How To Find Your Soul-Mate Photographer

houston wedding photographer c wright photography swish and flick how to guideSoul-mate photographer, you ask? Is this even possible without spending a million dollars? Yes yes yes! I have to confess I hired a wedding photographer for my wedding who I loved creatively but I don’t think she fully “got” Robert and I as a couple. Had I followed some of these rules I might have gone in another direction or approached the day differently. And that’s not to say I dislike my wedding images, they are ahhhmazing! I am just saying they could have been even better had we gotten to soul-mate level.

Price vs Quality

The first thing that happens when you start looking for a photographer is you try to find a photographer whose images you love and fall within the budget you have {hopefully} established. A budget you hopefully didn’t get from The Knot, as their cookie-cutter budgets don’t take into account people’s priorities. They said I should only spend $80 on a hotel room with a $14,000 budget, which is unrealistic. I am now off-topic!!

H’ok. So you have loosely created your budget and are trying to find a photographer that fits within there that has images the speak to you. My best advice is to figure out what kinds of wedding images speak to you. Are they dark and moody? Light and airy? Bright and colorful? This will be the best jumping off point for you to start Google searching photographers in your area. You can also go to sites like Style me Pretty, Borrowed n Blue or Wedding Chicks and look up local photographers. If these photographers are featured there you will get a good gauge on their style.

What do You Really Want?

There is a lot of things you can get from a wedding photographer: CD’s/USB of images, gorgeous leather bound albums, canvas prints, slideshows or digital downloads. But! Some photographers don’t offer digital images at all! There is no industry standard. So I encourage you to make a list of what you want from your photographer. This will give you a great jumping point to figure out where to start pricing.

Again, The Knot isn’t the best place to figure out what you want–they have a cookie-cutter list of questions, like “what equipment do you use?”. I remember I used this list on the first photographer I interview for my wedding and I feel at the end I felt more confused and knew less than when I first started. Had I had a list of things I wanted, I would have had a much better meeting and might have even hired him! I still feel bad and I am sure he looks back at that meeting and shakes his head at me.

Soul-Mate Photographer

Expectations

With the introduction of social media and platforms like Pinterest, the expectations of couples rose. They have been seeing inspired, dreamy images and want to emulate exactly that. Here’s the thing though, these images are typically taken in styled shoots, which are heavily controlled environments. Truly, you will regret spending your wedding day working off a Pinterest list and trying to manufacture moments you want to happen instead of living every minute and just enjoying yourself. And that isn’t to say lists aren’t important, but if you become so consumed with a specific shot that you aren’t you during your wedding, then you might need to take a step back.

If you let go of your Pinterest list when booking a photographer, you’ll gain all their knowledge, creativity and ability to create something unique that other people will pin for wedding inspiration. My favorite images have happened organically with the couple, where we have been messing around and magic happens. That’s where I get the guffaws of laughter and sweet moments.

The Intangible Connection

This is the best piece of advice I can give you: find a photographer whom you feel a connection with. This is where the soul-mate level starts to seep in. When you meet with a potential photographer for the first time I encourage you to chat about more than pricing and timelines. You should be discussing your love story, what you and your honey do together. You should be seeing what floats their boat as well. I am not kidding when I say that every single couple I have photographed have become personal friends after their wedding day. We bonded over shared experiences or love of food. I have even had a bride buy me a Mulder and Scully pin set because she knew how much I loved them!

When you have a bond with your photographer, there is a level of trust the stems from that. This trust makes it so on your wedding day you are more natural, relaxed and just plain fun. At a wedding I photographed in August it felt like I was party of their wedding party–we joked about farts and made bird noises at each other. And those images? Ahmazing!

Now go forward young butterfly and find your photographer soul-mate! I know you will find someone who is not only in your budget, but is totally amazing and “gets” you and your love muffin!

Swish and Flick yall

 

 

Houston, TX PhotographerLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let’s talk!! It’s easy, my email address is Christine@cwrightphotographyhouston.com. Let’s have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!