A challenge every couple faces is how to choose your photographer.  This is a particularly daunting task because there are just so many qualified photographers in the Dallas Fort Worth area that it becomes overwhelming to narrow them down.  Here are a few pointers for you so that you don’t lose your mind when choosing the best photographer for your wedding day.

Build your pool of qualified photographers – It might seem counter-productive to build a pool of photographers when you are trying to narrow them down.  However, you are going to build a pool of good choices, not just anyone with a camera that calls themselves a photographer.

  1. Check with your venue – These are photographers that have worked at your venue before that they know and trust.  This is always a great place to start.
  2. Google search for images of your venue – Sometimes your venue simply has too many photographers on their list that they don’t have the ability to add any more.  If you do a quick Google image search for your venue, you will find other photographers that have worked in your venue.  If you love the images, add those photographers to your potential list as well.
  3. WeddingWire – I LOVE WeddingWire.  More than anything else, I love WeddingWire for their vendor reviews.  They have methods to verify that the couples which provide reviews are real and honest people, so you know that the reviews provided aren’t fake.  The more reviews, and the better the ranking, the more confident you can be in that photographer’s abilities.  I would go to WeddingWire and search for photographers in your area.  You can narrow your search by location, price of the most popular package, style, and number of reviews. I suggest number of reviews over the average rating because it’s not hard to get one or two 5-star ratings, but it isn’t easy to get 30-50 reviews with the same average rating.  Now, be careful about photographers with hundreds of reviews… often times those are the companies that service soooooooooo many clients that they don’t build any kind of relationship with them.

Choose a type style that you like – Now, there are a lot of ‘buzz words’ that circulate about what you should ask for from your photographer.  Some clients hear that they should want a photographer that specializes in ‘photojournalism’, yet they don’t really know exactly what that means.  Here are a few terms to help you decide on what you are actually looking for.  Look at the photographer’s portfolio and see which style(s) the photographer falls into.  For example, f you are wanting mostly candid images, you will not want to go with a traditional/classic photographer.

Do you want your photographer to set up most of the shots, show you exactly how to pose and manipulate the environment to get the perfect shot? Then, you are looking for a photographer that has a traditional or classic style.  These are an examples of traditional/classic images, because the couples were posed looking at the camera and smiling.

 Engagement photo session at Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park in Dallas Texas

Would you rather your photographer to be more of a fly on the wall and capture events as they happen? True photojournalists use natural light and do not pose or manipulate aspects of the wedding day.  This image is considered photojournalistic because no manipulation occurred by the photographer.  The lighting was natural and the bride and groom’s actions were captured as they happened.

Photojournalism - This image is considered photojournalistic as there was no manipulation by the photographer. The lighting was natural and the bride and groom's actions were captured as they happened.  garlandwedding053

A photographer that has an illustrative or documentary style or is described as a lifestyle photographer tends to combine certain aspects of traditional posing and lighting with candid coverage to best tell the story of the couple and wedding day. This is the approach that I most identify with. I help by positioning and directing you during portrait sessions and romantics on the wedding day, but the majority of coverage is candid and photojournalistic. Additionally, I shoot mostly natural and available light, though I love using my off-camera flash for the reception.

These images are considered illustrative because I did show them where to go and gave them a bit of direction on what to do, however what was captured was an authentic moment within those guidelines.

magnoliaterracewedding-B121  mesquiteengagement083

An artistic photographer tends to use unconventional lighting and angles to create images that are works of art. These images can be candid or posed, natural light or artificial light, or a combination of various mediums.

This image is artistic because it was taken from an unusual perspective and the leading lines draw the viewer’s eye straight to the bride.

BridalB5

A photographer with a dramatic style uses light (flash or natural) to create images with a heavy contrast between the dark and light areas.  These images are considered dramatic because the dark and light areas are very pronounced.  The first one is all natural light, whereas the second one uses flash.

BridalB1 EngagementAJ2

Pricing – Of course price matters.  Everyone is on a budget of some type.  Some budgets allow more than others, but no one has unlimited funds.  You will need to have a photographer that fits well within your budget and expectations.  Often times, couples have NO IDEA where to start as far as pricing, and they get shocked to find out exactly how much it will all cost.  Emailing photographers asking “What is your price” is impractical as well, as the price is relative based on your needs.  It is similar to calling a restaurant with the question “How much is dinner?”  Are you having an intimate wedding with only your closest friends and family or are you having a huge, all-day event with hundreds of guests?  Obviously, the same photographer would charge very different amounts for those two events.  The only way to limit your list with price is to actually contact each of the photographers you are considering with details of your wedding.  Here are a few factors for pricing, though, that might help you limit your search a little bit.

  1. Number of hours – Some photographers base their price on an hourly timeframe.  So, if you are only needing a few hours of coverage, they can accommodate you with a lower price.  If you are needing many hours, expect to pay more.  On the other hand, full-service wedding photographers often include “Wedding day coverage” to include everything from some of the getting ready through your exit.  Now, please do not read this as “unlimited time”, as this is very different.  The photographer that offers wedding day coverage without a specific time frame will NOT be there from the moment you wake up in the morning until you retire to your bridal suite.  That is just unnecessary and redundant.
  2. Second photographer – Some photography companies have second photographers standard in all of their packages.  Others prefer to work alone.  If you have your heart set on a second photographer, make sure you ask for it.  I, personally, love having a second photographer there for the first half of the day, but once dinner is served, they can go home.  I’ve got it from there.
  3. Pre-wedding portrait sessions – Engagements or bridals aren’t always standard in everyone’s photo packages.  If you intend on having any portrait sessions, make sure to ask the photographers that you are considering about the sessions that you are wanting.  I think it is important to work with your photographer at least once before your wedding.  It helps you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, and you know what to expect from your photographer before you ever get to your wedding day.

Do you like their personality? – Once you have limited your search down to your top 3-5 photographers and have gone through their websites extensively, meet with each one in person.  This is how you will get a feel for their personality and if they are going to be a good fit for you.  Remember, you will be spending a lot of time with them, so you want to make sure that your personalities mesh well together.

 

I hope this article helped you limit your choices and helped you choose the best photographer for your wedding day.  As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, I am happy to hear them.  Just email, call or text me below!

 

To schedule a session or consultation, email me at christina@christinatruelove.com or call/text 469-432-2245.