How to Create a Smooth Process Working With Your Wedding or Elopement Photographer | San Francisco Wedding Photographer
Your wedding or elopement is going to be one of the best days of your life and ensuring you capture those moments is so important! We have all heard the wedding photographer horror stories so I am here to make sure your wedding photography is everything you hoped for! And that starts with picking your wedding or elopement photographer! Below I share all of the tips on how to choose your wedding or elopement photographer and how to have a smooth process when working with them!
How to Choose Your Perfect Wedding or Elopement Photographer
When deciding who you want to be your wedding or elopement photographer, there are a few things you need to consider. This is such an important part of your big day, so it is totally okay to be picky! As a San Francisco wedding and elopement photographer, here are a few things that I recommend you consider when choosing your photographer:
1. Photography Style
Okay, this one might seem obvious but I wanted to mention it because a lot of times people ask their photographer if they can adjust their editing style for their wedding. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. Instead, you need to choose a photographer who already has the exact style of photography that you imagine for your big day.
If you want a light and airy feel to your photos, choose a photographer who already has that style. They have mastered that specific style so it will be better than hiring someone who has a different style and asking them to change.
Okay, this one is soooo much more important than you might think! Out of all of your wedding vendors, you are going to spend the most time with your photographer on your big day. They will be with you from the morning of getting ready all the way to your exit so you are going to want to make sure you get along.
The best way to determine if you mesh well with a photographer is to hop on a Zoom call or meet them in person for coffee. See if you get along well and if you feel comfortable around them. This can make the biggest difference for you and your partner feeling comfortable in front of the camera!
3. Your Budget
Please, please, please, don’t ask a photographer to give you a discount. Photographers charge what they charge for a reason and I promise that you can find a talented photographer in your budget. Photographers base their prices on their experience, investments in their gear, and investments in their education.
If you have a dream photographer you want to work with but you can’t afford them, ask them who they recommend. They might know someone who is a little bit newer in the industry but is still super talented.
Professionalism is such a big one because you need to be able to trust your photographer and know that they are prepared for your big day. Are they on top of things like sending the contract and invoice? Did they contact you before the wedding to check in with you? Are they asking you to hop on a call with them a month before the wedding to finalize the details?
Take a look at their client reviews, and ask LOTS of questions when you meet them during your Zoom call or in-person meeting. When you inquire, see how long it takes for them to get back to you. You will be able to pick up a lot about their professionalism from their email etiquette and responsiveness.
My advice for this is that if you have someone in mind who you really want to capture your wedding, reach out to them BEFORE you book your venue and other vendors. This way you can coordinate with their availability and be able to have your dream wedding photographer and get married at your desired venue!
Questions to Ask Your Potential Wedding or Elopement Photographer
- How would you describe your working style?
- How would you describe your photography style?
- Have you ever shot a wedding at this venue?
- What is included in your standard package? What add-ons do the more expensive packages include?
- Is it possible to customize my package?
- Do you charge travel fees?
- What’s your biggest tip for couples to get the best wedding photos?
- What’s your approach to posing and capturing a wedding day?
- Do you have a second photographer that you like working with if we want that?
- What is your turn-around period for when we would receive the final images?
- What are the next steps for working with you?
10 Tips For Creating a Smooth Process Working With Your Wedding or Elopement Photographer
1. Sign the contract
Once you have officially chosen your wedding photography, the next step is to sign the contract. As long as that contract is not signed and the deposit is not paid, your wedding date is not booked off. By signing the contract as soon as you can, you are ensuring that you lock in your wedding date with that photographer. If you wait, there’s a possibility of them getting other inquiries for your date.
2. Pay your invoices on time
Just as you need to sign your contract to book your wedding date, your photographer will also require you to pay a deposit. Once you have paid the deposit, the rest of the payment will most likely be due closer to the wedding. If you want to set up incremental payments rather than doing it all at once, communicate that with your photographer to see if that is an option.
Communication with your photographer is key to reducing stress and making sure you are on the same page. Always let them know when things change so they can be prepared.
4. Discuss any concerns you may have
If you have specific insecurities or worries when it comes to your wedding photos, don’t be afraid to discuss them with your photographer. They want to do everything they can to make you as comfortable in front of the camera as possible.
5. Share your must-have photos with them
Odds are you definitely have some must-have photos that you have been saving to your Pinterest board. Share those with your photographer!! This is your day and your photographer wants to capture everything you want on your wedding day!
6. Give them your wedding day timeline
Your photographer needs to know everything that is going on during your wedding day so they can plan where they need to be. So, the best way to help them out is to give them your wedding day timeline and make sure you update them if anything changes.
7. Do Your Engagement Photoshoot with them
One of the best ways to build that relationship with your photographer is to do your engagement photoshoot with them. This not only helps you get to know them better but it helps you understand how they work and allows you to both get comfortable in front of the camera before the wedding day.
8. Let them know ASAP if things change
All of your vendors, especially your photographer need to know if anything has changed for the wedding day! For example, if there is a possibility of rain on your wedding day and the ceremony might be moved inside, that’s super important for your photographer to know!
9. Ask them for vendor recommendations
Your photographer is a great resource so if you need some recommendations, ask them! They have been a part of so many weddings so odds are they have a list of amazing vendors they can recommend to you!
10. Trust your photographer and know that you chose them for a reason!
Remember that you hired your photographer for a reason! Let them take charge and do their thing on your wedding day!
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Hi there, I’m Meg, your San Francisco Wedding and elopement Photographer!
I’ve always wanted to be a photographer and to be able to call this my full-time job is an absolute dream come true. Creating captivating, authentic images just sets my soul on fire and I have so much gratitude for this art. I love capturing moments. I’m the girl who takes my film camera everywhere I go because I just want to look back and remember what I was feeling at that moment. I love being able to look at a photo and travel back in time.
Being a photographer has allowed me to find the moments of beauty in everyday life and there is nothing I love more than allowing people to see themselves as a piece of art.