I recently learned that about 40% of brides have regrets with their photography and it broke my heart. Having my own experience with photography regret, I strive to make that percentage much lower.
Stepping in front of a camera can be a very vulnerable experience, and typically when you do step in front of one, it is during a very memorable time. We live in a world where it is very easy to take a photo, but when there are big life moments happening is usually when a professional photographer is hired to capture said moment. For example, an engagement or a wedding.
As a couple, it can be a little nerve wracking to find and hire a photographer that jives with your vibes. My number one tip is, do not rush into a decision no matter how strapped for time you may be. When you rush into a decision, you may find yourself regretting the experience and the photos that you receive.
I find that it is easiest to start out with just you and your partner sitting down and creating a vision for your photoshoot. Whether it be for your engagement or all the way to your wedding, you want to have an idea in your head of how the experience goes and the results you get out of it, i.e the photos. Take a stroll on Instagram or Pinterest and start creating a vision board of all the things that speak to you. Some couples love those dramatic, epic locations with sun flares and some couples love a more chill, lifestyle type of photoshoot. Once you become acquainted with the idea of your photoshoot, then you can start looking for photographers who emulate that style.
Once you begin looking at photographers, feel them out based on their initial email or text or however they respond back to your inquiry. Wording can tell you a lot about someone before you meet them in person. If you are jiving with a couple, ask them to meet up in person or over a video call so you can get to know them a little bit better. Some will be totally up for this, myself included, and some may not.
I believe that once you get the chance to sit down with someone in person, you can really get a feel for the kind of person they are. Wording in an email is an introduction to who they are and meeting them in person is the true test of their personality. It is hard to hide who you are once you are physically in the same room.
Then, start asking them questions. A couple of my favorite questions that I have been asked, have been,
What is your style of photography?
Why did you get into photography? (Sometimes weddings specifically)
What is your favorite part about taking someones photos?
Of course there are a lot more questions to be asked before you hire them, but start off with getting to know the person behind the camera. If you bombard a photographer with all the logistical questions first, you might get all your boxes checked in that area, but not on a human level. At the end of the day, the logistics matter, but who you are going to be interacting with for potentially an entire day, is going to be a lot more important.
Now that you have met them in person, start sharing with them your ideas for your photoshoot, whether that be for the big day or for your engagement. Share with them the style that you have in mind and get feedback from them on how they can help bring your vision to life. As a photographer, if you have created a Pinterest board, I love to see everything that you have pinned. It gives me a glimpse into the poses you are gravitating towards which gives me an idea of how I need to position myself as your photographer. Do I need to help with posing or is the couple more natural and free flowing? Do we need to research some epic locations or get comfortable with a lifestyle shoot in a home?
At the end of the day, in order to get every last ounce of perfect out of your photoshoot, we all need to know each other. It is not just a photographer showing up to photograph a couple and wham bam, you're done. In order to get the best experience, we have to work together and be knowledgable about the vision and style that we are all after.