I saw this great “Tips” story on the KNOT.com but wanted to add a few things!  Check out our recommendations for hiring a great Wedding Photographer & being happy with your choice and end results.

 

1.Knot Recommendation: Hire for Style

It’s easy to obsess over wedding photography price points and packages, but do yourselves a favor and start your research process by nailing down a wedding photography style first. There are countless types to choose from — from the more traditional, clean, straight-on shots to creative angles and inventive backdrops (think: garage door with chipped paint) and knowing the aesthetic you’re after from the beginning will undoubtedly help you find a photographer you love for all the right reasons. Can’t find a photographer you like in your budget? Call one you love and ask them to recommend a less-experienced shooter (maybe one of their assistants) with a similar style.

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

Every photographer has their own unique style of shooting, posing, favorite locations, and most importantly editing style.  Look through potential photographers and choose the style that you would love for your wedding day photos.  If you love overlays & color washed editing then chose to meet with photographers that shoot & edit that way.  If you love crisp clean colors and B&W’s then meet with photographers that shoot and edit that way.  Do not ask the photographer to change their style to mimic another style you like – do your research and know what you want before setting up appointments.  Dont make the process harder than it needs to be, narrow down to 2-3 photographers within your style & budget you would like to meet with (vendors in all categories actually).  There is no reason to meet with 10-15 photographers.  You are wasting not only your own time but vendors as well if you are meeting with photographers that are not within your style and budget or if you are meeting with so many that you can not remember anything discussed in your consult. AND if a photographer you love is not in your budget asking them for recommendations for other photographers is great – but asking them to drop their prices by half is not.

 

2.Knot Recommendation: Streamline the Family Photos

Don’t waste time trying to get every last combo of grandparents, siblings, and cousins. Invariably your little nephews will run off, his grandmother will get tired of waiting, and everyone will end up frustrated. Instead, put together a short(!) list of the must-have family shots you want (like the two of you with your immediate families) and then take one big family photo with everyone in it. Do it this way and you not only buy yourselves more time at the reception, you also free up your photographer to capture the more candid shots from the day.

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

I recommend sticking to Parents, Grandparents, & Siblings.  Get large family photos at the reception if you like.

 

3.Knot Recommendation: Dont Sweat the Little Things

While it’s totally fine to show your photographer the types of shots you like, it’s even more important that you’re flexible the day-of. So if it rains and you can’t get that sunny shot of you in a field, grab big umbrellas and a pair of bright yellow rain boots and trust your photographer to find the right shot. Same goes for your schedule: If you’re stuck in traffic between the ceremony and reception and don’t have time to hit up all your favorite city sites with your bridal party, pick a few favorites and move on. Trust your photographer to keep you on-schedule, to frame the shots, and to know what will look best — remember, that’s why you hired them!

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

If you micro manage your photographer you are taking away the ability to be creative, which is why you hire us – so let us do what we do best and you sit back and enjoy your day:)

 

4.Knot Recommendation: Choose Your Hues

Most likely, your photographer will be shooting with digital film, but if you love the look of black-and-white photos, it’s a good idea to let them know that ahead of time. In other words, don’t just assume that because the photos look great in color, they’ll translate to black-and-white in the same way. Let your photographer know your color preference, and that way they can be sure the lighting and camera settings ensure a sharp, classic product.

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

Again, editing techniques vary from photographer to photographer, so making sure you recognize the various styles is very important.  Overlays, crisp & clean, over saturated, High Key, or dark & dramatic – every photographer has their signature style.

 

5.Knot Recommendation: Get Engagement Photos Taken

We know engagement photos are an extra cost, but scheduling an engagement photo shoot is well worth the money. Why? Besides the fact that you’ll get gorgeous engagement photos to share with friends and family, you and your fiancé will feel so much more comfortable having a camera pointed at you on your wedding day if you’ve already been through it. That confidence will show through in your wedding photos, so it’s essential that you feel comfortable with your photographer.

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

Seriously, Do the e-session!  They are fun and you get better wedding photos because of it!

 

6.Knot Recommendation: Cover Your Bases

Don’t get carried away, but providing your photographer with a top-five list of poses or moments you want is a good way to guarantee you get the photos you’re hoping for. Bring in examples that you find online, or point out samples that they’ve already taken at other weddings. A couple must-haves we love? The just-after-the-recessional shot (when you’re alone and married for the first time!); Mom and Dad at the ceremony (looking proud); and a large overall shot of your reception (to capture the feeling of the evening) are all good ideas. That said, it’s still important to trust your photographer to know what will look right for you.

 

7.Knot Recommendation: Add a Photo Booth

It’s going to be virtually impossible to get a photo with every guest — or even to guarantee that your photographer will — so renting a photo booth is the perfect solution. Guests can let their personality shine, especially if you set up a visually interesting backdrop and provide quirky props (funny hats, fake mustaches, mini chalkboards for writing funny messages). The result is guaranteed to make a great addition to your guest book or wedding album.

Mandy Paige Photography additional comments:

This is a great way to get photos of the guests that may not be dancing or mingling as much at your reception.  Out of town guests, work friends, and older family members can get included much easier this way!

 

8.Knot Recommendation: Schedule a Day-After Shoot

Okay, not as essential as, say, engagement photos, but a great idea if you’re worried about seeing enough of your guests. Instead of taking time the morning-of or during cocktail hour, schedule a session for the next day — or even a week after — to snap some couple shots. Yep, you read that right: Get back in the wedding dress (when you’re bound to be calmer) and shoot the fun stuff so that you’re not bogged down by it on the day-of. Do it this way and you’ll also give your photographer time to shoot the candid moments of the day.

Tips for Hiring YOUR Perfect Wedding Photographer

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