8.19.2019

Choosing a Photographer

I believe that choosing a wedding photographer is right up there with the most important planning decisions you will make. You are entrusting this person to capture some of the only physical reminders of your special day! I didn't take this search lightly and we were so happy with the choice we made!

      

The first thing I did when searching for our wedding photographer was browse. I wasn't sure what pricing looked like in this field, but I knew what my preferences were for style, so I spent a lot of time on Wedding Wire and The Knot looking at local photographers.

I was looking for a fine-art photography style, with light and bright images. I wanted something classic that would stand the test of time style-wise. When I compiled a list of ones whose work met my criteria, I started digging into their websites and looking at what they offered. Let me tell y'all... wedding photography is expensive. Be prepared to spend a chunk of your budget on pictures, and even more if film photography is something you want.

I started to get a bit discouraged, as I didn't want to spend a small fortune on pictures, but still wanted something nice. I happened to be scrolling through Facebook one day when I came across Rachel Elisabeth Photography. Her work was beautiful so I decided to reach out to her for more information.

When she responded, she had some questions for me about what I was looking for in a photographer and my vision for my wedding day. This was a huge plus for me- as I mentioned in previous posts, we put a lot of stock in hiring vendors that meshed well with us, and right off the bat I felt this with Rachel!

After chatting with her via email and phone, we decided to hire her! Her packages and pricing lined up with what we determined we could afford and based on her personality and love for Jesus, we knew she'd be an asset to our wedding day. And yes, we hired her without meeting her in person! Wedding planning was a full-time job, and while having my real job, I had to make some sacrifices when it came to vendor meetings. I had such a good feeling about her, though, I didn't think twice about it.

We met for the first time when she came to Harrison's farm to take our engagement photos. Neither Harrison nor I had ever had photos taken like this, so we were a bit nervous. She made us feel so at ease in front of the camera, though, and made the whole session so much fun! She was up for whatever we wanted and made it all work for us.

We selected an 8-hour wedding package, and I ended up adding some hours on to it. Rachel played an integral part in determining the timeline for our wedding day, something I was so grateful for. She knew exactly how much time we needed for everything, which made fitting in the other happenings a breeze with our coordinators. I chatted with her often during our planning process and then one final time the week of the wedding. I was at the point where I was so nervous and anxious, but aside from going over final details, she really helped ease my mind. Something that stood out to me and I still remember vividly was her telling me that she was praying for us and for our wedding day to go smoothly. It meant the world to me to have someone who was invested in our day!

At the wedding, she worked SO hard- my mom kept commenting on how hard she was working and how awesome she was! I have a huge family and was slightly dreading family portraits, but she made them go so quickly and smoothly.

Our wedding day truly wouldn't have been the same without Rachel. My instincts were right- choosing the right photographer can truly make (and break) your wedding day! I would highly recommend her to any couple getting married.

Here are some tips for selecting the right photographer:

  • Figure out your style. Do you like moody portraits, deep colors, bright images, or formal poses? Spend time looking through Pinterest, Instagram, and other sites for pictures that are similar to what you want yours to look like. Then research photographers in your area to figure out who matches up with that vision.
  • Determine your budget. We had to spend some time researching average prices for photographers in our area. We couldn't budget for something that we had no idea what to expect for! When we did figure out what worked for us, we stuck to looking at photographers only within that range. There is one photographer who I adore, but is much more than what we could afford. I wanted to refrain from even looking at anything that would put a damper on our search.
  • Feel out the photographer's personality. Do you want someone more structured or someone who can go with the flow? Do you want a photographer who is just there to do a job or one who is invested in your day? Something that was huge for me is that Rachel asked me what I was looking for in a photographer. That showed interest in whether we will work well together.
  • Ask about packages and how your photos will be sent to you. A lot of photographers do online albums where you can download your photos. Determine if you are able to do that or if you will have to order photos through the photographer. Is the photographer able to use your photos in promotional materials? What do they offer as part of their package(s)? Do you only receive the photos they select, or do you get to see all the raw images and pick the ones you would like to be edited? Ask about retouching and what their style/preferences are regarding that.

I told Rachel in one of our initial conversations that photography is something that is incredibly important to me. Wedding photos are one physical remnant of your day, long after everything else had faded away. I wanted to invest in these images, something that we will show our future children and grandchildren, and I'm so glad we did!

1 comment

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