How to Choose a Wedding Photographer & 8 Photography Styles

how to choose your wedding photographer

Our wedding may be over a year away, but we booked our wedding photographer as soon as we got engaged! So yes…that means about 16 months before our wedding. I definitely don’t think this is always necessary, but great photographers get booked up quickly, so if you have your eye on someone and already know your wedding date, why not lock them down? 😉 

We really lucked out because I actually worked with our wedding photographer last year during one of my friend’s weddings! She was such a pleasure to work with and as soon as I saw the final edits I knew I wanted to book her when me and Stefan got married! That made the process super easy for us, but if you’re not sure how to choose a wedding photographer, here are 5 of my best tips, plus 8 wedding photography styles you’ll want to know before making your decision.

8 Wedding Photography Styles

1. Traditional

When you think traditional photography style, think Megan and Harry or Kate and William. Classic wedding photos are timeless, beautiful and teeter more on the formal side. They capture reality, but infuse the photographer’s artistic direction. The photographer is able to capture simple moments and turn them into extraordinary shots.

2. Artistic

Artistic photography is all about capturing creative details. Unique and artistic moments are so important, especially on your special day. Artistic photos are more like works of art- special attention is paid to lighting and composition, and location plays a huge part in the end result. These photos usually require thoughtful preparation and lots of editing. 

how to choose your wedding photographer

3. Natural

Natural wedding photography is shot using natural light, rather than a camera flash or other artificial light sources. It’s best for outdoor weddings or if you’re in a venue that has lots of windows. Any photographer who does natural photography must be very skilled in dealing with shadows and other lighting issues. 

4. Lifestyle

With lifestyle photos, there is some direction and styling, but they really aim to capture the naturalness of the day. It’s approachable and relaxed, and captures the special moments throughout your wedding day. It’s candid, but the photographer also sets the scene to get the perfect shot.

5. Vintage

Vintage wedding photography is highly popular and reveals notes of nostalgia. It looks retro yet modern and is characterized by timeless and artistic photos. The setting for your wedding will also have a hand in creating a vintage vibe. Many couples who want vintage style photography get married in refurbished barns or rustic wineries.

6. Light and Airy

Light and airy photos are characterized by light, warm colours. It’s very romantic and it’s often used for outdoor weddings or in venues that boast plenty of natural light. Light and airy photos are gentle and elegant, and there shouldn’t be much contrast in the background of the photos.

how to choose your wedding photographer

7. Dark and Moody

On the flip side, dark and moody photos are characterized by the contrast and saturation of dark colours. Dark colours, plus a combination of light and shadows creates a dramatic mood that’s preferable for some couples. It’s a somewhat new photo style that’s becoming increasingly popular in wedding photography, but it’s not for everyone.

8. Documentary

Documentary photography isn’t styled or posed. It captures candid and spontaneous photos of people in action. It captures realness and true emotions. The photographer looks for important moments, and is very aware of the background and angles so they can get the perfect shot.

Related Post: How to Find a Wedding Venue: 25 Questions You Need To Ask

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer: 5 Steps 

1. Choose Your Photography Style

Choosing your photography style is an essential step you have to take before choosing your wedding photographer. Without knowing your ideal photography style, it’s hard to choose someone who can capture your vision. 

Look at wedding photos on Pinterest, Instagram and from your friends and family members who’ve already tied the knot. You can see what you like, what you don’t like and what style you definitely want for your wedding photography!

how to choose your wedding photographer

2. Do Your Research

As I mentioned above, we didn’t have to do any searching when it came to our photographer as I had already worked with Robin last year. 

I know it usually doesn’t work out like that, and it’s really important to do your research before hiring a wedding photographer. Not only are they capturing your big day, you’re also working really closely together so you want to make sure it’s a good match! 

If you don’t know where to start when looking for a wedding photographer, ask for referrals from people you know who have gotten married. Also search for local listings on Google and do a search on social media. For example, if you’re looking for a wedding photographer in Toronto, you can search the hashtag #torontoweddingphotographer on Instagram!

Check out photographers’ websites, galleries and portfolios so you can see the quality of their work as well as their shooting and editing style. They may even have a ‘testimonials’ section on their blog. Take a look at their Facebook and Instagram pages and look on Google to see if they have reviews from past clients. 

how to choose your wedding photographer

3. Look Through Online Galleries

Looking through online photo galleries is definitely a fun step to the process of picking your wedding photographer. You can look through their website galleries, their instagram pages, and their work may have even been showcased on other blogs and websites. You can usually tell pretty instantly whether you like someone’s work or not. 

Look at what style they shoot in, how professional their shots are, and how they’ve edited their photos. It’s important they match the style and vibe you want captured on your wedding day. 

4. Meet and Interview Photographers

Once you’ve chosen a few photographers you really love the work of, it’s time to meet and interview them (3 to 5 is a good number)! Being a great photographer is only one piece of the puzzle. Are they organized? On time? Do your personalities jive? Do they provide clever solutions when you ask questions like:

“What happens if it rains and we’re planning an outdoor shoot?”

“What do you do when there’s a bossy aunt who’s trying to direct the photos?”

Something we love SO much about our photographer is her personality. She’s incredibly friendly, kind, personable and you can tell she cares so much about capturing your wedding day so perfectly. I already knew I loved her but meeting up over tea and pancakes (with her awesome husband and adorable baby boy) totally sealed the deal! You want to feel comfortable, like you can trust them and that they have your back when making your decision! 

Be prepared to chat about your venue, theme and vision for your wedding. Ask to see wedding albums they’ve created for past clients and make sure to hear about their process the day of. They’ll also likely ask a lot about what you’re looking for. 

You may also want to inquire about a second shooter. Having a second shooter is great because there are always multiple photos to capture in any given moment- you can’t get both the face of the groom and the bride as the bride is walking down the aisle! It’s also smart incase (god forbid) something happens to the photos of the first shooter! 

how to choose your wedding photographer

5. Compare Quotes and Value 

The next step is asking for a quote and comparing the value for the cost. Some photographers have one package that covers everything the day of, others choose to give you options. Look at the quotes from the photographers you liked best from the interviews and see which one works best for you and your budget. 

Once you’ve interviewed, gone over the budget and read over the contract, it’s time to make it official!

Related Post: 12 Exciting Things To Do After You Get Engaged

Choosing a Wedding Photographer: Checklist 

1. Choose your photography style
2. Ask for referrals from friends and family
3. Do an online search for local photographers
4. Check out their websites, photo galleries, social media accounts
5. Narrow it down to 3 to 5 photographers
6. Interview photographers and see how they answer questions and how you get along with them
7. Ask about a second shooter for your wedding day
8. Ask to see wedding photo books
9. Compare quotes and value of your favourite photographers
10. Choose your wedding photographer, sign a contract and put down your deposit!

If you’ve been stuck on how to choose a wedding photographer, I hope this post gave you some great tips! Is there anything else you’d like to know about hiring a wedding photographer? Let me know in the comments!

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