Time for another educational blog post – this one for brides + grooms! If you’re recently engaged and on the hunt for a wedding photographer, here is a list of five things you NEED in a wedding photographer. Of course it is important to find a photographer whose shooting + editing style is what you envision for your wedding day, but it is also important to take these five things into account when choosing who will capture your best day ever!
1. Licensed and Insured
This is pretty self-explanatory. You want a photographer that has a business license, pays taxes, and has insurance. What if their gear gets stolen? Do they have an insurance policy to help them replace that gear ASAP? A couple of years back, I saw a wedding videographer (that I didn’t follow/know – he went viral) post on Instagram that ALL of his gear had been stolen. He was trying to raise money to have it replaced because he didn’t have it insured. What saddened me the most was if he had only had insurance, he would have been able to replace his gear extremely quickly. It’s such a stress relief to make sure your business is covered in that way!
2. Detailed Contracts
A wedding contract should protect both the photographer and the couple. You should be able to read your photographers contract and know what will happen if you cancel, if they cancel, when/how payments are due, what you are paying for, what to expect out of your wedding photos, when you will receive your edited images, etc. I’m constantly looking over and updating my wedding contract to make sure that it covers EVERYTHING that I can think of. I want my clients to be able to turn to their contract if they have ANY questions!
3. Able + Willing to Show You Example Galleries
When wedding photographers choose which photos to post online from a wedding, they usually choose the images that are their personal favorites. This is why it is important to see a full gallery! That way you can see how your photographer shoots throughout the ENTIRE wedding day, not just portraits. I’m not saying you have to look through their entire portfolio – but it’s always good to see how they handled different lighting scenarios, how they like to shoot different parts of the day, etc.!
This is one of the most important factors. I get it, I’ve been a bride. Sometimes you have random questionsI After all, you’re not a professional bride and groom. 😂 I try to answer all of my emails/messages from my clients by the next business day (unless I’m on vacation) to answer any questions they might have during any part of the wedding planning process. I also LOVE client consultations. Before or after clients book me, I love to either sit down with them at a coffee shop or chat with them via Zoom so that I can learn more about them, find out their vision for their wedding day, and explain how the process of working with me will go. I’ve also implemented a lot of client guides in 2020, including a super thorough welcome guide that I send my couples after booking. I want to make sure they have a great experience with me, which includes being super communicative and always being ready to help them with any questions they might have about their wedding day!
This goes along with communication. It’s really important to have a wedding photographer that is going to work with you leading up to the wedding day to make sure that they are prepared for YOUR wedding. Examples of this are a detailed photography timeline (one of the most important parts of the wedding planning process!), being prepared for family formals with a shot list you’ve put together, and knowing where each part of the day is happening (getting ready, ceremony, reception).
And a bonus tip…make sure your wedding photographer’s personality meshes well with yours! I have been so blessed to work with amazing couples that treat me like a friend, and that has partially been due to the fact that our personalities worked well together! You’ll be with your wedding photographer more than anyone else on your wedding day other than your spouse. You want to make sure you like them!
I know when looking for a wedding photographer your biggest concern is usually what the photos look like. (DUH. 😂), but don’t forget to take these other aspects into consideration! Happy wedding planning!
Photographer: Jayna Biery Photography
Models: Abbie + Tucker
Venue: Maple Grove Estate
Styling/Planning: Summer Simmons
HMU: Effortless Beauty
Dresses: Eleanor’s Bridal
Table: Marsh Made Design
Table Florals/Bouquet: Meg Hutchinson / The Florista
Acrylic Signs/Namecards: Elms Lettering
Cake: Krista Cornett
Planning: Emily Gustafson
Stationary: Sarah Turner
Want to see more weddings? Click here!
I’m a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Knoxville, Tennessee but available anywhere. If you have questions about booking me for a session or wedding, click here! To follow me on social media, check out my Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.