Today we are so delighted to welcome Kate from West 5th Love, who is here to assure us that finding the perfect wedding photographer can be made easier with the proper steps. Kate is an expert when it comes to wedding planning seeing as the bride-to-be is already a year and a half into planning her own big day. With her tips all bride’s-to-be can keep calm and take initiative with these wedding photographer questions and steps! We can hear the wedding bells ringing, but we want to see them too, right?!
When you start to plan a wedding, I think most are surprised to find out how many details are needed and how many decisions need to be made. Questions like what kind of cake do we want? What will we wear? Should we choose blush or mint napkins? The details are endless, but at the end of it all everything comes together to make one beautiful day you’ll never forget.
I know all about this process as I’m currently planning my own wedding and have been for about a year and a half. Over that time we have had to make some pretty big choices and meet with a ton of different vendors to find the perfect fit for us.
One of the biggest wedding related decisions we have made was regarding our wedding photographer. We wanted to find someone who captured our style and vision well, while still keeping our budget in check.
After following a couple of crucial steps, we found a wedding photographer that is perfect for our big day! So, the next question is what steps should you take to find the perfect wedding photographer?
- Research, Research, Research: Start your search with the ever helpful Google. Start by looking for photographers in your area and then start narrowing it down to a few that you love. You want to look at their style, previous work and how long they have been in the wedding industry etc. Make a shortlist of those you want to meet with. Also, make sure to check them out on social media or on their blog if they have one. This will give you an insider look at how they shoot and if they fit your style.
- Ask Questions: Whether it be about pricing, camera equipment or available dates, ask any questions you might have. Having open and honest communication with your vendors is really going to help in the long run, so why not start off on the right foot? Get a feel for the way the photographer communicates with you as this will be really important later on in the planning process. Also, make sure to keep any correspondence between you and your vendors in case something comes into question later in the process.
- Meet In Person: This may seem like an obvious one, but don’t book anything until you have met your photographer in person. Not only will you get a feel for them as your wedding photographer, you will also see how they are in a social situation. It can be really helpful to have a meeting face to face, as you will be able to tell how you and your partner gel with your photographer and you’ll be able to give them an overview of what you’re looking for.
- Fine Print: Before signing a contract or paying a deposit, make sure to ask all the important questions such as:
- What will the price of the whole package be?
- What is included in the photography package? Also, how many hours will be included?
- Will an engagement session cost extra? (Most are included)
- What will happen in case of an emergency?
- How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due?
- Will you have a second shooter or assistant?
Once you have chosen your wedding photographer and all the paperwork is signed, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing one of your big decisions is taken care of. From here it is really important to keep in contact with your chosen vendor and plan for an engagement shoot! Setting up an engagement photo shoot is extremely important as it will be your test run before the big day. You will get time to work with your photographer in a less hectic time and it will give you time to get comfortable being in front of the lens.
On a personal note, we had our engagement photos taken this past summer and I don’t think I could be any happier with our choice in photographer. We ended up hiring the very talented Juan and Paula from SixTwoNine Photography. The great thing about the shoot was that it gave us time to get to know them and share some laughs, resulting in pictures that turned out even better than we expected.
We loved our first engagement shoot so much, we chose to book a mini session to use for our save the dates! It’s something I highly suggest to couples looking into engagement photos as it gave us that extra room to get comfortable with getting our pictures taken and allowed us to make some really amazing memories on camera.
Our first set of engagement photos were taken on 3 different beaches in West Vancouver, BC. Brandon and I spent a lot of our dating time on these beaches and we hold them close to our heart as they are filled with so many beautiful memories.
Our second set of photos were taken in the famous Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC, as this shoot was to be more of a winter/fall theme to go with our winter wedding. Let me tell you, our wedding photographer did not disappoint!
One thing I am really excited to do with these pictures is show them off. For me, there is no better way to do that then display them in our home where we can see and love them every day. I love using Wedding Paper Divas for this as the options are absolutely endless for anything from wedding items to personalized wedding wall art! My first project will be a wedding photo books that can sit on our coffee table, for us and our guests to look through.
I hope you enjoy this peek into our engagement photos from our summer and winter shoot. Happy Wedding planning!