How to choose a wedding photographer

Obviously your wedding is one of, if not the biggest day of your life. Getting the right photographer is so important, as they will provide (if they are doing their job properly that is!) the only formal, lasting, and best record of your day. There are many other details that need to be sorted out for a wedding, but the photographer will be providing the only tangible, lasting record of the day, which should contain within it all those details you have worked so hard to get as you want them on the day.

Obviously now we all have digital cameras, mobile phones etc there will be a wealth of photographs taken on the day, but I can absolutely guarantee you that none will compare with the photographs taken by a professional photographer. In my writing today I am making the assumption that the professional photographer I am referring to is competent in their field, and is providing a professional service.

So what do you need to consider when choosing your wedding photographer?

A professional photographer should give you a written quotation, with terms and conditions, and exactly what you are going to be getting for your money. If you are paying for a professional service this is a must. Anything less than this is not acceptable.

Your photographer should pretty much run the day for you, as along with potentially a wedding planner/ organiser, they will be the only people with you from first thing in the morning to the first dance – and after that you probably won’t care anyway!!

In discussions with the photographer you should say what you want, might want and don’t want, such as

Style of photography,

Specific shots you want,

Who doesn’t get on!!

Album, DVD, prints, video.

Any other additional products and services, such as a DVD slide show of the images included in the album, additional albums for parents, family members and guests, trash the dress on return from their honeymoon, editing of a pictures to specific requirements, etc.

Once you have said what you want, listen to what else is available, and to what the photographer can provide for you. Remember the photographer may be attending, and working at, 50 weddings a year, which you surely won’t be, so their experience is invaluable to you.

Timings on the day should be discussed, to ensure that there is enough time to achieve what you want to achieve, because I can assure you the time will go so quickly on the day.

Expensive does not necessarily mean better by the way.

But having a photographer you feel that you can get on has immense value. Your wedding day is a day to be enjoyed, and a photographer can, believe it or not, pull together the parts of the day and help make things go smoothly. If you think about it, how else are they going to record the day? A competent, professional, organised and most important in my opinion sociable wedding photographer will really make a difference on the day, and give you a few things less to worry about. If you let them take control of the day, to allow them to do their work, they will be happy and hopefully so will you!

Examples of a photographer’s previous Kauai photographers work are helpful, along with references from previous clients, and possibly venues as well. I know of photographers who are recommended by venues as being a dream to work with, but have also heard of tales of photographers being banned from venues for causing so many problems! If a photographer does not have previous wedding experience, but appears to know what they are doing and has worked in a professional capacity in a different photographic field then fine, but expect to pay a bit less than for a seasoned quality professional wedding photographer.

After sales are important, when will you see the images, how do you get albums, how do guests buy pictures? A really great feature made possible by the internet is to have your wedding photographs online, so you can view them on your honeymoon. This can be password protected so only you as the married couple, or whoever you want, can view them.

I will say it again – if you like your photographer this will help. You might be considering hiring the best photographer in the world, but how would you feel on the day if you did not actually like them?

One final thought, and that is getting a friend to photograph your wedding. Lots of people think that they can take professional photographs by having a good quality camera. They may be able to, but there is a chance that they may not! How many non-professional photographers know how to custom white balance to ensure that the brides dress is actually the correct colour? I say very few. You might get a set of photographs that you are delighted with, but you might not. And if you don’t imagine how your friend would feel?

It may be that you cannot afford to pay someone, and fair enough if that is the case – just don’t expect a friend, acting in your best interests, to produce professional results. Be kind to them as if they are a true friend they will be doing the very best that they can for you.

When choosing your wedding photographer, you want to ensure they create the wedding album you’ve always dreamed of. We’ve spoken to the professionals to get some key insight on how to find the right wedding photographer.

How to choose a wedding photographer

Credit: Jay Rowden Photography

5 Steps To Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

Your wedding photographer should capture every detail of your big day. From your place card holders to your hair accessories and your makeup applications, it’s your photographer’s responsibility to capture it all. This way, you don’t have to rely completely on memory.

