I believe that one of the most important decisions we made when it came to our wedding was choosing the right photographer for us. The pictures from that special day would ultimately be everything we have to look back on and cherish for years and years down the road.
To put it simply, I’m very picky when it comes to this kind of stuff. I mean… Extremely picky. As someone that loves photography, I know exactly what I do like in photos and what I do not like. This decision was not taken lightly for me and I did a ton of research until I found the perfect person for us. Our photographer, Meg Lucks of Luck & Love Photography, ended up becoming one of our really good friends. I couldn’t imagine our day without her.
I started looking for a photographer days after Stephen and I got engaged. Not only was timing difficult for our engagement photos but most photographers nowadays book over a year in advance. Like I said, this was one of the most important parts of the wedding to us so it was no surprise I wanted to check this off the list first.
These are the four main points that I focused on when doing my research:
This one was definitely the most important for me when searching for the right photographer. I love consistently bright, airy, creamy, yet colorful photos, hands down. It was so important to me that our photos fit this description. The word consistent is key. For example, I would look through a photographers photos on The Knot or Wedding Wire and if some photos looked different compared to the others, they were out of the running. This is not to sound harsh but this is the thing, if a photographer is inconsistent, as a client, it makes you wonder what all of your photos will look like the day you receive your gallery. Inconsistency translates to unpredictability so it’s hard to know exactly what you’ll get. Search for a photographer with a consistent style.
I knew going into this what style of photos I loved. However, maybe you don’t have a clue what you like most. My suggestion is to look through many wedding photos on Pinterest. Try to notice which style you gravitate towards without thinking about it. Are the pictures very vibrant and colorful? Are they dark and moody? Are they creamy, bright, and airy? There so many different types of styles I could go on and on. Choose which style you like the most and search for a photographer that consistently fits that bill.
Remember, these are photos that you’ll most likely be hanging on your walls. They need to be something you love looking at! This can also help narrow down your style if you’re still having a difficult time. For me, I love my house to feel bright and airy. Don’t get me wrong, style can change over time but I’m fairly certain my house will generally be that way forever. With that being said, it’s important to me that the pictures in my home look like they belong so I searched for a photographer with a bright, creamy, dreamy, airy, and timeless style.
I knew the style of photos that I wanted so I compiled a list of photographers with creamy, dreamy, bright pictures in the area by searching on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Instagram. Next, I emailed all of them to find out if they were available for our wedding date. It was a couple dozen emails but some photographers book over a year in advance so I asked my entire list this question before anything else to avoid any heartache.
I’m going to be frank with this- photographers are not cheap, whatsoever. However, assuming they don’t mess up drastically, they are providing memories that last a lifetime. That’s so cliche, I know, but it’s true!
The price of a photographer is really going to depend on the area and quality. Each package they offer will also vary in price. This is where research is seriously important. A lot of photographers now don’t include their pricing online so I also included pricing questions when asking if they were available. I compared each photographer’s packages, their prices, and their quality. We ended up purchasing an 8 hour package with a second shooter and also purchased an additional 2 hours on top of that. Meg also gifted us an extra hour because she’s that sweet. Some people don’t think a second shooter is entirely necessary, just talk with your photographer and hopefully they’ll give you their honest opinion whether it is or not. Since we didn’t have a videographer, we didn’t want any moment missed so we decided to get the extra shooter.
In the perfect world, I would’ve hired Katelyn James (I just love her and her work!) the day after we got engaged and been done with it very quickly but unfortunately, her prices were way out of our budget. Her work is absolutely stunning, she’s a great person, and has been in the business for years so her prices reflect that! Since I knew that wasn’t an option, I researched all over The Knot, Wedding Wire, “creeped” through photographers websites, talked to people, emailed photographers, etc. until we found a few that produced beautiful, consistent, and quality work within our budget. There are so many factors that go into photographers pricing! Just because one photographer is less expensive than another doesn’t mean their work is lower quality. Really, really look through their portfolio/website, read reviews, find their Instagram, anything you can to decide if you think their prices are indicative of their work. In some cases, for example, you’ll find a newer photographer that has spectacular quality and very inexpensive pricing. It really all just depends!
Like I said, we couldn’t have imagined our day without Meg! The time and effort that I spent researching was completely worth it. We absolutely love our gallery from our wedding day. My parent’s checking accounts are also much happier too!
No one likes working with a lazy jerk. As soon as I talked to Meg on the phone I knew I had found the perfect match. She was so timely at responding to my emails and many, many texts, she answered any questions that I had, gave me advice on which package to choose, and always made sure that we were on the same page. Luckily, we always were. I didn’t have to be concerned as to whether or not Meg would get all of the shots that I wanted on our big day, if she’d be on time, if she could make it work with my parent’s house as the getting ready venue, or if she’d capture all of the details, etc. just little things a bride could worry about… I didn’t have to with her. The day of the wedding she kept everyone so calm and had us laughing the whole time.
After narrowing the list of photographers down based on availability, style/quality, and price, choose someone that you believe will keep you at ease on your wedding day. There are so many potential things to stress over that day, the photographer definitely doesn’t need to be one of them! We’re so thankful to have chosen Meg. If any of you are getting married in the VA/MD area, I highly suggest you contact her!
Photos by Luck & Love Photography
Next week, Stephen and I will be sharing all our favorite photos from the wedding. Subscribe on the right to get the first look!