Your wedding photographer will play a huge role in your big day. They’ll capture hundreds of priceless memories, so finding the perfect match requires careful consideration. We’ve gotten to participate in over a decade of these beautiful memories all around the Austin area, and in the process, we’ve built relationships with some amazing photographers. Here are our tips for finding the right one for you:
Have Your Wedding Basics in Order
Before booking your photographer, you’ll want to have two key vendors in order: your venue and caterer. You can use both to find preferred vendor lists for photography. The photographers on these lists are professionals who have good reputations, and with whom other vendors have built positive partnerships, which can help you identify quality candidates.
Know Your Aesthetic
Many photographers have a distinct style. Whether it’s the distinct light and grain captured through a skillful film photographer’s lens or the dreamy, light-washed editing that turns your wedding photos into a fairytale, you probably have a preference, whether you know it or not. Here’s an exercise to help you figure out which aesthetic you really love: on Instagram, search “#weddingday” and temporarily save the pictures you love the most. Then determine what you like about them — are they all filled with light or do they have a darker filter? Are they candid or more formal? Narrowing down these preferences can help you better evaluate photographers in your area.
The Wedding Photographer Search
Let’s face it. Instagram was made for the world of photography, and it will be a great place to start your search. Start by finding a hashtag for wedding photography in your area. For example, “#atxweddings” and “#austinweddingphotographer” will lead you to many photographers around Austin. You can also search hashtags related to your venue to find photographers who have a good grasp of your location’s best angles.
While on social media, be sure to check out photographers’ interactions with past clients and any reviews you find about them. And, of course, anyone your friends recommend should get special consideration. After all, as a critical team member on your big day, your interpersonal experience with a photographer matters as much or more than their aesthetic. You’ll get an even better idea of whether your personalities mesh when you interview candidates you’re interested in.
Compare Apples to Apples
After narrowing down your choices, you’ll want to meet with your short-list of photographers to discuss details with them. Be sure to gather information like who will be on-site the day of the wedding, what their wedding packages include, what final products are available, and how soon they usually deliver images and other products.
This is also a good time to ask to see a full suite of products from a single event. This way you’ll see what a comprehensive product will look like, rather than just the very best snaps from many events. You should also clarify what your rights to the photos will be: will you need to pay additional fees for printing and publishing later on?
As you compare prices, make sure you’re doing so fairly — the details above should help you identify any additional fees that may not be apparent in package pricing. And don’t forget that there’s more to balance than price alone. Carefully weigh the photographer’s experience and personality with the impact they’ll have on your wedding.
With these tips, you’ll be able to find an amazing wedding photographer for your big day. Keep in mind that you’ll want to book your choice nine months to one year before your wedding date to ensure availability. If you are searching here in the Austin area, there are tons of amazing options! Be sure to check out our preferred vendor list to see who we love working with!