After the initial excitement of the engagement happens, it’s time to start planning for the big day. Once you have your venue booked the next vendor that you should look for is a photographer. If photography is super important to you and you have a particular photographer that you want for your big day make sure to ask for their availability before choosing a venue. Photographers typically book weddings 6 months to 2 years out and some photographers are in high demand. You would hate to pick a venue and date and then realize that your dream photographer is already booked for that day.
How Do You Find a Wedding Photographer
An easy place to look for a photographer is Google. Search “Columbus Wedding Photographers” and look through the first few pages of photographers. You want to go beyond the first page as there are lots of variety of photography for a wide range of budgets. Find what is best for you. Look through their websites and see if you like their images. If so, fill out their contact form and talk with them to see if you like their personality.
We always recommend Instagram as a great place to search for photographers. Why? Because Instagram is all about photos. You’ll get to see the types of images that specific photographers produce and see if it matches what you are looking for. Search #columbusweddingphotographer #columbusweddings #columbusbride #614wedding etc. and find images that stand out to you and see who the photographer was who took the picture. Then look through that photographer’s feed and see if you like their other images and then fill out their contact form. You can also find photographers by searching for your venue in using geo locations on Instagram or by using hashtags related to that venue like #darbyhouse or #darbyhousewedding. Again, look at the photos and see who that photographer was that took the image. Typically, either the photographer made the post or they are tagged in the image or below in the comments.
Vendor and Venue Referrals
If you booked your venue already ask the coordinator if they have any photographers that they recommend. They typically always have a few favorites that they’ll share with you. This is a great way to find your vendors because venues and other vendors know the best people in the industry and they want to work with the best so they refer you to the best people. Wedding planners also are a huge help when it comes to finding photographers. They know quite a few at a lot of different price points so they can easily tell you which ones work well in your budget.
What to Think About When Deciding on a Wedding Photographer
Your Overall Wedding Budget
Before you book any vendors for your wedding make sure that you and your fiancé set a wedding budget. Talk it over with your parents and your future in-laws so that you are well aware as to what everyone is contributing. This way you know how much you have available to spend.
Once you have your total budget figured out look into some photographers that interest you and see what you can get for what price. Wedding Photography can cost anywhere from $500-$50,000. Yes, you read that right. In the Columbus, Ohio area you should expect to pay $2000-$6,000 on average for a wedding photographer. Obviously, there are some photographers out there who are cheaper than $2000 and some that are much more expensive than $6000 but most couples fall in the $2,000-$6,000 spending range. Photographers who charge less than $2,000 typically are less experienced, have lower quality images, and can’t provide additional items like wedding albums, prints, USB’s etc.
Photos are the piece of your wedding that will live on for years to come and something you’ll be able to show your grandchildren one day. You want to make sure that you invest in a professional photographer so that you can ensure you’ll have beautiful images to share with friends and family for years.
Consider the Style of Photographs You Like
There is a wide range of photography styles out there. You’ve got photographers who take clean, natural, timeless images and there are photographers who also choose dark and moody styles or light and airy. Think of it as a sliding scale of really white and bright images on the left, natural colorful images in the middle, and dark contrasted images on the right. After looking at a few photographers’ images you’ll be able to notice a difference and see what style really speaks to you.
Another thing to consider is if you want candid or posed photos. Some photographers only take candid photos, meaning they don’t give much direction and sit back and just let things happen on the wedding day and they capture it. Other photographers will pose you and guide you as to what to do throughout the entire day. We believe that doing a good mix of both is the best way to capture a wedding day but all photographers are different. Find what you like best and look for a photographer who works in that way.
Think About You Photographer’s Personality
Other than your wedding planner, your wedding photographer will be the vendor you spend the most time with. You’ll spend hours with them on the wedding day and beforehand planning out timelines and doing your engagement photos. Since you’ll spend so much time with them you want to make sure that you like their personality. If not, you won’t enjoy the photos as much and it may cause you to feel awkward in front of the camera. The right photographer can put anyone at ease in front of the camera and make them look amazing.
Deciding on a wedding photographer is a big decision and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Look at past reviews, Instagram and ask for referrals from friends and other vendors to help get the search going. Make sure to consider your photography budget and what style of photographs really speak to you. Overall find a photographer who you and your fiancé feel comfortable with so that you’ll feel comfortable in front of the camera and love your wedding photos for years to come.
Broc and Alexa Photography are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Columbus, Ohio. They love sharing wedding planning advice with their couples and capturing beautiful images on wedding days that their couples can treasure for a lifetime.