We firmly believe in investing in the right wedding photographer as your photos are one of the most important aspects of your big day. We asked master photographer, Jay Rowden, for some expert tips for the bride and groom when it came to booking a photographer.

1. It pays to have the best

While you can get a good deal with a photographer who’s new to the industry, you do need to find someone you trust to get it right. Perfection comes with experience.

“It sounds obvious but nail down your photography budget before reaching out to wedding photographers.” Says Jay Rowden.

“Be prepared to break the bank if you find a photographer whose work you really love”.

How to choose a wedding photographer

Credit: Jay Rowden Photography

2. Browse your photographer’s portfolio

Look through the portfolio of any photographer you’re considering. You won’t just be looking for examples of the weddings they’ve captured. You’ll also be looking at their different styles and approaches. When you find the photos that resonate with you, you’ve found your style and photographer.

“Before you meet your favourite photographer, ask them to bring along a few sample albums of their work,” Says Jay Rowden.

3. Decide on the right style

A professional photographer distinguishes all the subtleties of shooting a wedding. They’ll know exactly when to photograph your groom as he first sees you walking down the aisle, how to achieve the perfect confetti shot, and what to do in the event of rain. A creative and flexible approach often results in the most breathtaking and brilliant wedding photographs.

“Decide what style you’re after, Says Jay Rowden, “[Be it] documentary, fine art, natural, contemporary, traditional”.

How to choose a wedding photographer

Credit: Jay Rowden Photography

4. Create a detailed action plan

Everything from your chosen venue to the time of year will affect your wedding photographs. If you’ve got your heart set on certain shots, like couple’s portraits at sunset or a sparkler send-off photo, then you need to talk it through with your photographer.

More often than not, your photographer will offer a pre-wedding shoot to help you both gauge what kind of shots you want. It makes taking the photos on your big day that bit quicker and more efficient.

How to choose a wedding photographer

Credit: Jay Rowden Photography

5. Make sure you’ve both done your homework

“Make sure you do your homework on photographers. Draw up a list of your three favourite photographers.” Says Jay.

“Then properly review their websites and blogs, check out the socials for their latest work and make sure you look at feedback”.

This way, you have a firm idea of what kind of photography style you’ll receive and you can help pull together some ideas of what shots you want. You can scope out the quality and the range of skills your photographer has.

The last thing you want is to fork out all that money on your wedding day and not have some fantastic photos to look back on.


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How to choose a wedding photographer

Your photographs will be your most treasured wedding keepsake. You’ll immediately want to share them when your photographer gives them to you, and you’ll look back at them 50 years from now, reminiscing about your vows, the kiss, and the first dance.

Choosing the right photographer to capture those poignant moments is an important decision and it's crucial to find a pro who understands your vision for your wedding day and can document it with style. But you'll also want someone you trust and feel comfortable with since he or she will be by your side the entire wedding day.

To help you find the right person to entrust with this task, follow our guide to selecting the perfect wedding photographer.

How to choose a wedding photographer

1. Book your venue first.

It's a smart idea to hire your photographer after you've secured your venue. Aim to book his or her services about nine months before the wedding (or a year, if your photographer is in high demand).

2. Hit up your social network for recommendations.

Ask your recently married friends whose wedding photos you loved and solicit recommendations from your wedding planner or the manager of your reception site.

3. Figure out the style of photography you like.

Do your homework and spend some time getting a sense of the style of photography you like. Maybe it's bright with lots of saturated colors, or perhaps you prefer a more vintage look with more washed-out tones and a dreamy, nostalgic feel. Once you've found a handful of photographers whose aesthetic jives with yours, email each person and inquire about if they're available on your wedding date and their photography rates. If the ones you're interested in are available on your date and if their fees are within your budget, then you can schedule initial meetings.

4. Interview the photographers.

Most photographers will email you a link to their portfolio of images before your first meeting. Be sure the collection includes recent weddings he or she has shot from start to finish, not just a "best of" highlight reel from dozens of different weddings. This is a more accurate way to gauge the photographer's work. Also, ask if the photographer has shot at your venue and if so, request to see those photos.

