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How To Hire A Wedding Photographer

Tampa Wedding PhotographerRaise your hand if you’re all about stress free wedding planning because let’s be honest.  Getting engaged is one of THE most exciting times in a girl’s life but the truth is…Wedding planning can quickly become over whelming.

Don’t worry my friend, I’ve got your back! I’ve got 5 SIMPLE steps on how to hire your dream wedding photographer.  What you are about to embark on is not another, ‘Questions to ask during the photography interview’ that is so commonly seen all over the internet. All couples are unique and therefore your wedding photographer interview shouldn’t sound like everyone else’s.  I’m here today to help you go in with a game plan to get the most out of your time together.

Step 1 – Ask Around

This is the fun part!  After photographing weddings for the past 15 years, I’ve got some stories and I bet your friends do too. Recently married couples are the perfect people to ask about their experiences with wedding vendors.  They can tell you what they loved and didn’t love when working with their creative team.  Here is where you get to sit back and hear all of the wonderful, crazy, out of this world stories!  The other fantastic question to ask your friends, family, co-worker, other wedding vendors…(you get the idea) is what would they do different? Let their life lesson help guide you on what’s best for you.  Take the highly recommended vendors from your loved ones and create a list of names, websites and phone numbers.

Now you have an official starting point. Hooray! A list of recommendations can be a huge time saver…and stress reducer.  As I’m sure with many cities, Tampa, Florida is flooded with wedding vendors.  Some are amazing, crazy talented professionals that truly love their craft and take great care of their clients.  Others are… well, they are not so amazing, crazy talented professionals that truly love their craft and don’t take great care of their clients.  Keep in mind there’s much more to being a photographer than the ability to take pretty photos.

How To hire a wedding photographer

Step 2 – Pick Your Favorites & Inquire

Your photographer is one of very few vendors that is literally by your side….ALL DAY LONG. It’s important that you not only trust your photographer, but feel comfortable around them too. You should get a good feel for the photographers personality before ever making contact. Take the time to check out the photographers about page and reviews section.  These details are just as important as looking at their galleries to see their favorite images and blog for the most recent events.

Once you’ve narrowed down your initial list to the ones you are most excited about contacting…it’s time to inquire!  Either give a call or fill out the photographers contact form.  Pay close attention to the responses you receive as this can make or break a deal already. 😉

How To hire a wedding photographer

Step 3 – What’s Your Experience So Far?

You’ve done quite a bit of work thus far, so while you’re waiting to hear back from your submitted inquiries, let’s take a breather.  Grab your favorite drink and loved one and cuddle up for a minute.

Ah.  That’s better!  Okay, so let’s talk about your experience with each photographer up to this point.  You’re experience with each photographer begins from receiving your recommendations.  Your next experience happens when you visited their website.  Your third experience happens when you inquire and the type of response you receive.  How did each one make you feel? Did everyone respond to you?  Did they sound excited you said hello? Now you can narrow down your list of who you want to continue talking with.

How To hire a wedding photographer

Step 4 – Talking Budgets & Details

You’ve made it to Step 4!  Pat yourself on your back, because you are so close to booking your dream wedding photographer!  Step 4 has some fun to it, but also some scary moments too.  Hearing a bride’s vision and sharing what to expect from me is my personal favorite part of connecting with a new bride.  The scary moments though?? Talking budgets. This stressful subject can certainly be difficult to navigate.  Your photographer should be upfront about all costs, including any travel fees and sales tax.  With each new Bride and Groom, we discuss wedding coverage and the extra goodies (like engagement sessions and wedding heirloom albums) to ensure each couple is getting exactly what they need.  At the end of the consult, you should know exactly what you’re paying for and the final cost.

How To hire a wedding photographer

 Step 5 – Book!

Most photographers book between 8-10 months out and calendars can fill up pretty quickly. (especially those that only take on a limited numbers of weddings each season…ahem, wink, wink)  Once you know who you want to work with don’t delay in making it official!  Then you can mark, ‘Hire Your Dream Photographer’ off your wedding to-do list!

To the other photographers that have invested time in communicating with you, kindly let them know you have moved on with another photographer. It’s always appreciated!

There you have it my friends!  Our guide to helping reduce the stress of wedding planning and help keep you on cloud 9 for as long as possible!

Bonus Tip!

Hire a wedding planner!  I know, I know…but really let’s think about this for a minute.  It’s your wedding day. Sitting in your chair getting pampered to perfection, your bridesmaids are tending to you while they prepare themselves.  All of a sudden, your mom comes running frantically into the room… ‘The cake lady just called, they are lost and I don’t know where they are.  Also, the florist is running late and so is the priest.”  What do you do?  No matter how good you are at planning and organization, come the day of your wedding you should only be the Bride and Groom and not playing wedding coordinator. Your family and friends shouldn’t have to take on the responsibility either, but instead enjoy and celebrate you and the love of your life becoming one.  Really…the planner can handle it and it will be worth every penny.

Not sure what to ask a wedding photographer to see if they are the perfect fit?  I’ve got you covered: What to ask a Wedding Photographer Before You Hire Them

Have questions or looking for a specific guide?  Don’t be shy!  Come say hello!


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