The night we started doing this is the night that we finally found three photographers that we really liked, even though we had been looking for weeks. We opened up the map of Long Island and searched up photographers.

Make sure you dedicate a good chunk of time to this step, it will be worth it!

We opened every website for every business on Long Island that had the word photographer associated with it. Unfortunately, this does mean that you will have to go through and get rid of all of the elementary school picture photographers, newborn baby photographers, and graduation party/sweet 16 photographers. After that though, you will be all set up to scan through all of your options.

This is how we found three photographers that we loved. The photos on their profile looked natural and fun, and their prices matched our budget. So, we filled out all three of their contact forms and waited for responses!

long island wedding photographer

5. Get to Know Your Wedding Photographer

When we received our first email response, we were psyched. It made us realize that she was our favorite. She was available the day of our wedding, and we already felt ready to lock it in.

So, we scheduled a zoom meeting for that weekend.

Our zoom went great. We met with our photographer, and she was the sweetest. We talked about what the big day would be like and everything leading up to it. Probably my biggest concern about the whole wedding has been the timeline; I was worried we wouldn’t have enough time to get all the pictures I wanted without missing any of the cocktail hour. That was a priority for us. Our photographer assured me that I had nothing to worry about!

I felt so great at the end of that zoom call.

Our Wedding Photographer

Just two nights later we booked our photographer, and we cannot wait for our upcoming engagement shoot. We will definitely share our images here!

Hopefully this post helps you save time on your photographer search and get the perfect photos of your big day. To see more about our wedding planning, you can click here. We have also shared how to plan the perfect proposal, and how to find the perfect venue.

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