Finding a photographer is HARD. But finding a photographer for a destination wedding can be even more difficult! My sister is getting married in France next summer and finding a photographer for her has been a challenge. Now I have some new-found empathy for brides planning a destination wedding.
And I wanted to create a bridal solutions post based on my own knowledge of being a photographer and helping my sister find her own.
Here are 5 Easy Steps to help you find the perfect destination wedding photographer.
1. Know what you are looking for:
Before you even start looking you need to figure out what you want in a photographer! This will help limit and guide your search in a helpful and time efficient way!
Some things to decide on are:
- Editing style: Bride and airy? Dark and moody?
- Approach: A photographer who is involved like a friend or a reserved fly on the wall?
- Language: Since you are likely getting married in another country language is important. If you like the more involved photographer who takes lots of natural candid moments, they must have a good handle on the English language. This is because there are so many nuances to the way a photographer says things that can make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. If you like the photographer who is reserved then this doesn't matter quite as much.
Now that you have decided on your preferences, it is time to start looking.
2. Search all the places
This includes but is not limited to Instagram hashtags and locations, Pinterest, Wedding Wire, Past couples who got married at your venue.
Create a google doc that where you list out all the photographer you find with info about them: their website, where they are based out of, what you like about them, and their prices.
3. Portfolio assesment
Now that you have a solid list it is time to figure out which are your top candidates. The first way to do this is by really looking into their work.
Look at their galleries and (more importantly) their blog. Be sure to look for actual weddings and not just styled shoots. You can easily tell the difference by looking for other people than the bride and groom like a full bridal party and guests.
As you are looking at their work ask your self if their work is consistent. Is the editing the same? What about the lighting? Do they take the same type of photos at every wedding?
If you can see consistency across the board then you can rest assured that they will deliver great work that is in line with their portfolio.
But there is one more thing you need to consider before reaching out to them.
Personality is SO very important when it comes to your photographer! Your photographer is with you more than anyone else on your wedding day. More than your best friend, more than your mom, more than anyone.
And whether they know it or not they guide you through the day. Your photographer has the power to help you be calm & in the moment on your wedding.
Soooo how do you know if you like them?
1. Read their about me page
And if they have an page about the wedding experience they offer read that too. Afterward ask yourself do you feel like you know them? Could fit in with your family and friends on such an intimate day? Do they seem like someone who can make you feel comfortable enough to be yourself?
2. Read their testimonials
But specifically pay attention to what the past clients have to say about the photographer themselves not just their work.
If there isn't much about their personality on their website, it isn't an absolute deal breaker. If you LOVE their work you should definitely reach out to them.
5. Reach out your favorites
Once you've assessed their portfolios and gotten a feel for their personality narrow your list down to your top 5.
But only reach out to your top two or three. You don't want to be overwhelmed with all the email correspondence. Get to know these photographers better by meeting them in person or over a video chat. Then choose the one who is the best fit!
What do you do if your top two choices aren't available or are out of your price range? It is no problem and you can do one of two things:
1. Ask that photographer if they can recommend a couple of other photographers like them (if your top pick is out of your price range be sure to tell them what your budget is). They should be able to connect you with another great option!
2. Reach out to the next few down on your list. I recommend going with the option above first because they will most likely be able to give your a personal connection and can vouch for their quality. But if they don't respond or if you don't like anyone they recommend just go back to your list and try again!
I hope these 5 steps help you find the photographer of your dreams and eliminates some stress along the way. If you are looking for a destination wedding photographer I would love to tell your story! Click here to learn more about the CNP Wedding experience!