How to find a wedding photographer: 7 insider tips

If you’ve just recently booked your wedding venue and are just now beginning your hunt for other key vendors, you’ve come to the right place. You’re probably already drowning in Instagram feeds and Pinterest boards to find your dream wedding photographer. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding a wedding photographer isn’t just about looking at a pretty Instagram feed
  • You should feel connected to your photographer’s work, their style, their approach and them as a person!
  • You deserve to be obsessed with your wedding photos because this time in your life is precious and can’t ever be recreated.

Follow the recommended steps below to ensure that you find the best photographer to capture your wedding day!

How to find a wedding photographer?

There’s certainly enough wedding photographers to go around. And you’ll certainly find the best one for you. But it takes time and effort! This list should help organize your thoughts and goals.

1. Find your favorite style of wedding photography

Find your aesthetic! There are so many different options, but the first step is to figure out what you do and don’t like. 

Some of the most popular styles include:

  • Light & airy
  • Dark & moody
  • Editorial 
  • Fine art
  • Photojournalistic
  • Documentary
  • Lifestyle
  • Classic

Don’t stress out! Do the process of elimination and figure out which photos feel most like you and your partner as a couple. 

Everyone has a different style, so there is no right or wrong choice. Think of it as online shopping. Add anything you like to your wishlist, and anything you don’t will be somebody else’s favorite. 

Cross off the photos that definitely aren’t your favorite, and make a list of the ones you like. The most important question is what do you want your photographs to capture? 

Do you want to remember the happy and dreamy parts of your day? Or the tear jerking, nostalgic ones? Are you the dancing all night type? Or the type to spend the night laughing and catching up? 

Any good photographer will be determined to bring your dream to life. 

2. Establish your wedding budget

Let’s be honest, we know this isn’t really anybody’s favorite step in the wedding planning process. But it is an important one. 

Talk with your partner to figure out a budget that works best for the two of you. This will almost instantly help narrow down your options before the next steps that are definitely a little more fun. 

Explore the rates that photographers have posted on their website. This will help you figure out what prices and packages are realistic for the budget you have in mind. And if you have to, you can adjust it as you move forward.

Hopefully, you find the BEST photographer for you all around. 

And if your dream wedding photographer does end up being a bit outside of your budget, there’s a few things you can do. 

  1. Be honest and inform them that they’re outside of your budget. And keep on searching!
  2. Tell them that you are heading in a different direction (if you’ve found someone that fits your needs better).
  3. Ask them for referrals of photographers who might be better suited for your style/budget, or how you might be able to find someone with a similar style.
  4. Finally, and most importantly, consider hiring them if photography is a super important element to you and your wedding day and you truly believe they’re worth the investment!

Because if you fully resonate with what they have to say, how they document moments and trust their vision, it is definitely worth considering. 

More often than not, you get what you pay for!

3. Do your homework

Once you have decided on the types of photos you like, spend time exploring the web for photographers that are experienced and well-versed. 

You’ll find photographers that you absolutely love, or feel indifferent about.

  • Take notes
  • Add bookmarks
  • Make an excel sheet of what you love and hate
  • Make a list of your favorite photographers

Once you’ve decided who matches the vibe you’re going for, go crazy. 

Inquire on their contact forms, give them all of the details of the day that you know so far, and share what you love most about their work! 

That’s what your photographer is here for! They want to bring the day you’ve always dreamt of to life. 

Pro tip: For frequently asked questions, consider having response templates. For example, you’ll find “tell me about your big day!” a lot. Type up one strong, detailed paragraph about what you’re looking for and about you as a couple, and you’ll thank yourself later! Repeat for other FAQs

4. Look beyond the highlight reel

Wedding galleries are important, of course. You should LOVE what you’re seeing, because very soon, this could be you and your loved ones during your own special moments.

It’s perfectly acceptable to request to see more samples of a photographer’s work, whether it’s a full gallery or an extension of a few weddings they’ve documented. Their website and Instagram should be just a glimpse into what they’re capable of.

Also consider how your favorite photographers have captured other meaningful moments in life, or even the candid photos of loved ones on wedding days.  

Wondering how to find a wedding photographer? Look out for key moments captured in their portfolios like bridesmaids peeking out at the bride and groom during their first look.
Photo captured while second shooting for DarbyShaye.com

Here’s an example of eager bridesmaids watching the bride & groom share their first look! If this is a style that you love, consider that when looking through their featured photos!

From surprise proposals, to engagement sessions, to family milestones – all of these photos mean something to someone, and it was the photographer’s job to capture that emotion. 

Take note of how you feel during and after you browse each website. You may feel something as strong as a tug at your heart or a light smile on your face. Any type of feeling or emotion is important. 

5. Personality matters

You are going to be spending the whole day with your photographer, so you want to make sure that you mesh well. 

In fact, you and your partner will be spending arguably more time with your photographer than you will with any individual family member or friend of yours. That’s a lot of time!

Both you and your photographer are going to want to learn more about each other, so set up a short phone or video call!

It is also important to note, it is okay not to click with a photographer! That is what this process is all about. You want to find someone you feel connected to. Feeling comfortable and trusting of your photographer is the most important thing. 

So dig until you find the right fit. It could take one try, or it could take ten. But we can guarantee that there’s someone out there who will be your perfect match. 

6. Ask as many questions as possible, seriously

There are so many questions that will be asked. So make sure that you ask the basic questions and the overlooked questions. 

  • What kinds of pictures do they take? 
  • Do you want the camera focused on you? You with family? Family candids? 
  • Have they shot a wedding of your size? In a similar setting?

Pro tip: Ask thoughtful questions that could help you both understand one another.

  • What is your approach to photographing a wedding day? 
  • What are your favorite moments to capture? Portraits? Behind the scenes? Laughter?

Getting a better understanding of what the photographer is able to capture is crucial to the final results of your big day. 

It is important that your photographer is experienced. Make sure they know how wedding days go down; this will help assure you that they will be organized, honest, and excited to spend the day with you. 

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it a million times: your photographer is signing up to be there for YOU! And they are there to answer your questions. So ask as many as possible!

7. Read reviews from former clients

If you can find reviews online, be sure to read through them thoroughly. Happy clients will be able to tell you precisely what they liked about working with the photographer. 


Reading real experiences will give you insight into their creative process! 

This Is Your Day

You are choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone and celebrating with your loved ones. 

And let’s be real, this is a super nerve wracking experience. But one thing to remember is your photographer is here to bring your vision to life. And you will be spending the entire day with them by your side. 

As you celebrate your commitment, you want to be able to trust that your photographer will allow you to relive these special moments forever.

If you’re still wondering how to find the wedding photographer of your dreams, feel free to reach out to Perennial with any questions you have. We’d love to help you find your perfect match!

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