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How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer

  |  By Valerie Baron

All photography courtesy of Studio Baron Photo.

Your photographer will be one of the most important vendors you choose for your wedding. This is the person who will be responsible for capturing every moment of your wedding day, the big ones and the secret little ones you may not even be witness to. They are the eyes of your day!

It’s not an easy choice to make given that there are more than 54,192 professional photographers in Canada! There are so many super-talented photographers it can be a challenge to know who is right for you. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when making this big vendor decision.

Be Realistic With Your Budget
You will quickly discover your dream wedding costs significantly more than you expected. There are certain things that are worth a bigger price tag and others that are not—it will be a completely personal decision where you choose to splurge and save. As a recent bride myself, I can say photography was a worthy investment. After the wedding, your photos (and video) will your lifetime remembrance. Finding a photographer, you have confidence in to do a great job is a worthy place for a good part of that budget.

Forge A Personal Connection
I often compare shopping for a photographer to online dating. You’ll contact several and over the course of some conversations, texts, emails or in-person meetings (pre-COVID-19), you’ll start to get a feel for that person. This is important because your photographer, more than any other vendor, will be the person you spend the most amount of time with on your wedding day. You have to like them. Seems obvious but it’s worth underscoring you need to choose a person who is aligned with you and your energy.

Consider Experience And Expertise
This is a big one. Experience counts for so much. Most wedding days something unexpected will happen, or not go exactly according to plan. This is where you can count on an experienced photographer to still make magic happen. Things often run late on a wedding day and suddenly instead of having an hour to shoot your portraits you have 15 minutes, and no time to get that other set of intimate photos you wanted. Or it’s ceremony time and just as the you are about to come down the aisle a bunch of guests step into the aisle with their phones and tablets to take photos blocking the view. Well, that’s where the experienced photographer jumps into action and you trust them to pull out something great even in the less-than-ideal situation. There are so many pitfalls awaiting a wedding photographer, from challenging venues, lighting issues, strict religious rules, less than ideal weather, difficult guests, and so much more. You want to know you’re in good hands and don’t need to worry about any of this.

Study Work Samples
It’s a fair assumption any photographer you are considering has a social media presence and a website. If you’ve contacted them you probably already know you like what you see in their photos, but any photographer can manage to get a few good captures. The question is are they consistent? Are they creative? Are they good at shooting in challenging settings? You’ll get a better idea of this with the more work of theirs you see. Don’t be shy in asking to see a whole wedding or two. Have they ever shot at your venue? If so, ask to see a wedding from there or something similar.

Evaluate Price And Package
This may seem like an odd statement, but figure you’ve been doing your research and say the package you want based on the number of hours, number of delivered photos, how many shooters, etc. is averaging X dollars. Then you find a photographer offering the same thing but for significantly less money. Ask yourself why? Odds are they are young and are building their portfolio, which is where all photographers start and it’s wonderful to support new talent. It also means they are not experienced; you need to weigh if that is important to you in the hiring process.

Rely On Word Of Mouth
I cannot stress enough how key word of mouth is. If someone you know used a photographer and had a great experience from start to finish and plans on going back to for future shoots, then you know that’s a solid choice. Reviews are a great resource and Google reviews are worth the read. It can tell you so much about a photographer and how happy or not previous clients have been with them. Not everyone will always feel the same about a person, and that’s to be expected, but you’ll be able to get a good sense of their consistency and what you can expect when you take into account other clients’ experiences.

Valerie Baron is the owner and main photographer at Studio Baron Photo and has 14 years experience as a wedding photographer. With a background in both journalism and magazine work, her style is a unique blend of photojournalism and editorial. She excels at capturing the special moments and making her clients feel like the best versions of themselves on their special day. Known for her bubbly attitude and a great personality, according to clients it’s a pleasure to work with her.


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