When you start looking for the perfect photographer for your event, you'll notice- there's a lot of us out there!

Not every photographer is the same. You will notice some have a more airy feel to their photos, think pastel blues, pinks, and greens with a lot of sunshine and light. Others will have a darker, more contrasty look, with darker shadows and deeper blacks, blues, and reds. Some will want to focus more on details and closeups, others will focus on more full body photos, distance shots, and action poses.

Look around and see what styles you prefer of other photos they create and think- when I hang our photos on the wall, what style do I want to see myself photographed in? Curious about what else you should consider when picking your photographer for the big day? Read on to learn about some tips when starting the search.

Check for All the Extras!

Does your photographer include an engagement session in your package? Do they include any prints in your overall bundle? How many hours do they cover and do they come with a second shooter? These are all things to consider when thinking about who you want to come to your big day and capture your most intimate and everlasting memories. Some wedding and elopement photographers (like me!) offer add ons like maternity announcement photos for an extremely discounted price if you book them for your wedding or elopement. Interested in add ons? Don't be afraid to ask!

Find a Photographer That Communicates

How would you feel if you were trying to fix your car and every time you call the mechanic they just never answered the phone. Or they said they'd respond to your important question "soon" and it's been two weeks and nothing but crickets? You and your car are starting to run out of gas and feeling pretty frustrated right? Be sure that when you find your photographer, they are communicative and they are attentive to your needs and requests. For me, anything over 24 hours (a little longer on the weekend but still not more than 2 days) is too long to go without a response to an inquiry or question. Remember, you are hiring them and they are providing you with a service. This extends much further than just the day-of the event. Find a photographer that you trust will answer that text or call promptly. That sense of urgency will be reflected in the day of the event too, so find someone who will be attentive and on their toes for you always!

Make Sure You and Your Photog Vibe!

Your photographer is going to be with you from the start of your day to pretty much the end. They are going to be with you when you're getting ready, when you are sniffling at the altar, wiping your groom's eyes as he sees you approach him, and during the celebrations when you're gettin' jiggy wit' it! Make sure you vibe with your photographer before the big day! If you are someone who isn't into a hype squad and prefers a photographer who is more subtle in their approach to getting their photos, find someone who has this personality. If you want a photographer who is going to show up with a speaker and jams and ready to yell "DANG GIRL YOU ARE BEYONCE ALWAYS!", then you find a photographer who will do just that. (PS- If you want that hype girl, I'm YOUR girl!). Every photographer isn't for everyone. So be sure to weigh their style and personality into the decision making process.

Ask About Your Rights

All photographers should have a contract for you to review and sign upon hiring them for your wedding or elopement. Most contracts stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken at the wedding, even the ones of you. In other words, the photographer can use them promotionally (on their website or blog, submit them for publication and even place them in ads). That also means you can't just post the digital proofs—most photographers have a policy that you can only share watermarked images or images with their credit on them. Some photographers require that you print their photos through their own distributor, which means if you want to print the images yourselves or order an album from another source, you'll have to buy the rights to the images.

Review Their Work- Carefully!

Narrow down your search for the perfect photographer for your wedding? Look through their portfolio and see what kind of shots they capture at the exact kind of event you are hiring them for. Are the images crisp and clean? Or are there blurry photos with a bunch of people and distractions? Do they compose their shots in a way that you prefer for framing when decorating your home? Are the emotions of the people in the photos genuine? Do they capture candid photos as well as posed photos to get that raw emotion and true feeling behind the people in the pictures. There's so much more to a photographer's work than just hitting a button and capturing the photo. The moment has to be felt when looking at your photos, be sure it's radiating out of everyone in the image.

There's a lot to think through when choosing your perfect photographer to capture the biggest day of your life. Be sure you do your homework and trust the person you bring on to photograph your wedding. If you have any questions about finding the perfect photographer in your area, let me know how I can help guide your search! I want you to find the perfect photographer for your big day, because I know it's a very important decision! Whether it's with me or someone else, let's find you the perfect person to snap those photos!