I am so excited to introduce a new series, one I am calling Wedding Wednesday. Having been engaged for 11 months now (can’t believe it!), I really wanted to provide a series where I am able to both highlight our experience as well as provide a guide/tips for all the eventual brides-to-be. To kick things off, I chose to begin with my favorite part…choosing your photographer, of course! While this process can be daunting, it is best to approach it open-mindedly as well as with confidence in what you and your partner are specifically looking for.
5 Things To Keep Top of Mind When Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
1. Determine Comfortable Budget
It is important to understand that photography can get expensive, but if photos are of great significance and value for your partner and you, then the money will be well spent. Wedding photographers generally offer tiered packages that include special add-ons, which is something to pay attention to. For instance, engagement photos may be important to some couples, whereas a special wedding album may not be high on the totem pole for others. It is recommended to enter your meeting with a range of what you’re looking to spend – this will help your photographer customize/work specific elements that are of value to you into the final proposal and package.
2. Do Your Research
Prior to choosing a few photographers to meet with, spend some time on each professionals website. Peruse various engagement sessions and weddings they have shot in the past, as well as their blog posts. This will give you a better understanding of their photographic style, vision and aesthetic. Another key piece is timing – sift through weddings during the month you will be getting married. It is helpful to see their ability to successfully shoot on a golden, sunlit day versus a cold, murky day. Net net, be semi-familiar with their work prior to setting up a meeting.
3. Have A Vision
This is the most important piece of the pie. Many brides and grooms get caught up in pleasing others throughout the planning process, but the most substantial item to keep top of mind is what vision is essential and valuable for the both of you. In regards to choosing a photographer, a few questions to ask yourselves are: What purpose will these photos serve? Do you prefer candid or posed? Do you value graphic design and artistic technique? Are there particular moments you want captured on your big day? This is definitely something worth discussing with each photographer before moving forward with one. Prior to signing contracts, you want to ensure the photographer under consideration is able to replicate the vision you want through photos on your wedding day.
4. Leave Emotions Out Of It
While this may be hard for many, it is crucial when choosing any vendor for your big day. Sometimes it is easy to latch on to a vendor’s compassion, kindness and personality while forgetting to focus on the task at hand: choosing a professional who will masterfully exemplify the vision and creative direction you and your partner hold near and dear to your heart. If you choose to forego working with one vendor in favor of another, this does not mean you’re a terrible person; you simply chose a different direction and vision.
5. Engagement Photo Session
While this piece comes after already signing on with a specific photographer, it is necessary to include and think about. It is optional, but several professionals strategically include in their packages. Engagement sessions do serve a purpose: (1) Provides an opportunity for both the couple and photographer to get comfortable and acquainted with one another in a similar setting to their wedding day (2) Beautiful photos for couples save-the-dates (if they choose to send these out) (3) Creative and stunning images that couples can save, print out, frame for their homes to reflect back on throughout their life.
Our Experience in Choosing a Wedding Photographer
This was one of the first vendor decisions we had to make other than choosing the venue and the catering service. Seeing I regularly find time to browse Pinterest boards and wedding blogs, I had an idea of the vision I wanted demonstrated throughout our wedding photos. As some of you may know, photography is a hobby of mine. I believe that photos stand the test of time and every picture genuinely tells a story. With this in mind, I knew that candid photos were far more important to me than posed + staged photos. Corey, too, had a strong opinion in signing on an experienced photographer who excelled in capturing candid moments. Another element that came up during our decision making was graphic design and the finished wedding album. While it may seem a wedding album is just that, we felt it could be something more: the story of our wedding, beginning to end. With this in mind, we knew exactly who we wanted to work with! We moved forward with Jill Tiongco Photography and could not be more thrilled with our decision. We had our engagement session two weekends ago and had an absolute blast. The morning was a whirlwind with getting ready, but a text sent by my mom quickly put things into perspective. She said, “Good luck with photos. Remember to enjoy the present moment with Corey.” After hearing this, I let go of expectations and let Jill run the show. She was so great to work with and made both Corey and I feel natural and comfortable throughout the entire process. Our engagement session made both of us even more enthusiastic for our big day on 10/22! Based on the photos, can you tell how much we love candids?!
A special thank you to our wedding photographer, Jill Tiongco, for making this day so special!
All photos credited to Jill Tiongco Photography