4 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

You have the date and the venue, a general idea of how you want your wedding day to feel; now you're looking for a photographer.  Coming from both sides, as Amanda and I are married and do wedding photography together, we've come to learn some things about choosing the wedding photographer that is right for you:

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography

1. Make sure your personalities click. 

No matter how much you like their photos, if you don't click well with them, your photos will have you looking a little off.  That isn't to say they won't do everything in their power to make you look your best, as it's their job, but if your personalities don't click you run into other problems.  Miscommunications can turn into awkward moments and misunderstandings.  To avoid this, choose someone who gets your sense of humor, and your brand of weird!  Making sure you get along (in many ways) makes the experience so much more enjoyable!

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography

2. Make sure your styles match up. 

This is where the aesthetic portion comes in.  If you like a darker look, choose someone whose work consistently shows the deep blacks and moodier feel.  If you like really light photos, look for someone whose work showcases the lighter side of things.  This part seems straightforward, but keep in mind style goes past the overall color scheme.  Think about how their photos make you feel and if you want to feel the same way when you look at your photos!  

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography

3. Think about the photographer's wedding experience:

While experience isn't an immediate indicator of talent (someone talented may just be starting out or someone mediocre may have been hanging in the business for the past 25 years), it does have something to say for the photographer.  Ask to see various galleries of full weddings to see what their all-day quality is like.  Photographers like to put their best work out there, but there are the in-between moments that don't necessarily make it out onto their main pages.  Ask to see those moments by looking at a full gallery.  An experienced photographer will have similar quality images throughout the day in most lighting conditions.  Also keep in mind that experience in weddings can make or break the flow of the day.  We work with the couple beforehand to create a custom timeline of their day in order to make sure everyone is on the same page.  We use this to help things flow smoothly so nobody is late!  One last consideration here--just because a photographer may be very experienced and talented with nature photography (or any kind) doesn't guarantee that their experience will carry over to weddings.

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography

4. Consider the budget. 

We're not going to tiptoe here; we all know budget can be extremely important when it comes to your wedding photography.  If someone is WAY out of your budget and you won't consider adjusting your budget, cross that photographer off your list and move on.  That way it saves you both time!  If someone is very close to your budget, don't be afraid to reach out and ask them about potential adjustments of packages.  Many photographers are willing to adjust a little in order to work with clients they think would be a really great fit!  Budget can be a big deal, but don't let the sticker price be your end all be all.

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer by Cleveland Wedding Photographer Matt Erickson Photography

 Final thoughts: Your wedding will hopefully only happen once, meaning you only get one chance at it. There are so many reasons why it's important to pick a photographer whose work you not only love but also a photographer who you just enjoy being around.  We're super blessed by the fact the majority of our engagement sessions feel like double dates! We have the real privilege of working with people that we genuinely would love to get drinks with the majority of the time. ;) Don't miss out on finding someone who is wiling to invest in a relationship with you and create images that truly look and feel like you!