How To Choose a Wedding Photographer Who Will Help You Celebrate Your Big Day for Years to Come

After spending countless hours planning every detail of your wedding to perfection, you want to make sure that each moment is captured beautifully. Flipping through your photos should make you feel like you’re back in that room getting ready to walk down the aisle or experiencing your first dance together again. 

The right photographer can ensure that you have perfectly captured pictures to look back on for the rest of your lives together. They will work to get to know you and will emulate your style and personality through their work. They will make the process not only easy but incredibly enjoyable. 

So, what are some things to look for when choosing a wedding photographer?

In this article, we’ll teach you

  • Which factors to consider when choosing a wedding photographer
  • Questions to ask a photographer during your consultation
  • Red flags to look out for
  • How to narrow down your options to pick the perfect match

Read on to learn more about how to pick a wedding photographer and which steps you should implement in your decision-making process. 

how to pick a wedding photographer

Table of Contents

What To Look for in a Wedding Photographer

During your initial search for a wedding photographer, you may come across several highly acclaimed candidates. While stellar reviews are important, they shouldn’t be the only deciding factor when choosing the person who will document your special day. 

Let’s take a look at some key considerations when searching for a photographer who is best equipped to meet your needs. 

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9 Considerations To Make When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

#1: Your Style

Each professional wedding photographer has worked diligently to curate their own style. While you may find their work mesmerizing and unique, it may not necessarily represent you and your future spouse’s vision. 

A photographer may come highly recommended with stellar reviews, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to be as happy with your photo album if it doesn’t capture your true style and personality. 

Keep this in mind when you’re researching photographers. You should be able to comfortably envision yourself as part of their gallery. 

#2: Level of Experience

Choosing a wedding photographer who is highly experienced is key in ensuring that you’ll have a beautifully captured album to last a lifetime. 

On the technical side, a photographer should show mastery of equipment, lighting techniques, editing, etc., but a photographer who is well-versed in working weddings will bring much more to the table.

Having worked on these events in the past, an experienced wedding photographer will understand the flow of your wedding day. They will be prepared to capture the most significant moments — from the bride and groom getting ready to the couple’s grand exit.

A seasoned wedding photographer understands the raw emotion that is felt during each of these key moments. If unforeseen issues arise, they are able to improvise to continue capturing beautiful shots. 

Websites tend to only show highlights — bits and pieces of various weddings that showcase a photographer’s best work. If you feel like a photographer’s showcased work matches your style and vision for your wedding, request a meeting to review more of their gallery. 

During your meeting, you should also ask to see a full album. This will help you determine what kind of pictures to expect during your wedding — posed pictures, candids, or a mixture of both. You’ll also be able to see what kind of detail shots they typically do. 

#4: Personalities: Yours and the Photographer’s

Even if you love a photographer’s style and gallery, you may not love the actual photographer. Be sure to choose someone that you can trust and whose personality meshes well with yours. 

During your meeting with a photographer, take the time to imagine what it will be like to work with them on your wedding day. They will be beside you all day, capturing every significant moment. The last thing you’d want is for the experience to be unpleasant.

#5: How the Photographer Works Throughout the Day

When choosing a photographer, you want to consider what their typical work process looks like.

Do you want direction on where to stand, where to look, and how to hold the bouquet? Or do you want your photographer to blend in and capture moments candidly? Will they use a second photographer? 

Be sure to choose someone whose methods match up with your vision. Asking them to go in a completely different direction than what they’re used to may negatively affect the resulting photos. 

#6: Budget

The overall cost of your wedding photographer will vary depending on their experience, location, types of deliverables, hours worked, and other specific demands of the wedding. 

The cost of a wedding photographer may be anywhere from $1000 to $10,000. Make sure that you choose a plan within your given budget. 

Looking for a wedding photographer in NYC? Check out what costs to expect.

#7: Lighting

Having the ideal lighting can make all the difference in the outcome of your photos. 

It can often be difficult to ensure perfect lighting during certain seasons or times of the day. An experienced wedding photographer should take these factors into account when preparing for your ceremony.

If you love a photographer’s gallery, be sure to ask them what time of year the wedding was. If it took place during a different season, you can discuss how the photos may look different for your ceremony. You can also request to see photos that were taken during the same season as your ceremony to compare. 

