WEDDING PLANNING: Helpful Tips on Hiring a Wedding Photographer

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I’m so excited to have one of my favorite photographers featured on my blog. I met Kayla a little over a year ago and I immediately loved working with her. She has such a bright, kind spirit and she is truly passionate about her craft. Today I have asked Kayla to answer a few questions regarding wedding photography.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business!

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Hi! I’m Kayla, a wedding photographer in Orange County, California. I’m also a wife to the hottest guy I know and a mom to the little loves of my life, Judah and Zion! I love Jesus and flowers and laughing, as much as possible. Oh, and how could I forget!! I LOVE COFFEE. Take me out to coffee and you will have my whole heart. I’m a sucker for a good love story, and fall in love with my couples every time. I truly count it a privilege to partner with them and serve them in one of the most exciting seasons of their lives!

Say I'm a Bride or Groom who just got engaged and I am starting the search for my photographer... where should I start?

I definitely think it’s important to figure out what style of photography you like. There are a few styles that you’ll see over and over again. My expertise and style is Light & Airy.

Once you decide on your favorite style, start doing some research! Oftentimes photographers will use hashtags on Instagram so that you can find them based on location and style. That’s a great place to start! From there, I would recommend checking out their website and reading their reviews - because if their photos are great, you also want to make sure that the experience they provide is great as well. And then if they have great reviews, reach out! Be clear with what you’re looking for too, so that the photographer you contact will be able to provide the best information possible.

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Lastly, I highly recommend meeting with anyone you want to book BEFORE you sign a contract!! Even if you love their work and they have great reviews, you want to make sure your personality clicks really well with theirs. And if it does, then definitely move forward with booking them!

What questions should I ask the photographer when we start to interview them?

You definitely want to gather as much information as possible before making your final decision. A few questions I always try to answer before they’re asked are:

  • How will the photos be returned? Some photographers will send edited digital files and some photographers will only give prints

  • Is there a limit to the photos we will receive? Some photographers will send all the edited files (meaning that some photos don’t make the cut, if someone is blinking or if there is a duplicate, but overall you will see almost every photo that was taken), and some photographers will limit the number you receive and then give you the ability to purchase more on top of that

  • How many photographers will be shooting my wedding day? Some photographers shoot solo and others bring a second shooter to help capture even more of your wedding day

  • What do your wedding packages include, and are there any add-ons?

  • Do you charge a travel fee to my wedding venue?

  • Do you offer albums/prints?

  • How much of a deposit do you require and when are payments due?

  • Can I see a full gallery? I personally like to walk my couples through a wedding gallery when I meet with them, so I can also show them how a wedding day flows. You want to make sure you see a full gallery because each part of the day is so different, and you want to make sure your expectations are consistent with the photographer’s work.

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Are there any red flags that couples should consider when searching for a photographer?

Definitely!

First, if they have multiple negative reviews. One negative review in the middle of tons of positive reviews doesn’t always tell the full story, but when there are multiple negative reviews, that’s something to beware of.

If you don’t see consistency in their gallery. This is a big one! Anyone can make their instagram feed look good. But when you’re looking at a gallery, just keep an objective eye out to make sure you like all the photos of the day. 

Here’s a big one - if your personalities don’t click. Your photographer will be with you 99% of your wedding day. You want to make sure that their presence is calming for you, and not stressful.

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I hope this blog was helpful for you as you search for your wedding photographer. Kayla gave so much great information and I am positive it will help you as you search for a photographer. I’ve got more coming from Kayla in the next month, which means more helpful information on how to choose your wedding photographer!

All photos on this blog were taken by Kayla (except the one of herself of course haha!) Here is Kayla’s website to see more of her work.