my little corner of inspiration
When I was younger I kept a little journal hidden under my mattress where I would draw and express my creativity, write down my memories, and document my hopes and dreams. It was a safe place for me to express myself without judgment. Now, twenty years later, I am reinventing the little journal I once hid away and sharing it with all of you. Here you will find vulnerability, creativity, and a new found way for me to showcase my work with the world.
Over the years as a Chicago Wedding Photographer, I have learned that there are several steps couples take when it comes to choosing their perfect wedding photographer. Don’t get me wrong, we wedding photographers would love to be able to work with every single couple that inquires with us. However, the reality of it has to settle in and we all eventually come to the same realization that not every couple wants or should work with us. You know what? That’s totally fine. We know that not everyone is our cup of tea and tbh… this is a tough pill to swallow sometimes.
As a wedding photographer, I know the importance of working with dream couples and we believe that our couples should do the same. So here I am giving you 7 steps to choosing your perfect wedding photographer. Just as much as we deserve to work with dream couples, wedding photographers believe you should have the chance to work with your perfect wedding photographer.
The first step in choosing your perfect wedding photographer will be to determine your wedding budget. Your budget will essentially help put everything else in motion and will be incredibly important when it comes to allocating the rest of your wedding expenses. If you are someone who values your wedding photography, I highly recommend allocating at least between $3,000 – $5,000 for your wedding photographer. Remember, your photos last a lifetime and are preserving your legacy. I may be a bit biased here, but ain’t that the truth!
Every wedding photographer has their own signature “style”. This style is referred to as their editing style but can also cover their specific shooting style as well. There are some photographers who like to stick to light and airy tones. While other photographers, such as myself, like to keep things a bit more warm and moody. There is nothing wrong with either style, and it’s completely up to preference. However, knowing what style you’re leaning toward will help narrow down your selection for your wedding photographer.
Something good to keep in mind when determining a wedding photographer’s style is if you can picture yourself in their images. While scrolling through their social media feeds or website, could you envision your wedding photos on their grid or site? If the answer is no, then keep on searching. However, if the answer is yes they may just be your perfect match.
Another important aspect when inquiring with a wedding photographer is making sure you have your wedding date and venue chosen. Most wedding photographers won’t be able to tell you their availability until you have a wedding date and/or venue. This is because wedding photographers need to allocate whether they are available on the said date and how far travel distances may be. As a Chicago Wedding Photographer, it’s not uncommon to travel far and wide to document love stories. It’s actually one of my favorite parts about my job. With that being said, we need to determine whether we would be able to dedicate enough time to capture both weddings including travel time. Once you have determined your wedding date and venue, it’s onto step number four.
Ideally, at this point, you would have set a wedding date, have your wedding venue booked, and have determined a budget & style preference. Now, you would begin inquiring with photographers who catch your eye. I know that this can be a tough and difficult process, however, these are your wedding photos at the end of the day. They deserve allllll of the love and attention.
After inquiring with several different wedding photographers, I highly encourage setting up a time to hop on a consultation call. These consultation calls are 99.99% of the time free and the perfect chance for you to get to know your potential wedding photographer and ask questions. It’s important that during this step you are communicating with your wedding photographer properly about your wants and needs. Also making sure to ask any question or concern that you have to make sure no stone is unturned. In the end, this will help ensure that you and your wedding photographer are the perfect match.
Throughout your consultation call, you also want to make sure that you and your wedding photographer are aligning with the goals for your wedding day. You want to be able to work with someone who listens to you and feels like your wants and needs are being heard. At the end of the day, this is your wedding day. Your wedding photographer and you should be on the same page when it comes to expectations, style, approach, turnaround time, etc. If you can’t align on these basic principles it’s time to start looking for a new wedding photographer. These are core fundamentals that you need to have aligned with your wedding photographer in order to have a successful and positive wedding experience. That’s a fact!!
Keep in mind that every wedding photographer charges different prices for their services. These prices cover things such as labor, gear/equipment, software, and experience. All things that are incredibly important and should be incredibly important when it comes o choosing your perfect wedding photographer. You want to make sure that when narrowing down the options for your wedding photographer, you discuss packages and pricing. Ideally, you would have already established your wedding budget. So this is a no-brainer to see if your perfect wedding photographer falls within that range.
If they do, congratulations! If they don’t, I highly recommend not trying to negotiate pricing with a wedding photographer. We take so much pride, time, and dedication to learning our craft. At the end of the day, most of us wedding photographers are small businesses and we are here working and making a living just like the rest of you! So please, be respectful of our time and pricing 🙂
As corny and basic as this sounds, you’re going to need to just sit back and trust your gut. After getting on a call with several different wedding photographers and determining your goals for your wedding day, it’s time to make a decision. You want to make sure that you’ve worked through all of the pros and cons and all of your options to make sure that you’re making a solid decision. However, your gut truly does know all. Keeping in mind how your potential wedding photographer makes you feel is going to be incredibly important. How you feel working with your wedding photographer can tremendously impact how your images look so keep this in mind. Your gut is almost never wrong, so don’t be afraid to listen to it and make your decision!
Hey, I’m Abbe! A Chicago Wedding Photographer ready to capture your love story for rad and groovy lovers. If you loved reading this blog on 7 Steps To Choosing Your Perfect Wedding Photographer, then check out some more blogs here.
Portrait and Wedding Photographer Based in Chicago, IL for the rad souls and the wildly in love.