During the meeting, find out who exactly will shoot on your wedding day. Some larger studios employ several photographers, and even with single-person operations, it's not unusual for the photographer to have an assistant handle shots of the groom getting ready while he focuses on the bride and bridesmaids. In all cases, request to see the work of the photographer (or photographers) who will be handling your wedding.

5. Discuss the fee.

Some photographers’ fees include everything including albums, prints, and high-resolution images (saved on a disc or thumb drive); others have a flat or hourly rate, then charge you à la carte for any pictures or albums you want. Many photographers offer a price list that details several different packages they offer at different price points. Make sure that you understand what’s included. Ask how long the photographer will spend with you (seven to nine hours is ideal) and whether there will be a second shooter, as you’ll get more detail shots this way.

Also inquire about when you can expect to receive everything, from a sneak peek of images (some photographers can give you a handful within a few days) to prints (usually up to three months) to your album (up to a year).

6. Go with your gut.

Once you've evaluated each photographer's work and fees, and narrowed down the options, it's time to make your decision. Don't forget that you'll be spending the entire wedding day with this person, so you want to make sure you feel completely comfortable with the photographer. Do you and your fiancé genuinely like this person? Do you feel like the three of you click?

7. Schedule a test run.

An engagement photoshoot is always a good idea—it’s a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and begin to feel comfortable having your photo taken, especially if you or your groom are camera-shy.

Photos from your wedding are a special memory that will preserve the emotions and sensations of this exciting day for many years. You will certainly want to remember the touching vows, the sensual first kiss of the newlyweds and the dance of the newly-married couple. But only a real specialist, who ate the dog in solemn and touching photos, will be able to convey these emotions and fix them in digital form.

Believe me, it is better to spend a holiday with the master who evokes pleasant emotions in you. Moreover, he penetrates into all the touching scenes of life in order to prepare a chic set of materials and please the customer with his unsurpassed works. Not everyone can deal with this task, so we will tell you how to choose a wedding photographer who will meet your expectations and guarantee the quality of work.

How to choose a wedding photographer

memories that last fomaking

Before making a volitional decision and choose a wedding photographer, set the most comfortable price for your wallet. To get started, carry out a selection along the lower bound, gradually increasing the budget. Do not pursue amazing benefits in the form of penny deals, because then you will definitely not be pleased with the mediocre result of filming.

Consider the fact that some photographers offer a full range of services, voicing it to the client in advance. Others work only for a certain time, and the preparation of photos, their editing and printing are included in an additional price list. Clarify this question several times, because in this way you will avoid controversial unpleasant situations.

Many experienced artists offer a final price list, where all the subtleties are clearly explained. The ideal option for the absence of problems would be to contact a specialized agency, where you get a really wide selection of all kinds of services in a comprehensive service. In fact, you regulate the length of time the operator stays, whether they have support staff, the style they want, and more.

How to choose a wedding photographer


First, discuss with your spouse-to-be about a visual message and design that reflects your emotions. It can be bright color, vintage designs with washed out tones and nostalgic touches, or black and white designs that show emotion. Look at the work of well-known photo artists, select the photos you like and look in this vein.

Specialists often choose 1–2 main directions and then practice only in them, therefore, problems usually do not arise with the search. Ask for a portfolio of the most successful works and see if their examples really match what you came up with. It would not hurt to send them your version of the filming result according to previously studied examples, so that the specialist understands what you are counting on.

If you cannot decide or find a photographer, it is better to contact an agency that selects a professional for themselves. This will ensure that you book quality filming for the dates you want and get the fee you originally hoped for.


Ideally, you should first take care of the location where you will arrange the celebration, and only then start booking a filming specialist.This is quite important, because in the United States it is common to hold weddings in other cities and regions, even states.

Reservation should be one of your first tasks. Your search for catering depends, the counting of possible guests and, of course, the organization of photography depends on it. It is better to look for a photographer who knows the peculiarities of the local flavor and can easily come to your celebration. You don’t need to negotiate and search, if you contact the agency – the company itself will find the best performer for your requirements.

Moreover, in some cases, the administration of your reserved place of celebration offers you a list of specialists. You shouldn’t trust them completely, but you can still take the list as a basis. Ask them for examples of photos and learn about their methods of work, perhaps someone from this list will be suitable for your perfect shooting.

