How to Find Your Wedding Photographer

Are you in the process of finding your wedding photographer but aren’t sure where to start?

Let me help you. There are some key things that are universal when it comes to searching for your wedding photographer and I’m going to tell you exactly what they are.

Wedding photo of a couple smiling at each other taken by Dahlia Orchid Photography a Nashville based wedding and elopement photographer

Editing Style

This one is pretty important, most couples don’t realize how many different styles of editing there are until they’re starting the search for their photographer. Most photographers fall within one of three different styles, start your process by figuring out which of these calls to you most

  1. True to Tone

Sometimes these images look like they’re almost unedited (trust me they’re still edited). Here are a couple examples of great photographers who (I think) fall into this category

Deanna Paige Photography & Design

Uppercase L Photography

Colby Campbell Photography

2. Light and Airy

Light and Airy basically means bright. It’s the style that most often gets confused with “timeless” wedding photos. I would argue that light and airy is a trending editing style (vs true to tone). However, that doesn’t make it bad at all. If light and airy images speak to you then don’t ignore it. Here are some examples of great light and airy photographers

Victoria Rayburn Photography

AH Studios

Poly Mendes Photography

3. Dark and Moody

Dark and moody gets a bad rap for being “trendy” however, it’s one of the most diverse editing styles there is and you would be surprised which photographers classify themselves as dark and moody editors (yours truly being one of them) here’s some examples of awesome photographers with a dark and moody editing style!

Dahlia Orchid Photography

Wanderlost Imagery

Northern Voyages Co.

West Wedding Co.

Did you notice that not a single one of these photographers had the exact same style as another? Even though they’re all under the same general umbrella, they all have differences in their editing. So when you’re in the process of finding your wedding photographer. Start here, look at each of these styles and see which one you keep coming back to. That’s the style you’ll want to focus on during your search for the perfect wedding photographer.

Wedding photo of a couple holding each other with their foreheads touching by Dahlia Orchid Photography a Nashville based wedding and elopement photographer

Personality

Okay, so now you’ve found the style you’re looking for, you can start looking for a specific person to fit your needs. The easiest way to do this is to join a wedding Facebook group in your area or even a general elopement or intimate weddings Facebook group. Then make your post and watch the photographers reach out to you!

Make sure to include in your post: your wedding date, the location, your budget, the style you like, and a little bit about you and your partner.

Another way to do this is by searching something like “Nashville wedding photographers” (or whatever your location is) on Google. Keep in mind that this will not sort your search results by style. Even adding “light and airy wedding photographers in Nashville” isn’t going to get you as accurate of results as making a Facebook post in one of those groups will. I know this because I’ve actually searched “light and airy wedding photographers in Nashville” and only one of the results on the first page was actually a light and airy photographer.

The next thing you’re going to want to do is make sure you get along really well with the photographer you ultimately go with. When you have your meeting (or video call) with them it should feel like you’re talking to a new friend. You should be able to make jokes with them and laugh and feel like you could tell them anything and they’re going to be there for you. They should be interested in your life and your love story. There’s so much more that goes into this, but the general idea is that your gut should tell you “this is the one”

Elopement photo of a couple dipping and kissing taken by Dahlia Orchid Photography a Nashville based elopement and destination wedding photographer

Experience

This is a more general term, because everyone has to start somewhere. But, your wedding photographer should be able to tell you from personal experience things to expect on your wedding day (even newer photographers should have second shot for another wedding photographer in their area so they have been to weddings and know how they run). They should be open and willing to be your guide throughout the entire process.

A good photographer will answer your questions before you even ask them. Or better yet, before you think to ask them.

Here are some questions you NEED to ask your photographer BEFORE you book them (if they don’t already answer these for you)

  • What happens if you get COVID and can’t make it to my wedding?
  • What happens if there’s a car accident and you aren’t there?
  • Will you help me make my timeline?
  • Will you help me find other vendors for my wedding?
  • How do you store my images?
  • What happens if one of your cameras breaks or an SD card crashes at my wedding?
  • How will you deliver my images?
  • Do you grant printing rights in your contract?
  • What is your policy on rescheduling?
  • Can I see a full day wedding gallery?
  • How long does it take to get my gallery back?
  • How much is your retainer and is it non refundable? (most are)
  • Can you hold my date?
  • What do you need in order to book?

If the photographer you’re talking doesn’t answer all of these questions (at minimum) to your satisfaction, then that’s not the right photographer for you.

Wedding photo of a couple looking at each other taken by Dahlia Orchid Photography a Nashville based elopement and destination wedding photographer

I hope this quick guide was helpful for you and you’re well on your way to finding the perfect wedding or elopement photographer for your special day!

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