Finding the perfect wedding photographer is kind of like deciding on a hairstylist. You have an idea of the cut and style you want, but you know that it will look different on you than it does in the photo you have saved on your phone. You also know that not all hairstylists are created equal and a cut from Stylist A won’t turn out exactly like the cut from Stylist B.

And so it is with photographers. Each has their own style, their own personality, and their own way of approaching a wedding. And just as it is important to choose a stylist that will give you the haircut you desire, it’s even more important to find a photographer that will capture your big day. Hair grows back. Photos last forever.

Finding your ideal wedding photographer isn’t as easy as finding some photos you like and signing on the dotted line. It takes some careful research into a person’s artistic style, skills, and personality.

Here are some tips to help you get started on your wedding photographer search.

Photo by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikkolas Nguyen of a wedding couple standing in front of a white wedding chapel at Star Hill Ranch

Ask Around

Ask friends and family members whose wedding photos you loved about the photographer they hired. If you already have a venue lined up or other vendors on board, ask them if they have any recommendations. Word of mouth holds weight and you can gain valuable insight into potential photographers for your wedding.

Photo by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikkolas Nguyen of a bride with beautiful bohemian dress and boho wedding bouquet staring out of a window at Star Hill Ranch

Do Some Research

Browse local listings and read reviews on your favorite wedding sites’ directories. Look through potential photographers’ websites, social media feeds, and portfolios. Read any testimonials they have posted on their websites and social media profiles. Ask yourself what you like about their style. Do they seem professional and friendly? Do they capture the kinds of moments you hope to capture? What venues have they photographed? 

Photo by Austin, Texas wedding photographer Nikkolas Nguyen of a groom starting out side of a window of a rustic cabin at Star Hill Ranch

Set Up Interviews

Before you set up an interview with potential wedding photographers, make sure they are available on your wedding date and that their fees are in your ballpark range. If they check those boxes, set up a time to meet in-person or over video chat so that you can assess the photographer’s personality, artistic style, and skills. Talk about your venue and wedding style, but also get to know the photographer. Do your personalities mesh? Does your vision match theirs? You should also review their work by looking at a few full wedding galleries (not just the ones posted on their website). Some of these galleries should include weddings similar to yours (indoor/outdoor, venue type, etc.) This will help you get a more well-rounded idea of the photographer’s work and style.

Photo by Austin, Texas wedding photographerNikkolas Nguyen of a bride and groom walking down a field in the mountains at Piney River Ranch in Vail, Colorado.

Discuss the Details

Before you say, “I do” to a wedding photographer, make sure you understand what’s included in each photo package, if there are additional fees, post-production details (When will you receive the proofs? The final photos? Is a wedding album included? Are there retouching options?), and what rights you have over your photos (Can you post over social media? How can the photographer use your photos?).

Related: 7 Things You Should Tell Your Wedding Photographer

Once you’ve interviewed each photographer, you can take the information you’ve collected and do a comparison. Was there one that stood out more than the others? Was there one who had amazing style, but a not-so-great personality? Who had the most experience shooting in your venue?

When you do your research, collect the data, and keep in mind your priorities when comparing the candidates (budget, personality, professionalism, style), you’ll be on your way to finding your ideal wedding photographer.

Related: 5 Crucial Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Looking for a photographer who is artistic, can capture timeless images, and comes with a contemporary flair? That's me! Let's talk and see if we'd be a good fit.

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