Hey Pretty Bride!! I'm so excited you're here- and SO excited for you guys... you're getting married!!
Now, I know you're probably feeling a little bit overwhelmed, or if you're anything like me when I was wedding planning, A LOT overwhelmed!! Every magazine you pick up will tell you something different, and you just want to stare at that gorgeous ring on your finger and celebrate with your friends and family!!
One of the most overwhelming things is choosing a photographer! Googling for wedding photographers will bring up pages upon pages in your area- but how do you know WHO to choose?
ONE: Determine the Style you like. Look over your Pinterest board, flip through wedding magazines, do a google search. Figure out what the reoccurring look and style is that you like! Do you like documentary, light & airy, traditional portraiture, edgy & bold, fine art, clean & vibrant? Trust me, there's a style for you- and you need to make sure you LOVE the style of your wedding photographer, because they aren't going to change their style for you.
TWO: Start your Research. Once you've nailed down your style, google photographers, ask friends & family members, and make a list of the photographers that you're attracted to and match the style you want for your wedding day. Click through their entire website- read their "about me page," browse through their blog and portfolio. Don't forget about their social media accounts! Read reviews, ask around, utilize social media and ask for opinions on those photographers in your area! Find out what people loved about working with that photographer, and what they didn't. Send them an email- see if they have your wedding date available, and if their packages are within your budget.
THREE: Set some meetings! Now you have your list of who you love, who's available on your wedding date, and who is within your budget range- send out emails and contact the photographers you're interested in (Usually, this should be 2-4 photographers- more than that can be super confusing and time consuming for you!) Give them as much information about yourself & your wedding day as you can- trust me they will LOVE you for it! Try to meet up with, or schedule a Skype call with the photographers that you love and see how your personalities click.
Have a list of questions, but make sure they are questions you really are interested in! Don't just print off something from a big wedding blog- chances are you aren't going to know the exact types of cameras are good if you ask your photographer that! Although, if you do really want to know, ask! See what is included in their wedding packages, ask if they offer albums, have payment plans, are THEY going to be there, or do they hire out associate photographers and book more than one wedding a day. Also, ask them to send your full wedding galleries they have delivered to their clients. See if their delivered work is consistent!
FOUR: Are you a match? I am always stressing this point, but it is so crucial to me for a good wedding experience! Make sure you like and bond with your photographer. If you are not a super bubbly, easily excitable person, you probably don't want your photographer to be that way either. Are you looking for someone that will strictly remain a professional acquaintance, or do you want a photographer that will become your friend and be cheering you and your husband-to-be on as you say your vows!
FIVE: Compare and Decide! You've met with your favorite photographers, now it's time to decide what's the most important to you. Compare and see what your priorities are. Choose your photographer feeling confident that they will capture exactly what you want on their wedding day, support you, help you along the way, and that they will be there to celebrate your wedding and marriage.
SIX: Celebrate and take a deep breath that one of the most important things on your to-do list is completed! YAY! I do recommend shooting the other photographers that you had contacted a quick email letting them know you decided to go with another photographer. As a small business owner, my heart and soul go into my business, and just sending a quick courtesy email can go a long way!
Wishing you the best as you're wedding planning! Remember, I'm here to help you along the way- so please please contact me with any questions that you might have!!
Ashley Eiban is a Wedding & Portrait Photographer based in Central Virginia- serving Lynchburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke & surrounding areas. Available for travel world-wide... bonus points if it's somewhere warm and at a beach! ;) Ashley Eiban Photography is currently booking Weddings for 2016 and 2017. Contact us today for additional information!