Hi again friends! This afternoon I have some excellent advice for you all from the ELV New York photographer Mikkel Paige about choosing the *right* photographer for you. I know it’s something that I myself struggled with, and I definitely wish I had more insight into the process! So hopefully these tips will help you all make an informed – and excellent- decision in choosing the right wedding photographer! Take it away Mikkel!
Your venue is booked. You chose a date. Now who’s going to capture it all? Who are you going to entrust with ensuring your wedding day is properly documented?
Many stars need to align when booking your photographer. There’s the obvious:
Do I like their style?
Are they within my budget?
Do they have my wedding date available?
But there’s one not-so-obvious star that I believe needs to outshine the rest when all is considered: DO WE MESH WELL?
When I initially speak to an excited bride and groom, usually via email, the first thing I do is send a personalized video saying hello and try to set up an in-person meeting. (If a face-to-face meeting isn’t physically possible then I turn to Skype. I lurve Skype!) I could easily continue the conversation through email but I choose not to beyond a certain point. Why? Because you can’t tell if you have chemistry via email as readily as you can through interaction when you are actually speaking to live voices and seeing their shining faces. And it is vitally important that I mesh well with my clients.
Finding the right photographer is akin to dating. I spend so much time and energy on and with a bride and groom- in fact, just like I would with a boyfriend! From setting up meetings and their engagement session, to editing their images (I look at their faces much more than they realize!) and correspondence before and after the big day, plus more! And what about ON the actual wedding day? Photographers are usually the vendors that spend the MOST time with the bride and groom (Often anywhere from 9 to 10 hours!). I’m beyond HAPPY to do it. But that’s because I genuinely adore my clients. And I truly feel our admiration is mutual.
(Pictured above: Mikkel Paige with one of her couples!)
If you don’t trust your photographer how are you going to feel “getting ready” with them nearby? Or how relaxed will you feel smooching your significant other with their camera glaring at you when it’s just the three of you? (Yep – you, your new spouse, and your photographer.) How comfortable will you be before your wedding day to pick up the phone or text them to see if one last detail you forgot to mention is on his or her radar?
Trust your gut as you would on a first date or with a good friend. Ask yourself these questions to help guide your instincts:
How comfortable do I feel when I’m near this photographer? Am I totally relaxed or tense?
Do they reply to my emails and phone calls? Or do my questions seem silly to them and not worth their time?
Do I think this person has my best interest in mind?
It’s true that photography is a business but it’s also a business attached to many emotions. I challenge you to think beyond questions and numbers on a piece of paper when selecting your photographer. Give chemistry the attention it deserves when speaking with potential photographers and I promise the rest will come naturally.
This advice. Is. Awesome. I definitely wish I had known all of this when I was searching for my photographer! You would think it’d be common sense, but too often the price and packages get in the way- and that’s what happened for me! Brides, listen to Mikkel, and give your *chemistry* some attention when choosing your photographer! :)