Guest blogger, Allison Slater here! - I’m a Traveling Wedding and Adventure Elopement Photographer based in Arizona! I’m super passionate about the outdoors, my ten pound fur baby, being a wife and all about being Real, Raw + Authentic. I’m also a part of the Wedding Pioneer team as a photographer, curator and creative team member! I fully believe in Wedding Pioneer’s vision of being a resource full of Unique + Hip Wedding Photographers for recently engaged couples (If that’s you, major congrats!! Click here to check out our rad photographers from all across the country!). We at Wedding Pioneer are also passionate about bringing you FREE, educational content on topics that aide both brides AND wedding industry pros! Much more to come on this subject as well :) You ready for the goodies? Let’s dive in!
How to Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer
The idea of searching for your wedding photographer may seem a bit daunting, especially if you’re one of the first of your siblings or friends to get married (like me!). If that sounds like you, this Wedding Pioneer Educational Blogpost is for you! This is going to teach you all about How to Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer. Being a traveling wedding photographer, I’m ridiculously passionate about ensuring that my couples are obsessed with my style of images, have access to help and planning at any time from me and that they receive ALL of their wedding images free of watermark, without a cap amount being placed on the amount of pictures they will receive. Each of those three items contribute to finding and booking who is specifically YOUR dream photographer is, not just a photographer that has a million awards or the most reviews.
That may be a shocking thought to you - yes, being highly experienced with weddings and having good reviews is important, but connecting with your photographer’s image, personality, vision and image delivery process takes a way higher standing in my mind. Let me break it down for you:
STYLE OF IMAGES - NO SURPRISES
If an image takes your breath away from the moment you see it, ask yourself WHY. Is it the location? Pose? A candid capture? Editing appearance? The way it’s framed or positioned?
The location, pose or non-pose, editing and framing are all a visual representation of that photographer’s personal style within their photography. Chances are, most of those items listed above will be consistent in some way, shape or form throughout all of their images. In my experience, the longer a photographer has been doing photography, the more consistent these things will be through their images. This is a GOOD thing - you want to be able to visualize yourself in those images and you need (and deserve) to be able to know what to expect from your end-result wedding gallery images. Choose to book a photographer won’t surprise you with images that are edited differently than what’s on that photographer’s website or instagram.
Each time a couple reaches out to me, I ask what they like most in my images; what drew them to me. I will always ensure that they’re drawn to not only me as a person, but 100% the images that they’ve seen of mine due to the natural, candid and warm style of the pictures on my website and instagram. With me, what you see is what you get - and I’m so proud of it. It takes years to hone in on your style and to make it very apparent as soon as you see a glimpse at my insta grid. This ensures for YOU as a bride, that you’re going to love the end result of your images, since that’s what drew you to me in the first place. With me, there’s no surprises with your images.
HELP IN ALL AREAS
Your photographer is someone who is typically going to be by your side from just after you get engaged, through a few weeks or months after your wedding day. I’m passionate about always being a resource to my brides throughout the entire process! Whether you want some advice about your engagement session location or outfits, are looking for a florist recommendation, or are unsure how much time you need to allot for your First Look on the day of your wedding, I’m here (I actually even create your photography timeline for you, based off of your specific wedding day!). I always highly recommend booking a wedding planner to help you with all the details that go into planning a wedding, but I also am always more than happy to help in whatever way I can. It’s important that your wedding photographer keeps an open form of communication with you throughout the entire process, and is always more than willing to help (whether it falls under the role of a photographer or not!). I was the first of my siblings and friends to get married, and know how overwhelming everything can seem. I don’t expect you to know everything wedding (especially in terms of the photography side of things) - I send out a 80 page guide to my brides after they’ve booked with me, filled with tons of tips, hints and advice for you to reference throughout your entire planning season. Needles to say, I got you covered girl and hereby always vow to respond to you within 24-48 hours of receiving your message!
THEY’RE YOUR IMAGES!
Brides, this is SO important. When talking with a photographer prior to officially booking with them, ask these questions:
Do you put a cap on the amount of images I will receive in my engagement and wedding galleries?
How long after my engagement session and wedding can I expect to receive my full gallery?
How will my images be delivered to me? (A USB, online gallery, dropbox link, etc.)
Will the images be watermarked or have your logo on them?
Am I allowed to print my images where I chose, or do I need to print through you? If a print release is included, will it be automatically in the gallery you send to me?
The answers to these questions range SO widely in the photography world. For example, my answers would be:
I never put a cap on the amount of images you will receive in your engagement and wedding gallery. By not putting a cap on the amount of images you receive, you will be able to look back on all parts of your day; the hug you shared with your Uncle Ed, the laugh your groom had with his brother as they were getting ready, the moment your Mom saw you walk down the aisle. It’s YOUR wedding day, not mine - I will never withhold images from you simply to make a certain cap number.
For both your engagement session and wedding, you’ll receive 5-10 sneak peeks within 24-48 hours of your wedding in an online gallery, available for downloading, sharing and announcing! A recap blog will be posted within 2-3 weeks, serving as a big sneak peek into your images and day. 3-4 weeks following your engagement session and 4-6 weeks following your wedding, you’ll receive your full gallery! Woohoo!
Your images will be delivered to you via email, containing a link to an online gallery that will have your fully editing, high-resolution images available for download and sharing! If you would like, you can also purchase a customized USB for a hard copy form of your galleries.
Your images will never be watermarked or have my logo on them. I choose to not do this because I believe it takes away form the emotion or beauty of the image itself. Because of this, I do ask that you simply tag me in the images that you post for crediting!
YES! Your galleries will automatically contain a print release. I’m SO passionate about printing your images - my house is full of pictures of my husband and I from so many different seasons of life. I love being able to look at them and remember back to those times when I’m simply getting ready in the morning or making dinner in the kitchen. Your print release will allow you to print where and how you choose! I do have printing companies that I recommend, simply because places like Costco or Walgreens alter the coloring and integrity of the images. I do also have a leather heirloom album option, that I super recommend (you get to choose ALL the images that go in the album!)
What’s most important when asking those questions, is to know what YOU want and need in the responses!
I hope this Wedding Pioneer Educational Post about How to Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer served as something that helped shed some light on a seemly daunting wedding planning task. If you find a photographer whose style and personality you love, that is always willing and available to answer questions or give recommendations and whose image delivery process matches what you’re looking for, your bound to book your dream wedding photographer.
Click here to check out our team of hand-selected wedding pioneer photographers. We KNOW you’ll find your dream photographer!