How to Pick a Wedding Photographer

Coastal Oregon Bridals

The season of engagement can be such a fun time. It’s usually not too long, it’s filled with positive anticipation and the planning of a celebration of you + your boo. Sweet.

Depending on your vision, it can be filled with a lot of decisions. One of the most important ones being who will document your day.

Sometimes choosing a wedding photog can be overwhelming. The wedding / elopement photography biz is pretty full. Yes, there are a million options, but I encourage you to be diligent in your search in finding the most compatible photographer for YOU.

Although tempting, don’t stop searching once you find someone at your price point. Hear me out – investigate a bit more to find someone who you think you’d get along with in real life. The better you get along, the more fun + easy-going your day will be. Start following them on Instagram, look through their website and actually read what they are putting out there before making your decision.

If you’re newly engaged, but don’t know how to pick a wedding photographer, keep reading! The following is a list of some of the most pertinent things to look for in the search for YOUR (compatible to you) wedding photog.

What to Look for in Your Wedding Photographer

FRIENDSHIP

Something I’m really big on is friendship with the couples I work with. In fact, the entirety of my business is built on this.

Relationship over transaction.

I don’t just want to take your photos and get paid. It’s more than that to me. I want to get to know you and your partner, photograph the heck out of your elopement / wedding (after getting to know you, I’ll know just how to go about doing so) and also be your friend!

It’s integral to search for a photographer with whom you see potential friendship. Someone you relate to on levels other than just their editing style. You want to find someone who you’d naturally be drawn to + who offers solid conversation about things other than just elopements and weddings. Connection will be the catalyst for trust, which is so necessary when making this decision!

PRO TIP: You should not go about making this decision like you would with other vendors. Don’t treat your potential photographer like a vendor because they’ll be waaay more involved than one. Your photographer will be checking in on you months before your day, getting to know you on a personal level, asking how they can serve you best and they’ll be with you from beginning to end on your wedding day. A lot different than your regular vendor – it’s a relationship.

what to look for in your wedding photographer

COMPETENCY / RESPONSIBILITY

Like I said before, the wedding photography business is booming. With that comes photographers of all different levels. Yes, they are (hopefully) always improving and gaining more experience, but you want to be wary that you hire someone who is confident and capable. If you are looking only at prices, you may end up in a sticky situation with someone who may not be able to confidently document your day.

Cover all your bases: ask friends, look through their websites, ask other vendors for their recommendations, check reviews, even ask them out to coffee and ask them questions in person. This is not a decision you want to price shop and regretfully look back on.

TRUSTWORTHINESS

Along the same lines, you want to choose a photographer who you will give you the assurance to let go of all your “to-do” type thoughts on your day. Your photog will likely play a “catch all” role and the one to pick up a lot of the random goings-on to keep the day moving. We do a lot more than take photos!

You want to choose someone who knows how to navigate all types of scenarios and answer all of your questions with confidence.

Do we need a permit for the national park? ✔️

How should we plan our timeline? ✔️

How do I hike with my bouquet? ✔️

I don’t know how to bustle my dress! ✔️

When’s the best time of day for those dreamy golden-hour photos? ✔️

What kinds of shoes should we wear? ✔️

You are trusting them to capture a monumental life moment!!! Make sure you’ve given the responsibility to someone you trust. Someone you can feel completely hands off with because they understand your vision and are determined to make it happen.

what to look for in your wedding photographer

TRANSPARENCY

Now that you understand that this is more of a relationship kind of situation, then it makes sense that I encourage you to be transparent with and search for transparency within your potential photographers.

Looking for your wedding photographer is kind of like speed dating. You’re going through all these websites and Instagram accounts, looking for something to relate + connect with them about.

Remember, while you’re interviewing them to ensure compatibility, they’re also interviewing you! No one wants to work with someone incompatible. It makes it rough for everyone involved. So, be honest and straightforward when communicating with your potential ‘tog and make sure they’re doing the same for you!

PRO TIP: When inquiring with anyone, tell them truthfully where you are in the process of planning and how serious you are about hiring them. They won’t get mad if you’re just looking around or are communicating with other photogs. It’s simply respectful to keep them in the know about where you are and what your plan is. If you’re not interested in using them for your day anymore, tell them! Please don’t be the person to just leave them hanging.

ORGANIZATION

This should be a given, but you never know who you’ll come across in the world + what they’ve got going on soooo I’m mentioning it.

Similarly to competency / responsibility, you want to look for a wedding photographer who is organized. They have a plan and they stick to it. There’s a difference between someone who takes a bit to respond because they respect working hours versus someone who loses your messages. You do not want to hire someone who can’t keep track of their workflow! Again, ask previous couples they’ve worked with and read reviews!

Best of luck to you in finding a photographer truly compatible to you and your s.o. and making your day waaaay better than you imagined!


Now that you have a better idea of what to look for in your wedding photographer, you can look more into whether you’d like to elope or have an intimate wedding.

If you are considering eloping, here are seven reasons why eloping is the best!

If eloping sounds AMZNG to you, but you seriously can’t imagine having your nearest + dearest with you, here’s a brief explanation of how awesome intimate weddings can be!!!

  1. Adam says:

    This is so well written, and super helpful for this process.

  2. […] engaged and on the hunt for a photog for your day? Click here for some practical tips on how to choose someone who will fit you and your partner […]

  3. Excellent article & a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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phoebe o + co.
for those who think outside the box
Elopement photographer serving Jacksonville, FL and Whidbey Island, WA.
phoebe o + co.
for those who think outside the box
Elopement photographer serving Jacksonville, FL + Whidbey Island, WA.
phoebe o + co.