Updated: Feb 13, 2022
Picking a photographer to document your special day should be one of the first things you check off your list after your engagement.
Finding a great photographer that matches your style and meshes well with you and your significant other should be one of the first few things you accomplish after your engagement. Here in Minnesota, a venue and photographer are often the first vendors couples book when starting their wedding planning journey, so don't wait on this one!
So, where do you even start? Pinterest can be a great place to start. Start finding what types of photos you tend to gravitate toward. Do you prefer light and airy photos or photos that are darker and more moody? Do you prefer more candids or more posed and traditional photos? Once you have some ideas for what you want, start searching for local photographers that fit that bill.
There are several websites out there that serve as a database of wedding vendors, like Sota Brides! You can view all of our featured photographers here, to get you started. Also, consider recommendations from family/ friends, attend a wedding fair, or ask for recommendations via a Facebook group (Like the Minnesota Brides page!). Start looking at each individual photographer's reviews and personal website for their portfolio and weddings that they have done in the past. Start creating a list that you’d like to get more information from.
Once you’ve found several photographers you’re interested in, start by reaching out via email to find out if they are available for your date, to get more information on what their packages look like, and to get an idea of their price range. After this narrow your list down to those that fit in your price range and align with your style, try to schedule an in person meeting with them. Plan to meet in person (or via zoom) with AT LEAST 3 photographers.
Things to ask at your meeting in person:
What is included in each package? Such as: engagement session, # of hours on your wedding day, a second shooter, expected # of photos, prints or canvas after
Who does your editing?
Have they shot a wedding at your venue before?
Do you charge a travel fee? If so how much?
Can they send you an entire wedding gallery? - this will give you a better idea of what to expect vs just seeing their favorite shots.
When can you expect to get photos back after the event?
How will you receive the photos? Online gallery, USB, prints etc.
Who owns the rights to the photos?
What is the deposit required and when is the final balance due?
Do they own backup equipment should something happen day of?
Who will fill in for them if they are sick or unable for whatever reason?
A lot of these things should be in your photographer's contract, but its still good to ask and make sure the contract reflects what you’ve been told. Finally, keep in mind that this person will be hanging around with you basically ALL day so make sure you like them as a person and feel comfortable around them!