#8: Your Venue

During your consultation, be sure to discuss the details of your wedding venue. 

An experienced photographer may have worked there before. If not, they may be able to preview the venue and then have a discussion with you about the ideal areas for photos. 

Still searching for the perfect venue?

If you’re looking to get married in NYC, check out these wedding hot spots:

These are some of our favorite New York City locations to shoot weddings and we’re able to get the most stunning photos every time.

#9: Deliverable Options and Timeline

Each wedding photographer will likely have different options for deliverables and their respective timelines. 

Some important questions to keep in mind may be:

  • Will the photographer release hi-res digital images of all photos taken or only a limited selection? 
  • Will they provide print copies?
  • Will they provide a book or album?
  • Can they add or subtract parts of their photography packages to work with my budget?
  • Do their photography packages state how many hours they will work? 
  • How long will it take to receive your edited images?

Some photographers might turn photos around in six weeks, while others may be backlogged for months. Knowing what to expect can save you from confusion and frustration down the road. 

what to look for in a wedding photographer

Questions To Ask a Wedding Photographer During a Consultation

Knowing the right questions to ask during a consultation can ensure that you pick the absolute best fit for your big day. 

Some key questions to bring up during your consultation include: 

  • Availability questions: Are they fully available during the day of your ceremony? Will they be available for potential engagement photos?
  • Experience and background questions: How long have they been a photographer? How often do they photograph weddings? 
  • Style questions: How would they describe their style? Which style do they enjoy working with the most?
  • Pricing and package questions: What are their rates? How many/what types of photos will you receive?
  • Logistics questions: How do they get to know a couple before the wedding? What kind of equipment do they use? Do they take candid or posed shots?
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Red Flags To Look for When Choosing a Wedding Photographer

If something feels off during your consultation with a wedding photographer, it probably is. 

There are plenty of things to watch out for, but here are some of the most common red flags to keep in mind:

  • Lack of a thorough portfolio: A seasoned wedding photographer will happily show you complete showcases of their recent work. 
  • Negative reviews: This is something you want to look out for with every type of vendor, but especially with a photographer. You want to make sure that the only person documenting your big day is producing the highest quality work possible.
  • Unwillingness to provide references: If a photographer hesitates to give you references for their past work, there’s probably a reason. 
  • Editing, style, or lighting that is extremely inconsistent throughout their work: You want to choose a photographer who is highly skilled at capturing and editing. If 20% of their portfolio is poorly produced, 20% of your wedding photos will likely come out the same way. 
  • They don’t want to use a contract: Professional wedding photographers will always use a contract that clearly outlines costs, scope of work, and other important details. 
  • They use pushy sales tactics: When a photographer is aggressively pushing for you to spend more money, it’s a sign that profit is likely their top priority. 
  • Pricing seems too good to be true: Unrealistically low quotes may mean that a photographer is inexperienced or cutting corners in some areas. 
  • Lack of professionalism/unusual behavior: If the photographer is untimely, rude, or unprepared, they will likely continue this behavior throughout your experience working together. 

How To Pick a Wedding Photographer Once You’ve Made All the Considerations and Held Your Consultations

So, you’ve narrowed down your options and are now looking at a few phenomenal candidates to document your wedding. How do you choose between so many wonderful options?

None of these photographers will likely satisfy all of your requirements 100%, but you’ll want to pick the one that most closely aligns with your list of priorities. Beyond this, it will ultimately come down to deciding which person best matches your personality. 

A photographer that meshes well with you and your partner will likely be able to capture your personalities and emotions more effectively. You will also be able to work well with this photographer and trust their process.  

how to choose a wedding photographer

Julian Ribinik Photography: Experienced and Passionate Wedding Photographers in NYC

I’m Julian Ribinik, a New York City wedding photographer who works alongside my wife, Evgenia. From the moment we arrive at your venue, we’re ready to beautifully capture the most significant and treasured moments of your big day. 

We are passionate about capturing the magic of the city and the unique personalities of the couples that marry here. We specialize in moody, luxury photography that compliments the architecture and aura of the city while accurately reflecting the bond between you and your partner. 

Ready to find a photographer that will beautifully capture the moments that you’ll cherish forever? Give us a call to discuss your wedding needs. 

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Julian Ribinik Wedding Photography

330 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

(212) 256-1646