If I had to list the steps to take when hiring a wedding photographer, or even a photographer for my elopement to Mexico, perhaps, these are the steps I would take to make sure I found the person or team best fit to cover and photograph my wedding.
Maybe it is silly, for a photographer to clearly explain how to find your perfect photographer without just saying “pick me!”, but I’m a firm believer that there is a fit photographer for every couple out there when they are planning their perfect wedding day and sometimes that means that I, Ashley Stein, Ohio Wedding Photographer, am not it.
It’s true. Someone who wants a photographer who is super bright and airy probably wouldn’t list me as their #1 choice. And that’s okay. Someone who wants to hike 9 miles in the dead of winter to elope somewhere in Colorado probably wouldn’t choose me either. And that’s okay.
But someone who values true to color, emotional, and fun moments in life that they’ll cherish for a lifetime, whether that be in Ohio country or a beach in Mexico would probably choose me. And that, too, is more than okay.
So here’s what I would do if I was looking for a photographer.
1. I would compare them side by side to narrow down what styles I prefer. I would look at things like what their pictures look like in natural outdoor light, and also indoors with little to no light. Consider white balance, which is basically how orange or blue your photos look, or how pink or green they look. It’s easiest for me to look on instagram like this:
2. I would confirm availability for the wedding date.
3. I would decide how important your wedding photos are to you. If it’s a 10/10, I would not consider anyone who doesn’t regularly shoot weddings for above a $3500 price point (photo only) and that is a lowball number for an experienced wedding photographer.
If you do find a photographer under this price point, ask these questions:
– what is your backup process?
– can I see a couple full wedding galleries?
– will you provide us a timeline and guide us as needed?
– would you consider yourself a photographer who gets mostly candid photographs or mostly posed? I would prefer a good mix of both but it’s a preference.
– do you have a contract that protects us both?
4. If you find your chosen photographers, whose work you love and are available on wedding date, are above your price point, I would consider cutting the budget elsewhere. Generally speaking, I tell people that if you’re not spending more on your photographer than the meal you are serving your guests combined, you should heavily consider what you are investing in— only because the meal lasts one night, the pictures last for many lifetimes. If wedding photo + video is 10/10 important, I would say above the cost of food and alcohol combined. For example, if you were to choose a bbq catering, at Mission’s BBQ perhaps, for $16.99pp, for 250 people, it would come out over $4200. Another $15 for beer and wine only (this is the lowest of the average with a quick Google search) for your roughly 200 adults, would be $3000, for a total of $7,200.
This is not to say you won’t get lucky and hire a cheaper photographer who is just beginning who absolutely kills it, but there is obviously no guarantee. Everyone starts somewhere, but I hope this helps guide you in the right direction!
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