A professional wedding photographer is exactly what you need for your wedding.
I get it (and hear it all the time) – “there are so many people with cameras out there”, “how do I know a photographer won’t rip me off?” and “where do I even begin looking for one”?
I’ve put together the only guide you’ll need on how to choose your perfect wedding photographer, breaking it down step by step:
- Secure a your venue before you do anything
- Decide on your style of photography
- Figure out your budget
- Create a list of suitors
- Assess availabilities
- Get pay ‘out of the way’
- Meet your photographer in person
It’s always best to choose a professional wedding photographer. While it’s easy to save on costs by having mediocre photos, the result just won’t be the same.
The skills of an expert are nothing to doubt. They will make your photos not just pictures – but snapshots of memories and emotions that will last a lifetime.
The 7-Step Guide: How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer
If you follow this guide carefully, you’ll be on the right track.
Make sure to scroll all the way down for my easy-to-read infographic!
1. Secure your venue (before you do anything)
I’d recommend, before even thinking about hiring a wedding photographer: secure your venue as quickly as you can.
2021 is said to become “the year of the wedding boom”.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are gradually being lifted, there’s an unprecedented demand for wedding venues across Australia.
If you find a venue you love, book it (after, of course, reading my comprehensive guide on choosing the perfect wedding venue).
Because wedding venues are booking out fast, I’d recommend locking in a date sooner, rather than later.
Always ensure your venue is flexible, in case you need to re-book because of (fingers crossed not) an unplanned COVID lockdown.
2. Decide your photography style
Everyone has their own style of wedding photos.
Whether it be natural and rustic:
Or dark and mysterious:
Or colourful (and something involving your fur baby):
There’s a style for everybody.
Research some of the wedding photographers out there, and see which style of photography gels with you.
If you love it, add that photographer to your list (see step 4)!
3. Figure out your budget
I never like talking about money … but it’s something you should always consider when you choose your wedding photographer.
Nail down exactly how much you’re able to spend. There’s no point finding the perfect candidate only to find out they cost way too much!
You could probably find somebody out there who’ll snap a few shots for you for a couple hundred bucks, but that’s not going to get you an excellent result.
At the same time, some photographers can charge over $10,000 for a shoot.
I’ll be honest up front with my fees: check out my packages here. Give me a call and I’ll be straight with you.
4. Create a list of suitors
This will be your ultimate ‘maybe list’.
After having done extensive research in step #2, and figuring out how much you can spend in step #3, it’s time to narrow down the list of suitors.
- How long have these wedding photographers been in the business? (Oh, me? Over six years!)
- Do they have the style I’m looking for?
- Have they been featured in any magazines or elsewhere online?
- How many weddings have they taken photos of?
- Have they got good reviews?
- Do they have a website with a portfolio?
- Do they have an amazing wedding photography blog?
5. Assess availabilities
This ties into step #4 – as you’ll be able to narrow down your list even more.
Contact all wedding photographers on your list and find out if they’re available for your big day.
This is something you must talk about before packages, prices or anything like that.
There’s no point locking in someone if they can’t make it!
Don’t waste your time booking any meetings face to face with the photographer (step #7) before everybody knows the date (and the venue, of course).
6. Get pay out of the way!
Figure out exactly how much your wedding photographer will charge you – and compare the packages offered.
Ask them how much they charge for pre wedding photos, taking photos at your reception, your ceremony and exactly what you get at the end of it.
1000 photos? A long video? A free ticket to Rome? (That last one is unlikely).
Also ensure you find out how much you’ll be charged if you want to book the photographer for an entire weekend (or just one day).
Most packages include sessions of up to 12 hours, covering everything from getting ready with your bridesmaids and groomsmen all the way through the ceremony and reception, to the partying at the end.
How much does a wedding photographer cost (on average)?
Depending on the package, you’ll be looking anywhere between $2,500 all the way up to $15,000.
It’s importrant to be precise when interviewing your candidates – you don’t want any hidden surprises.
7. Meet your wedding photographer (in person)
This one’s the most important.
You can have an affordable wedding photographer with a stellar portfolio.
But if you don’t like them, don’t hire them.
It’s so important that you and our partner gel with this person. They’ll be sharing (and capturing) one of the most (if not, the most) important days of your lives.
Ask them lots of detailed questions, and see how they respond.
Get them to show you their camera – check if the bright flashes will disturb your guests.
If they’re arrogant, inflexible or think they’re just too big for their boots – consider someone else.
Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer: The Ultimate Infographic
Want to choose the best wedding photographer in Melbourne?
Hi, I’m Shar! If you enjoyed the photos in this article, you’ll be glad to know they’re all mine!
I’m a seasoned wedding photographer based in beautiful Melbourne – and I’ve shot dozens of weddings for many, many years.
I’ve snapped photos at pretty much every kind of wedding you can think of, and I’m super adaptable to loads of different styles.
Get in touch with me today to discuss the best day of your life!