Let’s face it – your wedding day will be very overwhelming (#truthbomb). When you start wedding planning, there are things to know about hiring a wedding photographer that you just aren’t aware of yet! And as the bride and groom, there is so much expected of you two. After months of planning, everything has finally come together, and all too often your memory of the day becomes a bit hazy.
The wedding day goes by so fast.

This is why hiring the right photographer is so important!

They are going to be the ones who capture all of those details that you painstakingly created and give you something to look back on long after the last piece of cake has been eaten and your dress has been put away.
We want to make sure things are easy for you! Here are are a few important things to know about hiring a wedding photographer.

Things To Know About Hiring A Wedding Photographer

elegant engagement ring detail

1) Prices Vary Wildly

Other than for tax purposes, there are no licenses required to be a photographer. No one is regulating the industry, so anyone with a camera and some business cards can hang out an “Open” sign and claim to be a “professional wedding photographer”. That is why you will see people who are just starting out charging $200 for the whole day, all the way to those that have been in the game for years and charge upwards of 10K.
Price can be a sensitive topic, especially when there are so many other things vying for your wedding dollars, but the main thing to remember when choosing a photographer is don’t just go with the cheapest you can find because they are the cheapest. Choose a photographer who’s work you like and then factor in the cost.

romantic Virginia Beach wedding photographer

2) Do Some Research

While it’s true, no two photographers will take the same picture, there are three main types of wedding photography: traditional, photojournalistic and modern.
Traditional wedding photography is the kind that you see in your mother’s and grandmother’s wedding photos. These are planned and posed shots. Each image is carefully thought out by the photographer so that all the key moments and people are included.
Photojournalistic photography is about catching candid photos and documenting the real events that happen during the wedding day. Photographers that shoots in this style will look for real moments: the flower girl twirling her new dress, tears on the father of the bride’s cheeks or humorous mishaps like rice going down the front of the brides dress.
Modern photographers blend these two styles; creating a hybrid of photojournalism and traditional wedding photography. Some photos are staged in classic poses so the couple has a photo with everyone in the family, while many candid moments are caught to capture the unexpected and fun of the day. Most professionals agree this is the most versatile way of shooting a wedding so everything is covered.

classy bridal party pose

3) Plan Ahead

Photographers can be booked in advance (sometimes up to two years!), so don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your wedding photographer. It used to be that May and June were the popular months to get married, but now another popular time to tie the knot is in the fall, September October and November. If you are serious about a photographer you have seen and loved, don’t delay! Put a deposit down so you can reserve their services!

bride standing by the window

4) Face Time

It is SO important to meet with your photographer face to face so you can see their work in person as well as get a sense of who they are and their personality. It’s also important to make sure that the person you are meeting with is the actual person who will be taking pictures for you on the big day. You will be spending the most time with your photographer on your wedding day, so it’s important to make sure that you feel comfortable with that person and feel that their work is of the quality that you were expecting.
With the advent of the digital photography age, traditional studios are rare. That’s why we love being able to welcome clients to our home studio to chat.

Founders Inn Wedding Photographer

5) Family Ties

Some photographers may be your friends or relatives. My advice: don’t hire them!
Why? (you may ask) Chances are that they will do just fine and everything will go smoothly. But if they don’t, are you willing to risk your friendship over it?
I once did a wedding for a friend (not a close friend), she asked me to do pictures and there was a verbal agreement for what would happen and compensation I would receive. Well, somewhere the wires got crossed and (after spending the day photographing the wedding and reception, editing all the photos, etc) I did not receive any sort of compensation.
It makes me sad because, to this day, that bride has never seen her wedding photos.
Lesson learned.
If you absolutely must hire a friend or relative, make sure they are experienced wedding photographers. Pay them a reasonable fee that way everything is on the up and up.

Fresh Look Photography Wedding

6) Take Your Time

Getting those quality photographs you will treasure for the rest of your life takes time. It is SO important to schedule enough time before and after the ceremony to capture images of everyone. It may only take a few minutes to corral people into groups, a few more to arrange the brides gown, a few more minutes to coax a “real” smile out of everyone; but those minutes add up quickly!
One thing to keep in mind is that the photographer can only work with what they are given.
If everything is running behind by an hour when you finally get everyone together to take formal photos so you decide to only give the photographer 15 minutes, the photographer can only take 15 minutes worth of photos. It is unrealistic to expect them to be able to take all the photos you had on your wish list.

Virginia Wedding Photographer

7) Gear

Making sure your photographer has good gear is important, but it is not the be all end all.
I mean, do you (as the bride and groom) really care whether I’m using my 5D Mk II body or 7D body when I’m taking your pictures? Probably not, as long as I get the images you want.
Having gear is good, knowing how to use that gear is better! Make sure your photographer uses professional quality cameras, lenses, flash, etc (and has a backup!), as well as the experience to back it up.

superhero wedding cake batman wedding cake

8) Location, Location, Location

Where are the wedding photos going to take place? Will the pre-ceremony photos be at the church or at someone’s house? Will everyone get their photos done at the same place or go to different areas? These are all important considerations and should be talked about with your photographer.
Another thing to consider: with the popularity of Pinterest, it’s very easy to get caught up in all the gorgeousness of those pinned photos. Make sure that if there is an image you really want, to show your photographer because light, location, time of day and more play a part as to whether or not you will be able to re-create that image on your wedding day.

emotional groom first look

9) Communicate

It is so important that there be open communication between both parties in order to manage expectations. As the couple, you want to know what you are receiving: time on the wedding day? Image files? Albums? Prints? As the photographer it is also important to know what is expected of us so we can meet (and exceed) your expectations and everyone knows what is supposed to happen.

fun bridal session photos

10) Have Fun!

This might seem like a “duh” thing to include on this list, but it’s so easy to stress out and not get to enjoy your wedding. If something doesn’t go as planning, don’t worry! You are the only one who will know about it.
Relax, enjoy your day, and revel in the fact that you are marrying the love of your life.

Love What You See? Want to Chat About YOUR Wedding?!

If you’ve finished looking at these things to know about hiring a wedding photographer and are thinking to yourself – I want you to come photograph my wedding! Awesome!!! We would LOVE to create a custom wedding package for you and the ones you love! Feel free to message me by hitting the { CONTACT ME } button or by giving me a call at 757-749-5350. I can’t wait to create some magic for you!