January 12, 2021
I know that hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions while wedding planning. Are you currently feeling:
- Overwhelmed with the amount of options that Photographer’s offer
- Clueless on where to start to vet photographers
- Don’t know the best questions are to ask during wedding consultations
If you answered yes to any of these questions then continue reading. After planning my own wedding and documenting over 150 weddings I got you.
3 Things to Consider Before Hiring Your Wedding Photographer
Trust me when I say that there is a photographer out there for everyone style wise. There’s a plethora of photographers. All of them offering a style that is unique to them. There is no right or wrong here. This is solely a personal decision on what type of editing style you’re drawn to and what type of posing you like.
Ask yourself if you prefer more: dark and moody, light & airy, warm, classic, true to color. Honestly, the list is endless.
I personally consider myself a mix between light, classic, & warm. I want your photos to be a true representation of your wedding with a punch. My ultimate goal is that your gallery is timeless and that when styles change in 2, 5, 10+ years down the line you don’t regret choosing an outdated editing style.
Now, ask yourself if you prefer more classic, fine-art, editorial posing or a documentary, cinematic, candid approach?
In terms of posing, I prompt my couples to interact with one another and capture those in-between moments. This allows me to facilitate romantic to fun playful moments. However, I do effortlessly blend in those more classic editorial images that don’t feel or look awkward, stiff, or contrived because I spend so much time with my couples to know how to pose them authentically. This allows me to deliver dynamic galleries full of real, passionate, and un-posed moments. My couples don’t call me the Queen of Catching Moments for nothing.
Before hiring a wedding photographer please ask yourself: is this photographer a good fit for my wedding?
Now you may be rolling your eyes currently thinking that your wedding photographer is just going to show up on your wedding day, take photos, leave, and then deliver gorgeous photos. WRONG.
You’re more than likely going to spend more time with your wedding photographer than with your soon-to-be spouse. Wild, right? This interaction can literally make or break your wedding day experience.
9 times out of 10 whenever I hear couples are upset with their wedding photos it’s because they had a bad experience the day of their wedding. Their photos may be absolutely stunning but every time they look at them they’re reminded of the way their interaction was with their wedding photographer either before, during, or after their wedding.
Ask yourself: do I actually like this person as a person and not just as photographer? Do I feel comfortable around them? Can I feel comfortable telling them things I dislike and like? How do they engage with their followers on social media? What are people saying about them in their reviews? Can I actually talk with this person outside of “wedding things”? Do they seem genuinely happy for you and excited for your wedding day?
You’ll typically hear about experience as in how much experience the photographer has. How many weddings have they shot? Do they have experience just as a 2nd photographer or as a primary photographer? Styled/Editorial Shoots vs. Real Wedding days (let’s not go there…)?
While this point is extremely important, I’m going to gloss over that because no matter what you should be asking to see to see MULTIPLE full galleries from real weddings where they were the primary photographer. During this process ask yourself do you like the way they capture the day from start to finish. Can you see yourself in their photos?
Please, DO NOT hire a wedding photographer WITHOUT seeing a healthy sample of their work.
Now that that’s out of the way let’s talk about what I mean by experience.
What experience do they offer you as your wedding photographer?
Do they help create you a photographic timeline? How often do they communicate with you? Do they book you and ditch you until before the wedding? Or, will they check in throughout the process, send you vendor recommendations, and helpful tips while you’re wedding planning? How quickly (or slowly) do they respond? Are they active are they in planning your engagement photos? How do they interact with your guests? Are they assertive and directive during family photos? How do they manage wedding party photos? Can they design a custom heirloom album?
These are wonderful questions to know answers to so you know what kind of service you’ll receive. Also, ask how they capture different parts of the day. For example, I have different approaches during different parts of the day.
During family photos, I tend to be more assertive and directive so they can be done in a timely manner. I know that family photos tend to be the most stressful time during photos and it can be like herding sheep so I have a system in place to knock them out promptly.
However, you best believe that during full wedding party photos, I’ll be giving you lots of candid prompts to get you laughing and having a good time with your friends. And, I’ll be laughing alongside with you. During this time the mood will be much more relaxed, filled with laughter, interacting with one another and less looking at the camera, smiling at me.
But, Kyrsten, you didn’t talk about budget. I’ve said it plenty of times and I will continue to say it until I’m blue in the face. Your wedding photos is an investment into your future. These photos will be cherished by your future kids and grandkids. They will become your family heirlooms. Their priceless.
If I could redo any part of my wedding day, I would have hired an experienced wedding photographer that saw my vision and so much more. Take it from me as someone whose wedding photos live in an unopened mailer from 2016 buried at the bottom of her closet — your memories are priceless. If I could, I would have spent ten fold more on my photography.
Hire the most qualified trusted professional that you can trust and connect with within the budget that you have. Your memories are worth it.
I hope that this was helpful as you find the perfect wedding photographer for you!
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Kyrsten Ashlay Photography is a Dallas Wedding Photographer specializing in romantic, heartfelt, timeless imagery for joyful couples. If you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your special day in Dallas or the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, I’d love to hear from you! Send me a note – can’t wait to connect!