Be sure to assess your portfolio and look for photos in locations similar to yours. For example, if you are planning a classic wedding in a church, having such photos will be an advantage. If the photographer only has landscape or portrait photography, then he is unlikely to meet your expectations. But don’t rush to give up – creative people are often inspired by new places, so talk more with your chosen specialist.

How to choose a wedding photographer


Finally, if you have already decided on the contractor involved, still do not be lazy and study the opinions of other clients about his work. They will help you in choosing a wedding photographer, keeping in mind their responsibility, friendliness and skill level. Testimonials with examples of photographs, which allow you to be sure of the selected person’s skills, are especially helpful.

You can do your search using social media, because almost every professional has their own page. Work with hashtags on the subject of weddings or photos, and enter the geolocation of your selected place when searching. Very often, beginner photographers publish high-quality and creative photos that are difficult to find with a regular search.

Getting contacts from acquaintances and friends who had experience in organizing filming is very good. Positive feedback about the photographers they attract will definitely help to avoid unpleasant moments in favor of an excellent result.

If you plan to select a specialist personally, then it will take a lot of time. In addition, you run a high risk of getting caught in the network of an unqualified performer. It will be much better if you contact a reliable agency, express your expectations and receive a high-level service, in which there will be no place for unpleasant surprises and changes in plans.

By following our advice, you can easily find a pro who will preserve your memory for a lifetime and prepare amazing photos that you will not hesitate to show people. But be careful and weigh the pros and cons, because one mistake is enough to turn Happy Holidays into a nervous and hectic experience.

From the get-go, Nicci explains that if there is one item that you will book for your wedding that you absolutely shouldn’t skimp or “go cheap” on, it’s your photographer.

Your wedding photographer could cost anywhere from 10% – 18% of your total wedding budget. Why? Well not only do you want the best possible person to capture the special moments of your once-in-a-lifetime day, but you also want an expert who has years of experience and knowledge of how to get the best out of both you as a couple and your décor on your big day. After all the money has been spent, the food eaten and the music played their is only thing you other than your awesome relationship that you will have to show for it the afterwards – your photographs. Here we’ll help you figure out how to choose a wedding photographer – ideally one whose work you will love.

Tips for booking your wedding photographer

When choosing your wedding photographer make sure that you:

  1. Review the wedding photographer’s blog to see at least 5 full weddings they’ve shot. Instagram isn’t enough. You’ll need to be certain that you love their style, and that they are consistent in their work from start to finish for each couple that they have photographed. This is such an important tip when learning how to choose a wedding photographer.
  2. Ask for contact details of previous clients for references, so that you can check the wedding photographer is experienced, reliable and great to work with.
  3. Meet with the your potential photographer firstto make sure that you vibe together. You’re going to be spending a huge amount of time with them on your wedding day, so you want some that you feel super comfortable and relaxed with. Being chilled and having a good time will also make all the difference in your wedding photographs. Try to make time to meet them before your big day to get to know them a little better. An engagement shoot is great for this.
  4. Have an engagement shoot before your wedding to get comfortable with the idea of being in front of the camera, and to become more familiar with working with your photographer. This way, you and your other half can learn what it’s like to be photographed together by your chosen photographer, before your big day. You can see it as a test run. Many couple’s use the pictures from their engagement shoot for their save-the-dates, invitations, or wedding websites too.
    (Check out these tips for awesome engagement photographs!)
  5. Do not expect your chosen wedding photographer to be in two places at once. It is almost impossible for your photographer to present during your couple shoot, and capture your cocktail and canapé hour at the same time, for example. TIP:Remember that a photographer’s assistant is NOT the same as a second shooter. An assistant needs to be with the photographer at all times to assist with shooting and help with lighting, while a second shooter can also photograph one part of your wedding, while your main photographer is shooting another part.
  6. Read your photographer’s contract carefully. Familiarise yourself with exactly what your photographer can offer you, and what they expect from you. Generally your photographer will require a seat, alongside their assistant, at one of your guest tables for the duration of your reception. Just like you, they’re human and need to rest and eat over the 8 – 12 hour course of your wedding. Make sure you let your caterers know and plan for this in your seating arrangement. 🙂
  7. Include a delivery timeline in your contract. Many couples are surprised to learn that they will not receive their pictures immediately after their big day. Generally you can expect to wait at least 4-6 weeks, depending on how busy your photographer is during that time of year. Discuss this with your photographer and agree in writing.
  8. Read these30 Wedding Photography Tips for Amazing Wedding Photographs!

