How to Hire a Wedding Photographer You’ll Love

Client Education, Couples, Weddings

Wondering how to hire a wedding photographer for your special day? Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting things you’ll do in your lifetime! While it can feel like you have a never-ending agenda sometimes, seeing all of your planning come to life on your wedding day is a joyful – and almost surreal – experience. I’m so excited for you! 😊

Figuring out how to hire a wedding photographer you’ll love is an important step, and I wrote this article to help you make the best decision.

Choosing the perfect wedding photographer is not just about finding someone with technical expertise. Your wedding photographer should be someone who can capture all of the meaningful little moments, from heartfelt smiles to the tears you’re not even going to try to hold back.

Your wedding photographer is the person you trust to tell your love story, and you should make this big decision carefully.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What Is a Wedding Photographer?

A wedding photographer is a professional photographer who captures moments and creates visual narratives during weddings. 

While this may be an obvious answer, there are important things about the role that your wedding photographer plays on your wedding day that you may not be aware of!

At Jen Oceana Photography, I anticipate and capture the best moments of your wedding day, but I also help you with planning your wedding experience, give you directions on portrait poses, and sometimes even help you out with random things like putting on your boutonniere…

Because who, if not a wedding photographer, knows how to do that!

I become your trusted friend and loyal shadow and help you freeze the most genuine, intimate, and joyful moments of your wedding day forever ❤️

Wedding photography example. This is what you can get when you hire a wedding photographer you love!

When to Book Your Wedding Photographer

The short answer is as early as possible! Wedding photographers are in high demand and starting the process early allows you to find the perfect photographer for you. As soon as you have your wedding date and venue confirmed, start researching your options!

Hiring your wedding photographer early also gives you the time to get to know them and potentially have an engagement session before your wedding day.

This helps you feel more comfortable with your photographer on your wedding day and know what to anticipate from working together. 

How to Hire a Photographer for a Wedding: 7 Things to Look For

1. Wedding Photography Style

You and your partner likely have a distinct vision for your wedding day, and it’s important for your wedding photographer’s style to match the overall style and aesthetics of your celebration.

Consider the atmosphere you want your wedding photos to capture, whether it’s classic and elegant, contemporary and artistic, or somewhere in between.

Think about your preferences. Do you want your wedding photography to be candid and capture unscripted reactions? Full of natural light? Dark and moody? Classic and formal? Artistic? Vintage or retro? Rustic and bohemian? There are so many potential styles, and most wedding photographers naturally lean into a few set categories. 

Once you figure out what wedding photography styles you like, start looking for wedding photographers that shoot in that particular style. This should help you narrow down your options to a few professional photographers that truly get your vision!

Example of work of a wedding photographer.

2. Personality

Here’s the truth: you could find a wedding photographer whose work and style you absolutely adore, but if your personalities don’t match, they’re not going to be a great addition to your wedding day.

You’ll be spending most of your wedding day with your wedding photographer, so it should feel like you’re hanging out with a supportive friend who effortlessly gets you.

The bottom line is, your wedding photographer should make your wedding day easier, not harder. It is one of the wedding vendors that you’re going to truly collaborate with, so your personalities should flow well together. Hire someone who feels like they could be your friend in real life!

To test your dynamics, get on a video call with the photographers you’re considering or, if you live close by, have a discovery meeting in person.

3. Testimonials and Reviews

One of the first things you should look at when hiring a wedding photographer is testimonials and reviews from their past clients. 

They give you a glimpse into the experiences of couples who have already trusted the photographer with their wedding day so you can get a sense of how it felt to work with them.

Read the testimonials on the wedding photographer’s website and browse their Google reviews.

You may even reach out to past clients to chat about their experience with one or two photographers you’re strongly considering!

A Testimonial for Jen Ocena.

4. Portfolio

There’s no better way to figure out whether a particular wedding photographer is the right photographer for you than looking at their portfolio!

Browsing the past projects of the wedding photographers you’re considering allows you to see their skill, style, and ability to capture diverse moments and emotions.

Chances are, your wedding photos are going to end up looking very similar to the photographer’s portfolio, so make sure that you like their past work before making your decision.

You can see some of my favorite love stories that I’ve captured here! 📷

5. Availability

Wedding photographers are in high demand and many photographers are booked out for months in advance.

To make sure you find the perfect wedding photographer for you, start the research process early and inquire about your date even if your wedding date is months out!

Reaching out to a photographer to get to know them and check their availability doesn’t hold you to anything, so you’re really not losing or risking anything.

This would also be a great time to get a better idea of other details, such as the wedding photographer’s pricing and their wedding photography packages.

Learn how to hire a wedding photographer you love and get beautiful photography like this!

6. Engagement Sessions and Pre-Wedding Consultations

Some wedding photographers offer engagement sessions or pre-wedding consultations as a part of their package. An engagement session is a photography session that you do before your wedding day as an engaged couple.

An engagement session is the perfect opportunity to become more comfortable with your wedding photographer before your big day!

It’s also a way to add more photographers to your wedding album at no additional cost and capture your love right before you get married. I offer complimentary engagement sessions to all my couples!

7. Editing Process and Delivery Timelines

The last but not least thing to consider when hiring a wedding photographer is what kind of editing process they use and when you’re going to get your wedding photography back. Most photographers spend at least a couple of weeks on editing your photos.

When inquiring with wedding photographers, make sure to ask how long it’s going to take them to edit the photos!

You don’t want to wait for your pictures for months. That said, if the wedding photographer claims that they’re going to get the pictures back to you in just a day or two, it may be a sign that they’re not dedicating enough time to editing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you say when reaching out to a wedding photographer?

When inquiring with a wedding photographer, it’s important to tell them about your wedding date, ceremony and reception venues, vision for your wedding day, and share any other details that they need to know to accurately estimate if you’re going to be a good match. Most wedding photographers have a contact form that asks you guiding questions!

How do I choose a good wedding photographer?

When hiring a wedding photographer, there are a few important things to consider. Above all, your style and personalities should match and you should feel comfortable collaborating together. You should also look through your photographer’s testimonials and portfolio to get an accurate sense of their work. Lastly, logistical details like availability and editing timelines are also crucial.

How much does it cost to hire a photographer for a wedding?

Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important investments to make for your wedding day, so you should expect to spend a few thousand dollars on your photographer. I wouldn’t recommend sacrificing the quality of work trying to find the cheapest photographer because your wedding photos capture the emotional moments you’ll treasure forever!

How long will it take to get your wedding photos back?

Most photographers will take a few weeks to edit your wedding photos, but you may get a sneak peek a day or two after your wedding! When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure that their timeline doesn’t stretch over multiple months (unless you’re fine with waiting that long!). That said, if the photographer only needs a day or so to edit your photos, it could be a sign of low quality work.

Finely Crafted Love Stories for Joyful Romantics

Now that you know how to hire a wedding photographer you love, allow me to make an introduction! I’m a New Jersey wedding photographer with an editorial style and candid approach, and I go above and beyond to capture your love story. Learn more about my wedding photography services or check out my Portfolio here!