Here’s the truth: you will never regret hiring a professional photographer for your wedding… as long as you do your research!
There are so many talented wedding photographers in Iowa – not to mention all over the country if you’re planning a destination wedding or just broadening your search. However, there’s a good chance that only a handful of them could be the right fit for you. Believe me when I say you want to be picky and find that person whose work, spirit, and energy will contribute positively to your day (and throughout the planning process). Keep reading to see what factors to consider + questions to ask yourself in the search for your perfect photographer match!
Setting a Budget
I know talking about money usually isn’t fun, but it’s important for you to set a budget early on so you can be more selective about who you reach out to. Most photographers will at least list their starting prices on their websites, so please take the time to read about the investment details before you send a message. It will save you + the photographer a lot of time!
When comparing prices between photographers, look beyond the price. What I mean by that is, just because a certain package appears to be within your price range, it may not include other things that are important to you like an engagement session, albums + prints, a quick turnaround time, sneak peeks, planning assistance, & more. In short, pay attention to what’s part of the experience and not just how many hours of coverage you get on the day of! This applies to ALL budgets – even if you’re not as flexible, you can definitely find a photographer whose offerings fit your needs.
Where to Find Photographers
It’s time to put on that FBI agent hat & start digging if your dream photographer isn’t on the first page of Google results! Here are some ways to find your match:
- Ask your coordinator or planner for their preferred vendor list
- Instagram search (pro-tip: stalk your venue’s follower list & posts – you can find a lot of local vendors this way)
- Recommendations from family & friends (read: not Facebook groups. Turn to people you trust for advice!)
Before the Inquiry
What matters to you may not be the same for the next couple, so slow down & think about your priorities before you start hitting “submit” on those contact forms. Assuming you’ve checked off the price box, what else makes you want to work with this photographer? Is it their editing style? personality? Having a good sense of what you connect with will make it so much easier to narrow down your favorites & find the best fit! If you’re not sure what type of wedding photography you like best, here’s a general overview + how I like to explain my photography style to couples:
My signature editing style is true-to-color, lively, & modern. I lean towards a storytelling mindset, which focuses on observing & documenting the honest and unposed moments — although I equally love capturing some epic editorial images for you to frame on your walls and admire forever. Your memories, in the form of photographs, will be distinctive yet time-honored. I’ll feel like a familiar face to your family & friends on the day of your wedding, and make you feel comfortable + at ease.
Questions to Ask
Once you’ve sent a few inquiries out, take every opportunity to meet with them. Many photographers will ask you to have a quick video call with them so you don’t have to spend days emailing back & forth! Ask questions about their process, get to know them, look at their reviews, study their work and picture what your wedding would look like with them capturing it. This person spends the entire day with you so you need to make sure you’re comfortable with their presence & that you trust them! Below are some questions I get asked frequently as a wedding photographer:
- What is your turnaround time?
- Can we see what a full gallery looks like?
- How do you keep our images safe?
- What’s your backup plan in case of an emergency or if you can’t make it to our wedding?
- Is your business insured and legally legit?
- Have you shot at our venue before (or somewhere similar)?
- What are your travel fees?
- How would you describe your photography style?
- What’s your favorite part of a wedding day? (I love this question)
You can find my answers to some of these on the wedding details page of my website!
Since there are only so many weekends in a year, your dream photographer may already be booking a year or two in advance so I recommend starting your search sooner rather than later!
If my work speaks to you in some way, I’d be overjoyed to hear from you & learn more about your wedding vision + goals. You can send me an inquiry here! I’ll let you know my availability & share a link with you to schedule a consultation call (& then you’ll book me as your photographer, and the rest will be history 😉)
Hope to see you in my inbox soon!! — Ilderina