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10 Tips To Find The Perfect Photographer

You’re engaged- hooray!! Now the fun begins…getting everything just perfect for the big day. While planning can be some of the most fun you’ll ever have, it can come with some stress (mother in laws, am I right?) But fear not, we have some great tips here to make finding the absolute perfect wedding photographer an easy thing to check off that wedding to-do list!

1. Set Your Budget

First of all, take a deep breath- weddings can be a pretty pricey affair. Take a look at your whole budget and allot some of it to photography only. This way you know what you can and can’t spend comfortably. Think of what you want in a package- how many hours do you think you need? What kind of album do you envision sitting on your coffee table?

2. Get Your Negatives

Make sure that every photographer you consider gives you the reprint rights to your images. This way, if Aunt Sally asks you for that super adorable photo of you two after the wedding (that you may or may not have gotten printed on your own), you can take it anywhere you like & not be stuck going back to the studio and paying double or triple the price of what you could get at your local drugstore. Think of it this way- whoever holds the negatives, holds the control. And since you are the one footing the bill, shouldn’t that be you?

3. Do Your Style Homework

Pinterest is a fabulous place to get photo ideas. You may even have already had a secret board started while waiting for the rock (it’s ok, we don’t judge). Pin what speaks to you- it’s a great way to gauge what kind of photo style you like, from Classic to Photojournalistic, and everything in between. Keep in mind though when you are booking your photographer that even if you are the kings & queens of Candids, you’ll want someone who can give you a wide variety of style. Photojournalism is great, but gently guided natural poses tend to be the ones that end up framed all around your house. The right photographer will give you the perfect mix.

4. Look for Local Inspiration in Photos

Any photographer worth their salt will have a beautiful portfolio of images. Look at them closely- you may see your venue, a city landmark, or a park or beach that you were thinking of utilizing for your wedding shoot. You may also see some creative & cute poses that you can add to your own shot wish list.

5. Engagement Shoot

Engagement Shoots are a fantastic way not only to get to know your photographer, but to get comfortable in front of the camera together. “Practice makes perfect” is a saying for a reason, right? The more natural your smile and body language is, the more flawless your photos will be. Engagement Shoots take guesswork out of the game, and you’ll know just the right way to pose when the big day arrives. Plus you’ll have some gorgeous professional photos you will cherish forever!

6. Plan B

Ok, not to be a Debbie Downer, but god forbid something happens on the big day, you’ll want to make sure your photography company has a Plan B. One of the perks of a larger company like The Pros is a 24/7 Emergency Backup Service, which means that if something unforeseen happens to your photographer the day of your wedding, we’ll send another local photographer to make sure you are taken care of. The last thing you want to worry about is if you’ll have someone there to capture the moments- a backup plan means you won’t have to.

7. Time Your Day

This can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. The best way to plan your photographer’s timing is to pad time early in the day, so you don’t have to rush. Looking for some more time savers? Consider doing a first look so you can enjoy your cocktail hour. Also, it’s never a bad idea to consider adding a 2nd Photographer to capture the guys getting ready (hey, dudes like photos too), and have double coverage at your ceremony so you can get that iconic shot of when your partner sees you walking down the aisle…likely with lots of happy tears.

8. Think Big Picture

Right now you are in uber-planner mode, and the wedding day is all you can probably see. But try to take a step back and think of the big picture…after the day is done, how much are you going to want to do to create your wedding album? If you are like most, the answer is not too much. Keep in mind then when you are shopping for photography that you will want to have an album done for you. Places (like The Pros for instance) that have an in-house design team will take a ton of that post-wedding stress off your plate and create gorgeous albums for you, so you can spend more time basking in that newly-married glow and less at your computer screen trying to design.

9. Go With Your Gut
Photography is art, and art is subjective. What your mom or your friends may think is the most gorgeous thing they’ve ever seen, you may give some serious side-eye. Remember, this is YOUR day! Go with what your instincts tell you, and trust that they will not steer you wrong.

10. …But Listen To Your Wallet!

You don’t need to break the bank to get the perfect photographer, especially when you have a company like The Pros ;)

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