A couple sit together to search on their laptop
When I talk to my clients about their wedding planning process, I often hear that -- out of all of the zillion decisions they had to make -- finding the right photographer was one of the most stressful choices for them. After all, when you hire a wedding photographer, you're spending a lot of money, and you're essentially purchasing something you can't see … and won't see until weeks after the wedding is over. No wonder it's a scary choice to make!

Another reason couples may find selecting a photographer so overwhelming is that it's such an unfamiliar task. For many couples, their wedding is the only occasion for which they'll hire a professional photographer. One way to make this process less threatening is to begin with what IS familiar … yourselves! Here are 5 questions to ask yourselves as you start your journey into finding the right wedding photographer:

1 -- "How important is photography to us in comparison to other parts of the wedding?"
If photography rates as one of the most important aspects of your wedding day, make sure your budget reflects that. If possible, make your decision on a photographer before you solidify too many other items so that you have the most flexibility in your budget to make the best choice for you.

2 -- "What style of photography are we most drawn toward?"
Spend some time becoming familiar with the different styles of wedding photography that are out there, and find out which style appeals most to you. Then seek out photographers who have that style firmly in their wheelhouse. This way you won't waste your time (or the photographers' time) meeting with those whose artistic style doesn't resonate with you.

3 -- "What is the most important thing we want our photographer to accomplish for us?"
Do you want your photographer to capture the authentic connection you share with your fiance? Do you want the location and venue highlighted? Do you hope your photographer will be able to tell the story of how much fun your guests had or to photograph moments you didn't even know were happening? Make sure you define your priorities and specifically look for these things in the portfolio of the photographers you are considering meeting with.

4 -- "How do we want to live with our wedding photos? What products are we hoping to be left with after the wedding?"
Albums? Digital images? Prints? An online gallery to share with others? Photographers prioritize different products in their offerings. When comparing two photographers' offerings, you aren't always comparing apples to apples. Discuss this with your fiancé so that you're both on the same page about what your "must have" photography products are. This way you can ensure that the photographers you meet with offer those products.

5 --"Who will be part of the decision-making process in hiring our photographer?"
If this is a joint decision between you and your fiancé, you should make it a point to BOTH share your priorities and preferences, and to be present at the meeting with the photographer. Likewise, if your parents will help you make the call on whom to hire, they need to be at the meeting, too, if at all possible. Since a connection and chemistry with your photographer is so important, it is important that everyone involved in the decision making process gets to know him or her so that everyone is on the same page. It can be very difficult to convey your connection (or lack of one) with a photographer and their work to someone who wasn't present, just as it can be hard to remember all of the specific details of packages and pricing.

If you take a little time to think about these questions and discover the answers, you'll go into your photographer-search feeling SO much more confident and prepared! Knowing what you are looking for and what you are drawn to will hopefully lead you to the perfect photographer who will capture and preserve your wedding day memories for a lifetime!
------> When you're done asking yourself the questions above, you'll probably be ready to start meeting with potential photographers. We'd love to be on your list of photographers you consider, but regardless, we really want you to end up with photography you love and a GREAT experience at your wedding! Click here to download a FREE checklist of 12 important questions you should be asking any potential wedding photographers you meet with! We've created a convenient form for you to print and take along as you talk with photographers. Make this big decision a little easier! Download your copy today!
Before you start searching for a wedding photographer, ask yourself these 5 questions!
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