Alright, you’ve started stalking photographers. Some that are local and in your price range, a couple big ticket dreamers and maybe even a couple you’ve never met, but love to follow on instagram! You’ve stalked their portfolios, maybe you have even read their raving reviews. Well if all of the boxes check, “YES!” so far… Don’t. I repeat, DON’T book your photographer until you have seen a variety of samples of the following.
Yes, personality + professionalism are a deciding factor, but make sure you have seen a handful of these images before moving forward. After all, typically all we see online are the fluffy florals, pinterest worthy details and sunset portraits. Simply asking your photographer candidates for samples of these should help you decide instantly if you’re moving forward with them, or not!
1. Getting Ready Chaos
There’s no doubt that your dream photographer is talented with the details! Beautiful flat lays, perfectly curated invitation suites and ring shots that make you gasp! What about capturing the crazy morning? Sometimes photographers can be so laser focused on the details that sometimes the “chaos” of the day gets overlooked (not really captured). Are you ever going to frame these photos? Nope. They most likely won’t even make the album, but I promise you’ll want to see your niece in her Elsa pajamas and your sweet Mama still in her curlers while she opens your thank you card! Pay attention to these photos to feel if your photographer can capture the candids and if all the girls feel comfortable around them. These pics will speak volumes.
2. Emotional Moments
If these types of photos aren’t plastered all over their website, don’t hesitate to ask for them. Look for happy tears, big belly laughs, emotional speeches and first look gasps! It’s important to remember that taking beautiful pictures is a talent, but it’s truly a gift to predict moments and be at the right place at the right time!
Vow exchanges, parents and grandparents in the front row and the grand exit are great to view before committing to your photographer! Do they look quick on their feet? Offer lots of angles and ranges, without being intrusive? Take a look!
4. Family Portrait
Ask for a large family portrait, based on where yours will be taken. For example, if you’re getting married in dark Greek Orthodox church ask to see a sample photo that looks like that. Outside in a garden? Inside a barn during the winter? Pay special attention to the posing and details. Do any uncles have sunglasses on? Do the photos feel symmetrical and balanced? Photos during this time is like herding cats, but it’s worth seeing what they come up with during the stress of this fraction of your day!
5. First Dance
If you reach out and request photos, these types of photos would be the BEST to ask for! Lighting situations can be tough and it’s important to see a wide range of difficult lighting throughout the day. Are you getting married in a dark barn? Planning your first dance around dusk time under twinkling lights? Make sure to take a peek at what your photographer can capture under these super low lighting situations! These shots may be the deciding factor or deal breaker.
6. Bouquet Toss
When’s the last time you saw a posted bouquet toss photo? Yeah. I can’t remember either! Yet, they happen at over 90% of my weddings! This will be a great indication of action shots in the dark! Not only to get a feel of what your bouquet + garter toss will look like, but a good guesstimate of what your open dancing (getting hyphy) shots will look like, too!
7. Cake Cutting
This sort of goes in the same category as above, but you get it by now. Ask to see as many reception photos as possible to truly get a glimpse of what your photos will look like! Tablescapes and table decor, too.
8. Sparkler Exit
Even if you’re not planning a sparkler exit, take a peek! These are typically done outside in a parking lot or down the steps of the venue. With the given low lighting situation, does your photographer have the gear to truly capture this vision? This will be the grand finale of your search!
BONUS: Ask to see 2-3 full wedding galleries! This will be the best indicator of what to expect. Look for consistency in the lighting and the body language of the couple and their wedding party. The best advice to share when it comes to picking your photographer is to trust your instincts, but also do your research! Referrals and reviews will help with a piece of mind, but really it’s also about the photos that aren’t shared on social media, too!
Did you find this helpful? Share a comment below if this helped you pick your favorite photographer!
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