You’re engaged. Congratulations! I am sure you have seen countless engagement and wedding photos on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, to name a few. I am also sure you loved some of them and thought some of them were a bit tacky. Picking a photographer can be a daunting task. There are so many people out there these days who take pictures. Some with more experience than others. When it comes down to it, it really goes back to what you are looking for. Do you care about the pictures or are they not a top priority with your budget?
Photography is one of the items I said going into wedding planning that I would be willing to spend more money on. It’s extremely important to have our entire day captured to me, as it tells the story of our wedding DAY. I strictly told photographers when interviewing them that I DIDN’T want your standard photos that everyone gets. Yes, I understand some of our wedding photos will be the typical line ups, but I want them to capture the fun and the “actual” moments, not the “posed” moments.
Now you might say, how in the world did you go about finding a photographer? My answer to you is research, research and more research. If you think about what you are researching, you are looking for good photographers, and what do photographers produce, but photos. The social media outlets we have in today’s day and age allow for those photos to be posted and seen by the masses. With this said, I solely did research via social media, and my research ended there (besides reviewing the photographers websites). I didn’t Google search: photographers or best photographers or even photographers in Colorado as they definitely wouldn’t have allowed me to find the photographers I did.
Booking a Photographer
1. Establish what your top budget is for both engagement photos and wedding photography.
You will want to use the same photographer for both. You will get to know them during engagement photos, which then makes your wedding day photos even more seamless.
- I say establish a budget before anything, because as you are researching you may come across a photographer you like but is out of budget and in this case you already know to keep researching
2. Research time!
- Come up with a list of hashtags you are going to search. Be creative. The hashtags you search could be sculpted around what you are looking for. When I was searching I searched hashtags such as:
The hashtags you search will obviously vary depending on where you live, but the above should give you a good start.
As you are search you will run across other hashtags to search, and you will keep diving deeper and deeper until you find some or the, photographer(s) you like.
3. Once you have found a few photographers you like via social media, check out their portfolios online.
Checking out our photographers portfolio online, solidified how amazing they are, and that they were the photographers we were going to book.
4. Contact the photographer(s) you have chosen and get quotes.
Get to know the photographer and let them get to know you. Tell them exactly what you are looking for (i.e. all day photography, photographers only and no assistants, chic city photos, mountain/outdoors photos…to name a few). Ask if this is something they can do and are comfortable with or not. Being open and upfront right off the bat not only guarantees you will have the photographer(s) you are looking for, but establishes repertoire.
5. Make the final decision on the photographer(s) you are choosing, and pay the deposit. YAY!
Gillespie Photography is who we ended up booking for both our engagement photos and wedding. Their philosophy was exactly aligned with mine; wedding photography should be about more than the “posed” photos, it should tell a story. We have had the pleasure of already shooting our engagement photos with them and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about the results and working with them. They are a husband wife team. Both professional photographers. Their fun, down to earth and creative demeanor illuminates the photos they take. I would HIGHLY recommend booking them if you are in the Colorado area, and even if you aren’t as they are available for destination weddings.
Good Luck finding and booking a photographer. Remember, besides the memories, photography captures the feelings and story of the day!