5 Must-Follow Pointers for Selecting the Perfect Photographer for Your Big Day

When looking for a photographer to document your wedding, you want to make sure that the pictures from your big day are perfect, while keeping your budgetary realities in mind. Like anything else, photographers generally range widely in price depending on skill and experience. You have a budget, no doubt, which will eliminate several photographers in your area. Follow this guide to choosing the perfect photographer out of those that remain.

A photographer’s work will last longer than anyone else you hire for your wedding.


A photographer’s portfolio is their resume. It is imperative that you take the time to pore over their past work. More than perhaps any other consideration, it is vital that the photographer’s style jives with your own. By examining the marriage ceremonies they have done in the past, you’ll get a good grasp on whether or not they’re too traditional, too modern, too experimental, or just right. Photographers are artists, and you shouldn’t presume that by telling them what you want, they will be willing or able to deviate from their natural style. Also, unless you’re looking for a specialist who only does one thing, make sure they have documented all seasons weddings.

Take Advantage of a Buyer’s Market

In “It’s Not Too Late for a New Career,” the author points out that the field of photography is fairly saturated, with more shutterbugs looking for work than there are jobs to be had. Although this is bad news for photographers, it can translate into big savings for you – remember that it’s a buyer’s market for people looking to get a deal on a photographer for their marriage ceremonies – don’t be afraid to barter!

Final Tips

Check to see if the person is booked for another wedding that day. Many photographers – specifically photographers who specializes in one season, as opposed to all seasons weddings – will book two weddings back to back during the busy season. Make sure he or she is available all day.

Get everything in writing with a predetermined contract. No matter how nice or personable your photographer is during the consultation, remember that money is changing hands and this is a business transaction. Find out what their contingency plan is in case of equipment failure, and strike an agreement beforehand on whether they charge extra for travel.

A wedding photographer’s style must match your own.

There are weddings that have gone off without a hitch – only to be relegated to memory because a photographer’s all-important work was incomplete, poorly done or – in some cases – because they didn’t show up at all. A photographer may not be the most important person on the day of your wedding, but the work they do will last longer than any other participant in what may be the most important day of your life. Find one who fits your style and personality, not just your budget.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who writes about event planning. He covers wedding coordination and hiring independent contractors.


  1. Normally I’m on board with everything Alan has posted, he really knows weddings and I’ve recommended him to multiple clients….but, I would like to add an addendum to this post written by Andrew Lisa. Specifically the ‘bartering’ with your photographer. I don’t think this is always an appropriate thing to do. I’m a wedding photographer and I charge VERY reasonable rates compared to the bulk of the Ottawa market. If your photographer is on the upper end of the price range for your region, then I could see it as being a deciding factor. However if you are walking in to a meeting where the photographer is mid to lower end of the region’s average, and you’re still trying to shave a few bucks off of them, I wouldn’t even bother setting up a meeting. Sure, e-mail them and see how set they are in their package options, no problem. If they are established enough, (likely meaning they have experience AND a portfolio to boot), if you go in and start trying to negotiate them down in price, they will walk away from you as clients and you will have wasted both your time. Best of luck finding the photographer that fits with you and the vision you have for your day, ALWAYS meet them first! Cheers 🙂

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