Tips for working with your wedding photographer

After you’ve chosen your wedding photographer, here are a few tips to help you work well together:

Wedding photography is mainly a specialization in photography which is mostly centered on the photography of various activities and events relating to weddings. It can also comprise other kinds of photojournalistic portrait photography, for example a pre-wedding shoot, of the bride and groom prior to their official wedding ceremony. These kind of shoots will enable the client to have a look at the photographer’s portfolio and work experience. Portraits of family members are also a very common type of photography in the wedding industry.

Most professional photographers who offer their services also offer post-ceremony services including the retouching of photographs in-between the ceremony itself. They also edit the photographs and create special effects and titles to fit the style of the wedding party. The professional photographer will usually begin by asking the friends and family of the couple to pose for several pictures with the wedding party. As the photographer begins to take more photographs, new ideas and approaches will be put into practice until the desired effect is achieved.

Many professional photographers offering their services online also offer video services. This means that they can be called upon to capture special moments that would otherwise be difficult to catch with regular photography. Wedding videos are very popular and many couples and guests prefer to watch these videos instead of having the photographs taken of these important moments.

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How to choose a wedding photographer

When you get engaged, the months fly by and the day flies by even quicker! That’s why choosing a wedding photographer that is experienced and qualified is critical in preserving your memories for years to come!

So, here’s the real deal. Wedding photographers, especially experienced and reliable ones, do not come cheap. I want to share how to choose a wedding photography package, what’s a healthy budget, and what different budget ranges will get you for a wedding photographer, at least here in Ohio!

How Much Should I Pay For a Wedding Photographer?

Wedding photography ranges in price from around $500 to upwards of $10,000 and higher. Lots of things determine a photographer’s pricing such as location, style, experience, and qualifications.

Let’s break down the ranges people tend to spend below:

$0-$1000 Photographers – New, lack experience, are uninsured, or just do weddings on the side. They typically do not have a client experience for their couples and many do not require a contract.

$1000-$2000 Photographers – New, lack experience, or just do weddings on the side. Photographers in this range do not often have much experience and lack the processes and guidance you’ll receive with more seasoned photographers. Still not full-time and have another income to supplement their photography.

$2000 – $3000 Photographers – Mid-range photographers providing mid-range service. These photographers often take on 20-50 weddings a year and “turn and burn” them. They often do not have many systems in place, have a few years of experience, and lack the education and knowledge of higher-priced photographers. Many are still not full-time.

$3000 – $6000 Photographers – Provide a high level of customer service, are full time, educate themselves and take workshops, have many years of experience and have photographed many weddings to show for it, many take a limited amount of weddings per year to give their clients the best time and attention possible. Know all lighting scenarios and how to light them like a champ.

$6000+ Photographers – Provide a luxury experience, are often also photography educators and have a large following online and offline, many only take a very limited amount of weddings per year (often 10 or less due to their other commitments), top of the line equipment and attention to detail, often very published, established, and travel worldwide for weddings. They educate themselves and attend workshops frequently while knowing all lighting situations.

I Always Heard to Spend 10% of My Budget on a Wedding Photographer

I am not sure where the advice on spending 10% of your budget on wedding photography came from, but there is no such thing as a standard budget. Just like everything else in life, you make decisions on where your money goes and what you prioritize.

I have had couples with smaller days and smaller budgets spend over 50% of their wedding budgets with me. You can dictate how important investing in a photographer is for your legacy and there is no set amount on what that costs. It’s more about the connection you have with that photographer, appreciating and liking their style, and seeing yourself in their photos versus setting a specific budget.

