What to Expect When Booking A Wedding Photographer

Guest: Donna Marie Mandigo | Intimate Wedding + Adventure Elopement Photographer | Donna Marie Photography

Donna Marie Mandigo | Donna Marie Photography

Wedding planning comes with a slew of obstacles, one of which is finding and hiring the right wedding photographer. With so many photographers out there, it can feel overwhelming to find a photographer whose style you like, can connect with and fits your budget.

Additionally, it’s not often you look to hire a wedding photographer so you may find yourself lost or feeling nervous. With that being said, I’m here to shine some light and ease some of those nerves when it comes to booking a wedding photographer. While I can’t speak for all photographers that you may encounter, I can provide you a general idea of what to expect as you start the wedding photographer booking process.

1: Find a photographer that you like – in more than just their photography style.

That’s right. Your wedding celebration is more than just gorgeous photos. It is so important to find a photographer that not only creates the art that you envision but is also someone that you vibe with – as they are going to be spending 6-10 hours with you throughout the day. The last thing you want is to have a photographer around that you don’t feel comfortable with. How do you do this? Reach out and start conversations with the photographer you are interested in. Do note that some photographers specialize even within the wedding photography industry – such as myself – I highly prefer smaller, more intimate weddings over large grandeur celebrations. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever work with a couple that chooses to do a large event, it just means that I give preference to smaller events because that’s what I specialize in.

Aside from the main question of date availability, create a list of questions to ask the photographers you start a conversation with. Some questions you could ask include:

- Will you be the one shooting at the wedding? (If not, ask to meet the photographer who will be.) - How many other weddings will you photograph the weekend of my wedding? - Will you have an assistant? - Do you often shoot weddings of a similar size and style to the one we are planning? - Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and/or reception venues? - Do you shoot digitally, with film or both?

While these are just a few example questions to ask, it is a good place to start to get a feel for the photographer’s personality and working style. Remember, you’re basically interviewing the photographer – you don’t want just anyone for this job.

2: Choosing your photography coverage.

Once you have found a photographer you connect with, you will have to decide what kind of wedding day coverage you want. if you’re planning a traditional wedding (and not an adventure elopement – that in itself is an entirely separate blog post entry) aim for 6-7 hours coverage. This will allow you to get those getting ready shots with the bridal party, gorgeous detail shots of the dress and invites, while still capturing all the important parts of the reception. Also think about how many finished images the package includes, whether you get prints, digitals or a mix of both, and whether the photographer provides you with a print release.

Also, definitely opt for the engagement session for two main reasons: First, this gives you and your beau the chance to work first hand with your photographer to ensure that you vibe together before the big day while also putting you at ease with your partner before a camera lens. And second, the images that come from an engagement session can be used for your invites, save the dates, and printed off and displayed at the reception.