How Important Is Choosing Your Wedding Photographer?

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When choosing a photographer for your wedding day, you probably feel overwhelmed with all the “what to ask your photographer” and “shot list” resources floating around the internet. Trust me, I remember! I had a binder full of images + rates + packages various photographers offered, and I would constantly second guess my choices. I was so caught up in wanting the perfect photos, that I wasn’t even imagining how I wanted my day to look. Instead, I was trying to picture myself in all of these photos I was saving. Now, having been married since 2014, and a full time photographer since 2015, I feel like I have some advice to pass on to those brides, eager to find the perfect photographer.

LEGACY > BUDGET.

Firstly, as much as I know a budget is a budget (coming from someone who paid for their own wedding, I really do get it!), if you find your dream photographer, don’t let the cost deter you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I wish I would’ve went with my gut and cut my budget somewhere else.” I understand that ALL elements of your wedding day are important, and you want it to be the best! But, the most important is your marriage and those memories. The food, the cake, the decor, the dress, while all play such beautiful roles in your wedding day, they do not make your wedding day. And in a year, they either won’t exist, or they’ll be tucked away in storage somewhere. What you’ll have, one year, ten years, 50 years from your wedding day, are the photos. The photos that perfectly tell your story, and capture the entirety of the best day of your life. Remember, you can have a 10k budget, and a $500 photographer, but your day will look like it’s a $500 wedding. Or you can have a 5k photographer who makes your wedding look like a 10k day. You’re hiring someone because you trust them, their art, and their vision! Be honest with your photographer, but respect them and value them.

MAKE SURE THEY’RE A GOOD FIT!

Secondly, as much as style is so important when choosing your photographer, make sure you’re a good fit with the artist behind the camera! You want your photographer to feel like your friend! We don’t want to feel like a vendor! I get to know all of my brides, on a personal level, and I only work with people who I genuinely get along with. I want to be as excited and invested in your day as you are, so making sure we’re a good fit is essential! Ten photographers could offer you the same style, edit, price, and package, but chances are, you won’t vibe well with all of them. Who is that artist as a person? For me, I knew I didn’t want some stranger showing up to the most special day of my life, telling me what to do, pointing a camera at my face, making me (and my husband) feel awkward. What I did want, and what I hope you want, is a photographer who felt like a best friend, who was laughing, celebrating, and present WITH us. Then the moments captured would be authentic, organic, and true moments of our day. Heck, I get so invested in my bride and grooms love stories, I cry at EVERY wedding.

TRUST THE PERSON YOU’RE HIRING.

Thirdly, and lastly, is just trust the person you’re hiring. You shouldn’t have any doubts, or worries, that they won’t be able to do their job. You’re hiring them for a reason, so make sure you let them do their job. As easy as it is to send over “shot lists” or pinterest examples, the reality is, your photographer has probably done this a hundred plus times, and although it’s great to include us in your overall vision, having an essential (and exact) shot list gets overwhelming, and takes away from the natural and unposed moments we all cherish most. If I’m laying on the ground, in a bush, asking my groom to lick his bride on her forehead, I want them to just trust my vision and go for it, no questions asked. I promise, I know what I’m doing, and you’re going to love the end result! The more freedom my clients give me, the more I feel like I can be creative and really focus on those candid moments. I know what location and light looks best with my style, so although it may seem crazy to you, remember, you hired me for a reason!

Choosing a photographer can be a challenge, but ultimately, you want to find someone who you trust and genuinely like as a person. You should not be worrying about the day of timeline, shots needed, or poses, on YOUR wedding day. Find the perfect fit for you and your vision, and really just enjoy your day! Let us capture it in a way that tells your story and brings together all of your special details and moments.

Monique Serra

To see more of Monique’s work, click here

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