How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

    Pictures are worth a thousand words, which is why having a professional wedding photographer is so essential. Carefully crafted photography will ensure you will look back on your wedding pictures time and time again as opposed to letting them collect dust in the basement. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right photographer for your wedding.

    Every photographer has a different style. When looking for the best wedding photographer to document your big day, you must first figure out what you like. The best way to do this is to look at a wide array of event photography and see how you want your day depicted. Do you want a narrative approach or just a simple documentation? Are you more drawn to black and white pictures with an antiquated feel or do you prefer bright, vibrant photographs in color?

    In deciding whether you prefer monochromatic or color photography, consider the time of day of the wedding. If your wedding is at an outdoor venue with lots of natural light and a beautiful background, it might be worth capturing in color. If the venue is inside or vintage themed, black and white may work better. Since most photographers shoot digitally, most of them will shoot in color regardless of how you want the final product, so perhaps you can ask the photographer if they can include samples of both monochromatic and colorful photos.

    When looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to check the photographer's website or portfolio. Look at the appearance of the site. Is it clean, organized, and user friendly? These website traits on an artist page can sometimes indicate their process as a professional. Be sure to check the site for a consistent style in photographs. Does the photographer prefer shooting close to his/her subjects or further away? What kinds of angles does the photographer prefer? Are his/her shots well framed? Is there a creative or aesthetically pleasing balance of positive and negative space in the frame? After asking yourself these questions, it's usually not hard to figure out the styles you are most drawn towards.

    When you decide to hire your wedding photographer, be sure to verbalize what you are looking to capture at your wedding. A great way to do this is to give him/her some examples of their work that you like. Don't compare his/her work to someone else’s. After all, you chose them, so tell them what drew you to their style.

    Once you've chosen your photographer, be sure to let them know where the wedding venue is so they can get an idea of what they are working with in terms of space and lighting. Photographers visualize spaces differently, so don't worry if your event space is not ornate! Whether you have the luxury of hosting your wedding at the San Francisco Art Institute or at a smaller venue like the Dakota Lofts, if you love their work, you can trust that they will capture your wedding to your liking.

    How did you choose your wedding photographer? Tell us your process in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter. For more tips on choosing a photographer for a variety of events, click here.