What’s Included in a Wedding Photographer Packages?

What’s standard in wedding photography packages is listing the amount of time they will be there, whether they include a second photographer, the digital files, the engagement session, any sort of print or album credit, and travel fees, if applicable. Videography is not included in most photographer’s collections since video is an entirely different entity.

How Do I Choose a Wedding Photographer?

After prioritizing a photographer based on how important to you and not a set percentage of your overall budget, start reaching out to photographers whose style and personalities intrigue you. You’re with your photographers longer or as long as you are with your partner on the wedding day, so you definitely want someone you mesh well with that your family and wedding party will also vibe with. There are so many styles: light and airy, dark and moody, very desaturated greens, vibrant and contrasty colors (that’s me!). Find a style you LOVE and pair personality with style and inquire as soon as you can. Which leads me to…

How Soon Should I Reach Out to Wedding Photographers?

As soon as you can! Photographers are one of the first vendors to book after a couple chooses a venue since many couples want to send out save the dates and include a photo or two with them. Plus, engagement photos are great when it comes to a wedding website. I typically book 9-12 months out, even longer when it comes to popular and cute dates (like 4/3/21, 10/10/20, etc). The longer you wait, the less options you will have for available photographers.

What’s an Average Toledo Wedding Photographer Cost?

An insured, experienced Toledo wedding photographer will start between $3000-$5000 for wedding photography coverage. Finding a photographer in that range will likely mean they have several years (or decades) of experience, are known in the industry by other vendors, are on preferred venue and vendor lists online, are listed on The Knot and Wedding Wire with great reviews, and have a social media presence. They don’t book themselves up too much and spread themselves too thin, so they stick to their turnaround times and really form a relationship with their couples.

Want to learn more about me and why I might be your dream Toledo wedding photographer?

Generally, everyone marries and prefers to have memories of their weddings. People know that their weddings’ events and moments are unrepeatable, those memories can be only treasured. They prefer that a good wedding photographer is hired to capture the memorable and unrepeatable moments of their weddings.

It is trendy these days to have destination weddings-people will organize their weddings in exotic locations away from their hometowns. This makes the weddings more exciting for couples and attendees. People prefer to hire the services of a local wedding photographer as the local photographer is familiar with local exotic locations and can capture exotic backgrounds properly. People planning to organize their weddings in Vernon would prefer to hire the services of Vernon wedding photographer instead of a photographer who is not very familiar with the place.

People generally consider following aspects while choosing a good professional wedding photographer:

  • Photography style: People first need to identify their preferred style of wedding photography. Many events are organized and recorded in many ways. Couples are generally unaware about these aspects of wedding photography so they may have to invest some time on this. This will also help them in becoming aware of various photography styles and choosing their preferred style.

Once they have identified and selected the wedding photography style then they may prefer to choose a good wedding photographer who has expertise in that style of wedding photography.
How to choose a wedding photographer

  • Photographers’ portfolios: Portfolios of photographers will help in understanding the expertise of a photographer in various styles of photography. Couples may ask for the portfolios of their preferred wedding photography style. They can compare the portfolios of various photographers and can enquire further about it if they desire. This will help them in understanding the expertise and experience of the photographers in their selected photography styles.
  • Photography equipments: This is a very important aspect for selecting a good wedding photographer. Photographers having good and latest photography equipments are always preferred by couples. Couples may research about various latest photography equipments and cross check with the photographers about its usability and advantages.
  • Local or outsider: People also consider whether they will prefer local photographer or an outsider who has great expertise in wedding photography. Local photographers have the advantages of knowing the venues and exotic places and they can comfortably capture the beauty of locations in their pictures. It has been seen that couples intending to organize their weddings in Norwich location would prefer to use a wedding photographer. There are many people who prefer their photographers who have been used for their various family events for years. Couples have to consider pros and cons of both options and decide accordingly.
  • Cost: Cost is always an important aspect while choosing the services of any professional. People also have to consider quality and expertise while comparing costs of various photographers.

There are many other aspects which are considered by couples which choosing a professional wedding photographer. The combination of all these aspects will help couples in choosing a right wedding photographer.