Searching for a wedding photographer can become overwhelming very quickly. With endless options of places to search and people to discover, you might be wondering where to start.
In this episode of bridechilla Cavin Elizabeth Urquhart, from Cavin Elizabeth Photography shares her tips and insights into navigating seemingly endless list of photographers and honing in to find the right photographer for you.
Listen to The Episode
If you’re curious about how to find a wedding photographer that is perfect for you, follow these steps and you’ll be on the right path!
Determine Your Style
Unless you already know what kind of photos you like, searching for a photographer will not be the best place for you to start. It won’t do you any good to search through a blog vendor guide whose photographers all shoot a dark and moody style when you actually are looking for someone whose style is light, bright, and ethereal.
How the heck do you figure out what style of photography you love? Pinterest will probably be your best resource. Start searching for wedding terms like “bride and groom portraits”, “bridesmaids photos”, or “wedding ceremony” and pin the images that stand out to you. Try not to think about the content of the photos (i.e. what the bouquets or dresses look like). Your mission is simply to pin images whose photography style catches your eye.
Make mental notes along the way about the aesthetic of the photos. Are the images very soft, bright, and airy? Perhaps you’ll want to find a fine art photographer. Are they dark, adventurous, and moody? Or are they extremely colorful, bright, and fun? Show your fiancé and nail down your style together. Once you know what kind of visual style you both want, you’ll be ready to search for your perfect photographer and won’t waste any time on those whose style is not a fit for you.
Trusted Word of Mouth Referrals
Not keen on researching and simply want a few trusted personal referrals? Ask your venue, planner, or florist for photographer recommendations based on your budget and the photography style you are looking for. Not all vendors will give ultra-personalized recommendations, but if you can provide that information, they will hopefully be able to give you a few referrals that match your style and budget.
Additionally, you can always ask your friends who have beautiful wedding photos who they hired and if they were happy with the experience. Referrals from trusted friends are always a great resource for finding your perfect photographer!
Instagram provides such an easy way to find photographers. Its visual-focused platform makes it quick to find images that resonate with you. Search local wedding photographer hashtags (i.e. #sandiegoweddingphotographer) to find images that stick out. You can either make a mental note of photographers whose names you repeatedly find or you can save the photos to an Instagram collection.
Wedding Directories and Blog Vendor Guides
With wedding directories, you’re able to filter by price range, style, and distance to your wedding city. In some larger cities, there might be several pages of dozens of options. Don’t let that freak you out! Remember the style that you love? Do a visual scan of the profile photos of the photographers and open the ones who stand out in a new tab. No need to look at every profile or even look at every page of listings. Keep it simple and you won’t get overwhelmed!
For wedding blog vendor guides or even blog features themselves on places such as Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Junebug, 100 Layer Cake, and Once Wed. I love using blogs to find vendors because most of the time, these blogs have a defined aesthetic throughout their blog posts and vendor guide. For example, Style Me Pretty is predominantly light, airy, filmy, and heavy on neutrals and softer colors, while Junebug features mostly darker and moodier work.
If there’s a blog you love, chances are you’re going to resonate with the photographers either listed in their vendor guide or whose work is published on the site’s blog pages. If you’re searching the guide or featured weddings and editorial shoots, just make sure that you’re searching for your city so that you don’t waste time looking at photographers thousands of miles away.
Hopefully by now, you have a great plan for how you’ll find a wedding photographer that is the perfect fit for you and your wedding. By taking the search one step at a time and understanding that you don’t have to look at hundreds of photographers, you’ll make the process very easy for yourself!
A Bride's Guide to a Picture Perfect Wedding
Within the pages, Urquhart expands on carefully designing one’s wedding plans with the photography in mind- from how to select your dream photographer and preparing for the engagement session to creating an ideal timeline. The easy-to-follow book focuses on the three major components of the wedding timeline, guiding brides from the planning months to the Big Day itself, and the days following.
“While hiring a skilled photographer is key, my goal is to walk couples through the simple changes that can elevate the beauty of their wedding day photography,” adds Urquhart.