How to choose a wedding photographer + book giveaway!

Categories   Giveaway + Contest, Wedding Advice

how to choose a wedding photographer

It’s always such a please to announce when something so great as releasing a first book, has happened to a dear friend. Alison Hotchkiss, Creative Director behind the design-savvy gang that makes up Alison Events just released a new book, All the Essentials Wedding Planner: The Ultimate Tool for Organizing Your Big Day. Since it’s packed with a ton of helpful info (that you totally need to get your hands on), we thought it’d be fun for Alison to share some helpful tips on how to choose a wedding photographer – something all you newly engaged folks can definitely benefit from. Alison planned Jillian’s wedding five years ago and did an amazing job, so trust us, she’s an expert at every to-do list there is when it comes to wedding planning!

All the Essentials Wedding Planner by Alison Hotchkiss

From Alison:

Picking a photographer can be a tricky task. Unlike most things on your list of to-do’s, selecting a photographer requires much faith. It’s not like selecting a menu or a cake designer where you can rely on your senses to carry you through. Picking the right person requires a lot of research because let’s face it, you won’t know what you’re going to get until you see the final product.

First start by asking yourself a couple questions. What do you want out of the day? Do you want someone who will shoot more in a documentary style, capturing moments as they happen? Is it going to be more important to you that photographer gets a shot of your family in a portrait setting or that he/she snaps that magical moment when the two of you first lock eyes in a particular light?  Depending on how you answer these questions, you’ll probably come up with a style of photography you want for your special day.

Next, budget. Now that you have a style in mind, you can do your research and see who fits the bill. Compare packages and see what’s included. Does the photographer come with a second shooter? How many hours does it include and what are the fees for any extras? We always suggest doing an engagement shoot especially if one or both of you isn’t particularly comfortable in front of the camera. This is always a great opportunity to test-drive your purchase and make sure you vibe with your photographer. Also consider how long it takes for you to get your prints or digital copies back; if this is a hassle for the engagement shoot, they might not be the right choice. You always want to know the post production details. Can you get prints or albums made on your own or will you need to buy the rights? Pay very close attention to the contract terms relating to post productions and retaining of rights.

how-to choose a wedding photographer

Lastly, make sure you pick someone you want to spend the day with! They will be recording your every move on one of the most important days of your life. Ask your planner for recommendations and/or feedback on photographers they’ve used in the past. Personally I find myself attracted to naturally free flowing, documentary style photography. You want to capture the day as uninterrupted as possible.Elizabeth MessinaJose VillaThayer Allyson GowdyMel Barlow all do such a beautiful job of capturing those beautiful moments as they happen. They are also predominantly shoot in film which makes for that dreamy finish but is best for outdoor venues with lots of natural light.

how-to choose a wedding photographer

Digital has a great deal of versatility and allows for a wider range of shots, they also tend to be friendlier on the budget stand point. If your wedding is taking place primarily indoors, you’ll probably want someone who shoots mostly digital. Cooper CarrasLovebird photographyJesse Leake, and Leo Patrone are some of the best that we work with that can really connect with couples and pull off amazing shots.

xo, Alison

*Now for the book giveaway! To enter, sign up with the form below. Entries must be posted by Monday, February 25th at 6 p.m. PST, and one winner will be chosen at random.*

Best of luck, and a huge thank you to Alison for sharing these tips. We love her to pieces, and to add to the congratulatory news, she also got engaged over Valentine’s Day!


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Social Love

@100LayerCake on Feb 22, 2013

.@alisonevents is on le blog today sharing tips on how to choose a wedding photographer + giving away her new book!

Dinan on Feb 22, 2013

Thank you so much for this giveaway, too :) :)

@sashbuzz on Feb 22, 2013

How-to choose a wedding photographer + book giveaway!

meg on Feb 22, 2013

Finding the perfect photographer is super important. I loved mine!

@mhspecialevents on Feb 23, 2013

How to choose a wedding photographer via @100LayerCake

New York Wedding Photogrpher on Feb 23, 2013

This is a great introduction of how to pick your wedding photographer. Alison gives valuable points to consider; like style, value and personality. I do want to comment about value. Value is relative when it comes to the art of photography. Something that is valuable to someone might not be for someone else. For example, a photograph of your grandmother hugging you the day of your wedding is far more valuable to you than for someone that doesn't know your family. As a New York wedding photographer I believe that capturing the moments and the people you love during the day of the wedding is the most important part. Choosing a photographer for their style is definitely number one, and choosing to work with someone because of their personality should come second my opinion. (as Alison says, we will be recording every move... so what better than to spend the time with someone you like). You will also be more comfortable to show your true emotions if you are around someone you are comfortable with. You certainly want the final result to be beautiful and professional, and if you like someones work for their style and personality, their products will follow suit most likely. Products are the result of the first two. The amount of photos that you receive or how many pages in an album, although something to consider, are secondary. Why? because they are material things that can always be added at a later date and/or replaced in the case of loss. You cannot replace a photograph that was never taken. It was great to see this post and I look forward to seeing the book too! Here is what we recommend:

@TimDuncanEvents on Feb 23, 2013

Photos last a lifetime so here's how to pick a great photographer! #weddingadvice

Wedding DJ on Feb 23, 2013

Great giveaway, fancy a copy myself!

Budget Wedding Invitations on Feb 24, 2013

Great photographs that really capture the moment are worth so much!!

Amy on Feb 24, 2013

A great giveaway idea! Hope to get it~!

@WeddingDates on Feb 25, 2013

How to choose your wedding photographer!

mikaela on Feb 25, 2013

Love it would be a great prize and really appreciate the tips above. Have had many photo shoots with my family and alto of those ideas were how I found some great photos to put on my walls.

Kendell Marjanovic on Feb 27, 2013

Too Much Nice Images Click by Photographer, I just say its Professional Photography. Central Coast Photography Studio


Great article. Its so true. I primarily shoot weddings & I cant tell you how many brides regret their photography after the wedding but a lot of times it could have been avoided by asking the right questions. I did an article that goes over things to ask & look for in a photographer which is helpful as well:

Helen Batt on Nov 15, 2013

Choosing the right wedding photographer needs to be a deeply personal thing, and you must spend time with them beforehand to see if the relationship is going to work. As you've rightly pointed out, you have to spend the day with them, and so there must be a certain rapport. Also, you are putting a very large amount of trust in them to produce timeless pictures of your special day. Do your research and make sure you're 100% happy with they quality of work they produce. Great blog!

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