As with many tasks on your wedding planning checklist, booking a photographer is no easy feat. The process of hiring a wedding photographer is intimidating, and for good reason. One of the most costly wedding investments, the wedding photographer you choose can make or break your day. At Mountain House Estate, we firmly believe that you deserve a photographer who exceeds your needs. Keep reading for helpful tips on how to find the perfect wedding photographer, who truly understands your vision and goals.
Start Your Search Early
Finding a wedding photographer whose capabilities perfectly align with your budget and vision can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. It takes ample time and energy, and still, you may not find the right vendor. It is for this reason that couples’ book their wedding photographers years in advance, especially if they have their heart set on one in particular. A high demand complicates the situation even further, as is common in densely populated areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area. With this in mind, the earlier you start your search the more time and the better chance you will have to find a photographer who you love.
Determine Your Photography Style
Prior to spending countless hours researching photographers, it is ideal that you have an idea of what you are looking for in mind. More specifically, the style of photography you want or prefer. The more rigid your expectations, the more you will be able to narrow down your options. The following are common styles of photography that you will come across during your hunt. We recommend you have a grasp of your preferred style before coming to a final decision.
- Fine Art
- Lifestyle or Candid
- Editorial or Fashion
- Natural (Light)
Research and More Research
As with any wedding vendor, you should spend ample time researching a photographers’ business. You will want someone who has experience working at a wedding venue similar to your own. An indoor venue versus an outdoor venue will have different lighting available. As will a barn venue, a tent venue and so on. Ask your photographer whether they have ever been to the venue you have selected. If not, do they plan on making a visit prior to the wedding day to learn what’s there to use? In general, the photographer you select should have samples from previous weddings that align with your personal vision and goals. Utilize all avenues available in order to verify a contenders authenticity, reliability and reputation, aside from their own website.
Find Someone You Click With
Never, and we cannot stress this enough, ever hire a wedding photographer without meeting them in person. Personality is a significant factor, often overlooked, when it comes to hiring a vendor. Consider however that you will be spending as much of your wedding day with the photographer as you will with your significant other. Meaning, you should find someone who you genuinely enjoy being around and working with. Your photographer is someone who you should have fun with, be able to take direction from, and truly trust. The same applies for any additional shooters. Ask who will be working your event alongside the photographer and request to meet them in advance, before signing a contract.
Get Your Questions Out of the Way
During your consultation with a photographer, take the opportunity to get any questions out of the way. The answer you receive may just be a deal breaker and will narrow your options down even further. What kind of questions should you ask? Once you receive their contract and have had a chance to read through the details of their services, you may need more clarification. Such as, how long will it take to get your photographs back and in what format will they be delivered? And who legally owns the photos and the rights to them? Or, you may want to disclose personal information to ensure that your plans and goals are met. Giving the photographer details about who you are as a couple, what special traditions will be included, and what you might not want captured on film. The list goes on and on, on topics ranging from insurance to what would happen in the event of an emergency.
Compare Your Options
Once you have completed all of the previous steps, you can begin to compare all of the photographers’ wedding packages. This is the point at which you will closely consider services rendered for cost. You may have to determine in which areas or ways you are willing to compromise. For example, you may have to choose between, a more costly photographer who you prefer but whose package does not include an album, or a less preferable photographer who will deliver more services and fits in your budget.
At Mountain House Estate, we offer a venue that suits every photographers’ style and couples’ needs. With multiple ceremony reception sites, both indoor and outdoor, our 40-acre property is your dream come true. Situated in California wine country, the landscape features rolling hills, a manicured lawn, a pond and a rustic barn. Visit our breathtaking venue today, or take a virtual 360° tour from the comfort of your home.
Reach out to our team at Mountain House Estate team by calling (707) 385-1410 to talk about your wedding day, or via our contact page. We can’t wait to get started!