Choosing your Wedding Photographer

It's a big decision for many reasons. For starters, they are the person who is responsible for capturing the memories from one of the most special (and let's be honest- expensive) days of your life. They are also going to be one of the people you spend most of your wedding day with as they will be there for many of the big moments. There are many factors to consider when choosing your photographer and I am here to break it down and help you make that decision.


When considering the precious and once in a lifetime moments of your wedding, it goes without saying you want your photographer to have a few important qualities. You want them to be trustworthy, responsible, experienced, friendly and talented. When it comes to their equipment, you want them to have backups, protocols, quality cameras and editing tools. You want them to be able to do the job no matter the lighting, setting or circumstances. You may be wondering why I've started out with these points on the topic of budget but I promise, it's important! Having never planned a wedding or maybe even had professional photos it's completely understandable to not know exactly what goes into being a photographer with a reliable business. It means having insurance, expensive gear, years of experience, skills in time management, problem solving and working under pressure. It might seem ok to hire someone who has taken some nice photos you've seen, maybe even a relative or friend with a camera or someone new to the industry in order to save a few dollars. In some cases, thats perfectly fine and at the end of the day- it's totally up to you. I do want you to consider however, what you are really getting with that kind of service? Do they have a camera able to simultaneously copy images to provide a backup incase something happens to a memory card? Do they have the ability to format your images so they can be printed? Do they have proper software to read the raw files and professionally edit the images from the camera? Do they have a quality photo delivery service? How do they store your images and how long do you have access to files for download? Do they know how to use natural and artificial lighting? Are they familiar with the flow of a wedding day? Have they ever captured a wedding ceremony with many moments that cannot be repeated? Unless they are an experienced professional, the answer is likely- no. I have heard many stories about couples choosing a brand new photographer/ family member or friend for their day. While they may be well intentioned, they end up getting back out of focus images with missing moments, unflattering poses, harsh shadows, blown out skies, crooked horizons, unedited images or just plain awful results. There is so much that goes into being competent in the wedding photography industry. All of this to say, when looking at your budget and searching for a photographer they have many expenses, work you aren't seeing and years of experience that go into structuring their prices. There is a quote rolling around the internet that states "For every hour of shooting, a photographer does 9 hours of work that goes unseen" and I totally agree with that. From advertising, administration, consultations to questionnaires, gear prep and notes, timeline construction, arriving early, driving, backups, and hours of editing and gallery design- it's true. Of course we all have a budget when it comes to events, just my advice to consider those things when hiring a professional. Every exceptional service comes with a cost.


The point of having a wedding photographer is to come away from your amazing day with images you love. Thats why it's super important to ensure you choose someone whose work you love. If you see a photographer and their work is on the moody, vintage or on the dreamy side and you want images that are light and bright, thats not the right photographer for you. Photography is art and choosing someone whose work resonates with you is very important. Have a look at styles of photography and different types of work. What suits you? Your venue? Your vision? When you think about the art on your wall or a beautiful printed album, what elements do you want showcased? Do you want images that will stand the test of time and always be something you feel joyful to reflect on or is being on trend more important to you? Do you want a photographer who will direct you and help guide you through the day? Someone who captures candids and portraits? Read into their way of working with you and ask questions. You want the end result (images) to work for you and the process (experience) of having them taken work for you as well. There are many different styles of photography out there and considering which styles you love most should be at the top of your list!


Just as style and budget are important, so is the person behind the camera. You want to feel comfortable and secure with the photographer you choose. A great way to ensure you are choosing a someone who is committed to their clients is to read reviews. Google is a great place for that. In addition, some photographers (including myself) include testimonials in their pricing packages so you can read the words of couples they have worked with before. Follow your dream photographers on social media and read into the way they talk about their clients. Do they seem passionate and kind? Do their reviews speak for themselves? Do they know of and work with other professionals in the industry? Do they have a professional website? Are they involved in their local wedding industry? If they are committed to their craft, it should be fairly obvious. There are many parts to running a successful business and it should be telling from the start. Are they happy to help? Getting back to you within a reasonable amount of time? If they take great images but leave you hanging or without support, is that really ideal? Ask questions and converse to ensure you have the whole package :)


When couples first reach out to me, they receive a copy of my Wedding Welcome & Pricing Guide which gives them an idea of my style, what its like to work with me, testimonials and examples of my work, the various packages/add-ons that I offer and what is included. I also send them a link to book a complimentary consultation so we can chat details, I can learn more about their wedding and get to know each other so we can ensure we are a good fit. This is a tried and true way to ensure we have a match! As I mentioned earlier, you will be spending much of your day with your photographer as well as engaging in communication before and after your event. If they take weeks to get back to you, don't seem keen or excited about your wedding, or tend to complain- is that who you want by your side? Probably not. I often ask my couples what their top three values are and I list mine in return (Kindness, Honesty, Respect) and this is a great way to ensure we are aligned. You want to have a photographer you feel comfortable with as it will show in your images. You want someone who is patient and polite to your guests. If you can see these qualities in them, they will likely be one of the greatest assets to your big day.

Bottom line is you want to hire someone who you like, and is good at all aspects of what they do to capture your day. Take your time, communicate openly and honestly and ask questions. You will find your perfect fit and it will be worth it! Crossing a photographer off of your list is a big step when it comes to wedding planning, if you've done this or are getting close- congratulations! You are well on your way to having the best wedding day possible! :)

sunset wedding photo
Vancouver Island wedding
bride and her dog
first dances
wedding photographer Vancouver island
wedding dog portrait
couples photography nanaimo
wedding photographer vancouver island
first look
groom portrait
wedding details
wedding ceremony exit
bride getting ready
groom getting ready