Top 10 Considerations When Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Welcome to the wild and sometimes crazy world of wedding planning! I would like to share a helpful roadmap full of some insider tips about what I consider to be the top 10 things to look for when you are looking to hire your wedding photographer.


This first one is a given. You are drawn to photos that you like, of course. Make sure to really look through the wedding photographer’s images and try to describe, even just to yourself, what it is that attracts you to these images. Look at elements such as posing, expression, lighting, composition, color, exposure, etc. Last but not least, ask to see a minimum of "3 full wedding day galleries" from start to finish (Starting with Bride/Groom prep, 1st looks, ceremony, family formals, reception intro, 1st dances, speeches, cake cutting, bouquet/garter toss, reception dancing, send-off). We want to make sure that your photographer has the experience and can handle different lighting conditions in different scenarios.

If you're viewing a photographer's portfolio & all you see are images of couples in wedding attire but NO crowd, NO wedding party, NO ceremony with guests, NO reception photos... This is a HUGE red flag because these are most likely photos of staged events with models. Models who know how to pose & act, these aren't really life situations, lighting challenges from a REAL Wedding day with all the stressors & fast-paced moments. (see REAL Full-Day weddings here)

If you want to know the difference between a portrait, family, maternity, graduation, natural light, and portrait photographer vs. a professional full-time wedding photographer, see my article here.


When you meet with a wedding photographer, how well do you click? Is it easy to talk to him/her, or do things feel disconnected and awkward? Does their working style fit with what you envision? Do you like the ideas they propose for working together? Do you feel confident that they can do an excellent job on your wedding day? Plan to spend a few minutes chatting to get to know him/her and see how you mesh. Remember, your photographer will be the one vendor you are with the majority of your day, not to mention during other meetings, your engagement session, etc, so you should find someone you can connect with and trust that they will work well for you!


Make sure to check that the wedding photographer is insured – both for liability as well as equipment. If a guest (or even you!) were to get hurt, who would cover medical bills? And if the photographer were to have gear broken or stolen during your event, would he/she request that you help with the cost? You want to make sure to be covered against anything imaginable, so always verify that a photographer is fully insured.


Another form of “insurance” is having full backup equipment. Not just limited to an extra camera body, does the wedding photographer also have extra lenses, extra lighting, extra memory cards, batteries, etc? From my experience, most family, graduation, and headshot photographers do not have backup cameras because it's generally not needed in that field. But on a wedding day, there isn’t one moment to be missed, so photographers have to be able to grab new equipment at the drop of a hat if the need arises.


When searching for a vendor for your business or personal needs, it's essential to make sure that you're choosing someone who is both reputable and active.

Check for reviews: One of the best ways to determine the quality of a vendor is to read what others have to say about their experiences. Look for reviews on sites such as Google and Facebook.

Check for social media presence. A vendor who is active on social media is likely to be more engaged with their customers and more responsive to any issues that may arise. Look for them on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram to see if they are actively posting and engaging with their followers.

Look for signs of an active and responsive vendor: A vendor who is quick to respond to customer inquiries and complaints is likely to be more reliable and trustworthy.

By taking the time to review a vendor's presence and reputation, you can ensure that you're working with someone who is both relevant and trustworthy. By choosing a vendor who is active on social media and has a positive reputation, you can have confidence that your needs will be met in a timely and professional manner.


There are as many pricing strategies as there are for wedding photographers. Some photographers price in packages, and others price a la carte. Some include digital files or albums, some do not. Make sure to discuss with your fiancé(e) what you are hoping to receive from your wedding photographer. Also, make sure to discuss whether you have a set budget in mind, or if you want to compare the value of various photographers. Lastly, make sure that the photographer’s price is not the only option you consider when you are shopping around. We have heard horror stories of what happened when people have hired purely on price. Just remember that your wedding photography will be the only keepsake left from your wedding day, so make sure all of these factors are weighted equally.


Some wedding photographers price their coverage hourly. Some give “full-day coverage”. And others give packages with a set number of hours. It helps to have a ballpark idea in mind of what you are hoping for, but make sure to request that your photographer helps with planning out the timeline of your wedding day. Then you need to clarify how much of the day you actually want your photographer present. For example, do you need your photographer present during your visit to the hair salon in the morning? Or do you want your photographer present up until the very last dance is finished, lights are brought up and guests are leaving? In our experience, 8-10 hours of photography coverage will ensure you get the majority of the important details from your wedding day.


Unless your wedding is very small (max 50 guests), many weddings would do well to have two photographers present. From having more details and candid moments captured to having both bride AND groom expressions captured during first looks and walking down the aisle, some images are only possible when there are two photographers present.


A wedding album is the most important keepsake you can receive from your wedding day – don’t underestimate its importance as your first family heirloom. Make sure to review the quality of the albums from the photographer. Look at cover materials, paper finish, thickness, number of pages, the style/design of the layout, whether it includes a box or other protective case, binding quality, etc. There is a vast range of albums available, so make sure you will be getting great quality and value in your biggest family heirloom from your wedding day.


This last item might be the most important. Make sure that work with a professional wedding photographer. I know that the term can be widely interpreted. (Full-time? Part-time? Occasional? How many weddings have they photographed? etc.) Asking a friend or relative with a DSLR to be your photographer, if they have no experience photographing weddings, can potentially lead to disaster and you could end up with no or very few usable photos from your wedding day. For some people, photography may not be that important, so it may not matter if you have photos to look back on from your day. But if you do want to make sure you get beautiful, high-quality photos artistically capturing every facet of your wedding day, make sure that you can trust that your photographer is a professional and can work through any scenario or challenge that may be presented.

Now check out my FREE Wedding Guide here