Vendor hunting can be difficult. Especially photography. Here’s some tips from a seasoned professional on how to find a wedding photographer you love.

I’m Kaylee from LaShay and Light Wedding Photography. I have a bachelors in photography and have been doing it for six years. Needless to say, I’ve seen hundreds of weddings and I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how to plan a wedding. I was a bride at one and I understand the struggle. The hardest part is, of course, finding the perfect vendors to fit your dream and your budget. But fear not! I’m here to help you plan your wedding and teach you how to find a wedding photographer you’ll love.

How to Search

If you just search “photographers near me” or “wedding photographers in my area” all you’ll find are websites with really good SEO. The top picks on Google aren’t always the best ones for your needs, they’re just good at designing their website. If you’re wanting something particular, we need to refine what your searching. So here are some keywords to use to find a wedding photography that fits your aesthetic. This list, of course, is to give you some ideas. You can add anything you’d like.

  • Romantic
  • Documentary
  • Cinematic
  • Editorial
  • Elevated
  • Timeless
  • Artistic
  • Intentional

But what do all those mean?! Don’t worry, we’re going to break it down.

Romantic

Romantic really means a focus on intimacy. Those photos might look like a romance movie poster (think Pride & Prejudice). Romantic photographers will pose you and capture you in a certain way that captures the love and emotion you have for your spouse.

how to find a wedding photographer romantic photographer couple about to kiss

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Documentary

Documentary photography is another way to say candid photography. It’s photography where things aren’t posed at all. The photographer is simply a fly on the wall and capturing the raw, genuine moments as they come.

Documentary wedding photography with bride crying as the mom helps her dress

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Cinematic

Cinematic wedding photography really means that it looks like the photos belong in a movie. They’re often stylized, dramatic, with very purposeful composition.

Cinematic black and white wedding photography with cake

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Editorial

Editorial is the exact opposite of Documentary. Editorial wedding photography is highly posed with a clear art direction. Remember, posed doesn’t mean stiff (or at least it won’t with a good photographer). The photos will simply be very purposeful and artistic. It’ll look like something you’ll find on a magazine cover or in an art gallery. Personally, I’d say that my photography is a mix of romantic editorial and documentary. I like a good mix of both!

editorial bridal flat lays

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Elevated

Elevated is like adding a little bit of seasoning to your wedding. Imagine “your wedding but better”. This type of photographer will really highlight and enhance the prettiest parts of your wedding. Often, this means they’ll be editing out the wrinkles out of the Groom’s shirt or removing the smudges on the Bride’s makeup.

elevated engagement photography

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

 

Timeless

This is a really big one, at least it is for me. Timeless wedding photography doesn’t rely on current trends. Their style will look good today as well as fifty years from now.

romantic jackson hole wedding photographer

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Artistic

This one’s similar to editorial, except there’s less of an emphasis on posed images. Keep in mind, an artistic wedding photographer might be an editorial one as well. So if you don’t like posed images, let them know before booking! Artistic photographers will have an emphasis on composition, color, and technique.

how to find a wedding photographer colorful composition

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Intentional

This is a good, all around word to use to search with. With intentional wedding photographers, none of the photos will be there “just because”. Every photo will add to the story.

how to find an intentional wedding photographer

LaShay and Light Wedding Photography

Meet with Wedding Photographers!

After you’ve used these keywords to find some wedding photographers, meet with them! I know, that’s a lot of effort but trust me, it’s worth it. Here’s an example. Imagine that you found a wedding photographer that fits your style and you’re drawn to their work. You immediately book them. On your wedding day, you meet your photographer for the first time and they’re burnt out, super impatient, and you get the sense that they don’t really care. Sure, your photos might still be amazing but when you look back on them, you can’t help but think about how you didn’t like your photographer.

I highly recommend meeting with photographers before booking them. It doesn’t even have to be in person, it can be over Zoom. You want to have a person that you feel comfortable around and know that they genuinely care about you and your wedding. No matter how good their portfolio is, first impressions are always a better judge of character.

Now I hope I didn’t scare you too much. Basically, you want to find someone that blends in well with your friends. They’re basically going to be your BFF on your wedding day so you should make sure they have good vibes.

Questions to ask

I think this is one of the best ways to find a wedding photographer. When you meet with them, ask these questions:

  • What makes you stand out from other photographers?
  • How do you personalize your work for my wedding day?
  • How do make this an experience?

The last question is really one that not a lot of people consider. Experience is so, so important. When you think about your wedding photos 10 years from now, you probably won’t think about specific photos. Instead, you’ll remember clearly how you felt. It’s our jobs as wedding photographers to make you feel beautiful, happy, and madly in love on your big day. There’s certain things I do to make sure that my couples’ experiences feels special and specifically made for them. Make sure your wedding photographer does that too!

These, of course, shouldn’t be the only questions you should ask, they’re just my top 3 favorite. Check out this more extensive list¬†and this one with unique but super important questions to ask.

Reviews

The number of reviews don’t necessarily matter. A person with thousands of reviews may not be as good of a fit as someone who has 10. What matters is the individual reviews. Before you book someone, read what other people have said. You might find underrated gems!

Summary: How to find a wedding photographer you LOVE!

I hope you now know how to find a wedding photographer, but not just any photographer – one that you absolutely love. Remember, you want to find someone that you really connect with. Someone honest, meaningful, and passionate about their work. Use keywords to help you search for specific styles and types of artists. Meet with them and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Check reviews and after you’ve had your shoot, don’t forget to leave one. Overall, use your gut and your heart.

I hope this helps you find a wedding photographer that you adore. If you feel connected to my work or anything I said, I would love to meet you! Feel free to contact me. There’s no pressure in booking; we can simply talk about your vision and see if we’re a good fit.

If this has helped you find your soul-photographer, let me know in the comments! Want some more advice on finding the right photographer? I highly recommend this article from Artifact Uprising.

xo chat soon, Kaylee