1- Hire A Professional. Seems obvious right? It isn’t. Wedding photographers know exactly what I am talking about when I say, “My sister’s friend from band camp in 2012 said that they were going to do it because they have a new camera." Oh okay, and who cuts your hair? Your 4 year old niece because she just learned how to use scissors? Who’s officiating? Your neighbor's parrot because he can “say Polly want a cracker?” Ehhh... wrong. Of course you’d never let a 4 year old cut your hair, not even with a flowbee, and you’d never leave the officiating up to someone with feathers. Or would you? .....No, because it probably won’t end well. Neither will hiring your sister's long lost hobbyist pal to photograph your BIG day. Trust me. Photos are the one thing that last from your wedding day and if you don’t play your cards right and hire a pro, the only thing that will last is sleepless nights and regret. So I’ll take it one step further and say, HIRE an EXPERT in WEDDING photography. It’s your #1 one job after picking the venue. Do it right :)
2- If you find a photographer that really strikes your fancy, email them and ask them if they are willing to share an entire gallery of a REAL wedding with you. What do I mean by REAL Wedding? I mean NOT a styled shoot and not an instagram feed. While styled shoots and instagram are wonderful for the photographer, they might not tell the whole story to the client. As someone investing major dollars, you need to know what the day looks like from the time the photographers arrive until they leave at the end of the night. Hell, ask to see three real weddings. You are doing yourself and the photographer a favor by doing this and increasing your chances of feeling satisfied when your final gallery is handed over to you which in turn results in a good review for your vendor.
3- Wedding Photography is expensive. It ranges from a few thousand up to around 20k or more for the most luxurious of weddings. No matter where you fall on that scale, you or a loved are going to be signing a check over for a large sum. Now more than ever, it is important to consider who you are giving your money to. I’ll give you an example of what I mean. Let's say I am getting married, I have a $5,000 budget for my wedding photographer. The first thing I am going to do is visit their bio and see if they are local to me because recirculating my money into the local economy is important to ME after the hit that Covid took on our community. Ask your self what matters to you. It is different for everyone. Some photographers might donate to animal shelters, or mentor women on the rise in business, maybe you find them warm and kind and you both loves cats or they might just have a solid 5-star rating on Google. Whatever it is, money is energy. Be mindful about how you move it and who you move it to.
4- Much like hairstyles, there’s a lot of trends in weddings and wedding photography, you can sorta tell what year it was taken based on the whether or not the editing style is trendy. Some trends are awesome while others might be like the Mullet or the rat-tail. Those hairstyles will never be cool again. They just won’t. Trust me. I have had a mullet.. twice.. many years apart. The second one was accidental but I still had to live with it. Anyway, a trend can be the last stage before tacky. Remember that.
5- And last but not least…. DO NOT ASSUME your photographer is going to whiten your teeth, make you taller, shorter, more muscular, remove tattoos, add tattoos, change your hair color, make the Delaware River look like the Caribbean (actual request) ….. unless you ASK them before the wedding day. Your requests might not be within their skillset or the "willset". Most photographers can make simple changes to images but the more complicated stuff, should be discussed before the photos are taken. I have walked behind brides that repeat, “You’ll just photoshop this and that.." Um, please don't do that...
And for the love of God, take your hair ties off of your wrists and leave them off. Photographers all over the world will thank you!