5 Steps To Picking Your Wedding Photographer

Our Special Moments Event Planning team knows a thing or two about picking your wedding photographer. We have done extensive research and networking to build relationships, over the past fifteen years, with incredibly talented Tampa Bay area wedding photographers.

We have asked the right questions, reviewed their portfolios and seen them in action to ensure that our couples have all the information they need to make an informed decision about their wedding photography.

Here are some things we learned in our years of experience that help select a wedding photographer.


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One of the first projects for any couple planning a wedding should be to prioritize all the elements of your wedding. We would bet that each of you will come up with different answers.

Is it all about a great band or are you foodies? Does it need to be Instagram worthy or are you ok with simple, elegant floral arrangements and focusing on other details? Each couple has different wants.

Hopefully, photography (and videography) are near the top of the list. At the end of the day, those images and some beautiful memories are all you have left.

Investing in the best photographer you can find at your given budget is a must for most couples.


Find Your Style

Another, seemingly easy project is to see what style of photography you like.

Are you all about Classic Photography – timeless images that are a bit formal but still capture events as they unfold.


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Or, is your style more Lifestyle photography – that photojournalistic approach where the photographer selects a scenic location and captures more candid images?


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Maybe you have a more dramatic style where photographers create a setting, add in outside lighting and pose you for maximum impact.


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Once you find a style that you both like, start to check out photographers in your budget range with that style of photography.


What A Dollar Buys

Many photographers are listing pricing online so couples can compare apples to apples, or they at least list a ‘starting at’ price so you know if they are in your budget range.

The next step from there is to see what you get for your money.

We love when couples look at ‘time and talent’, the best photographer you can afford for the number of hours you need coverage.

Sometimes when looking at pricing, photographer’s packages have built-in prints, albums or any number of artistic, framed options.

Those are all things you can add in after the wedding when you see how many images it takes to tell your story and find that once in a lifetime image you want for your home. When booking, invest in the photographer and not necessarily the additional products.


Body of Work

You have prioritized photography, set a budget, identified your style and looked at packages within your budget.

Hopefully, you have narrowed your list to a few incredible photographers who have your wedding date available.

The next thing is to look at an entire body of work!

Out of the hundreds of images, a photographer shoots at any given wedding, about twenty-five or thirty make it to an online, gallery, blog or feature page.

Ask to see the rest of the images so you have a better idea of what you will have to choose from after your wedding day.


The Fine Details

Now that you have narrowed the field, here are a few things to look for or to ask:

Make sure your personalities mesh. You will be spending a lot of time together on your wedding day and you really want to click with them and have fun.

  • Do they come with an assistant or a second shooter? One carries equipment and sets up and the other captures details. There is a huge difference.
  • What is their back up plan? Do they carry extra cameras and backup equipment? Do they have colleagues who cover for them in the event of an emergency?
  • What is their typical turnaround time? This will change depending on the time of year, the busy season takes everyone a little longer to get images back. Know when you might see a sneak peek or preview and then when you can expect to see the entire gallery.
  • Are they insured? {enought said!}
  • Ask about your rights. Most photographers retain the rights to the images they created with the couple having limited usage rights. This often allows the photographer the right to use the images in marketing and to submit them for publication. Additionally, it may limit your rights to print the image for your own use.


And, be sure to consider an engagement shoot with the photographer. Not only will you have beautiful, more casual images of the two of you but it also helps you get more at ease with the photographer before your wedding day.

Our Special Moments Event Planning team has done a good bit of the research already, but you always want to make sure that the photographer you select offers exactly what you are looking for and that you really have a connection.

Because you always want them to capture those Special Moments!


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