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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Guest Blogger: Sarah Amelia Photography ~ Choosing Your Wedding Photographer - How To Find The Right Fit



© Sarah Amelia Photography for Jeeheon Cho Photography 


 © Sarah Amelia Photography for Jami Carlson Photography   


 © Sarah Amelia Photography

 © Sarah Amelia Photography for Jeanette Warner Photography


Planning a wedding can be a wonderful but overwhelming thing at times. This is no exception when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer to capture your wedding day. As a former bride myself and now a professional wedding photographer I'm hoping the following tips will help you make the best decision for your wedding day. While putting together this article I asked for input from a group of past brides, asking them what made them choose their wedding photographer and what advice they would have for brides-to-be. I hope these tips help you in finding the best fit for you in a wedding photographer for your wedding day.


Personality: 
One might not think of looking at the personality as a major determining factor when choosing a wedding photographer, but it is very important. This person will be spending the most time with you of any of your wedding vendors on your wedding day, and before for your engagement session. You want to make sure you and your significant other are comfortable with his or her personality, and that you get along and feel they can understand your vision and feel for your wedding day. The best way to figure this out is at the bridal consult once you have narrowed down your choices to your top two or three photographers. You want to find someone that makes you feel comfortable and well cared for on your wedding day that gets you and that you will have fun with! Is it important that the photographer be male or female? These are all important things to consider when searching. This is why an engagement session is often a great way to get to know your photographer and build that connection and trust. I include a complementary engagement session in my middle and top

 © Sarah Amelia Photography for Jason Laurain Photography

One bride shared, “To be honest, pricing was the LAST thing I cared about. I wanted to feel like my photographer "got us" as a couple and took excellent photos first and foremost. It was important that she was personable, professional, positive and upbeat, etc. I was willing to pay more to have awesome photos and a great experience to remember our big day”. - Stephanie


















© Sarah Amelia Photography for JCL Portraits

Reviews From Past Brides:
When searching for your wedding photographer you will likely view many websites, portfolios, and Facebook pages. You may also choose to use a website like The Knot or Wedding Wire to help with your search. You will want to pay close attention to reviews from past brides and grooms. I personally have a website with The Knot.com and I love that my brides can write reviews and let me know how I did on their wedding day, where I can always be improving, and help with engaged couples looking for a wedding photographer. Reviews from past brides are an awesome indicator of their experience and what you can expect from a specific photographer. Ask your friends who have recently married for referrals!

Portfolio and Style:
Wedding photographers vary with their artistic and personal style. It is best to pinpoint what style fits you and your significant other's personal style the best. For example, if your wedding style is more traditional, you most likely would not choose a photographer who only captures photojournalistic work with no posing. Often, you can find a photographer that is a good mix of the two. The best way to figure out a photographer's style is to look at their portfolios online and ask to see one or two of their latest weddings. This will help you determine whether their style and artistic perspective is the right match for you. Also, does the photographer have diversity in their portfolio? I try to show as much diversity as possible in my work, because I want potential brides to identify with my work and my values as a photographer.

One recent bride shared how style affected her choice of photographer writing,
“For me, it was someone who saw beauty in the same unconventional places that I see it- with a photo journalistic style- and someone who I was comfortable enough to relax in front of, someone who I didn't mind snapping the "getting ready" shots - someone I knew could determine which photos were unflattering enough to make disappear forever for me”.   - Leslie

Experience:
The quality of a product, in this case, your wedding day photography, is a combination of talent, experience, and judgement by your photographer. It is okay to ask how many weddings a photographer has worked on, or to look and see how many years they have been in business and photographing weddings. This is not to say that the longer the photographer has been in business the better their work is, or necessarily the best fit for you. You just want to see that you can trust them to capture your day based on their past wedding experience. Experience is also important from your first contact with the photographer. Is he or she responsive to you questions and concerns, and do they seem attentive and willing to take the time to get to know you and your fiance? All of these things will help in your decision process when choosing your photographer.

In my case I was a bride before I was a wedding photographer, but when I met my wedding photographer in person, saw her portfolio, loved her style and demeanor I knew she was the right fit. She had collections that fit my needs and was willing to create custom collections so I could get all the things I needed. Congratulations on your engagement and best wishes as you plan your wedding day!


About the writer:

Sarah Gough of Sarah Amelia Photography is a professional wedding photographer with over three years experience and love stories are her absolute favorite thing to document. Her goal is help make her clients feel the most relaxed and themselves as possible during their wedding day. Her style is photojournalistic, but she helps her clients relax in front of the camera by helping give them direction and helping them feel comfortable with posing. You can view Sarah’s work at www.sarahameliaphotography.com

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