How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

With so many different styles of capturing precious moments, how do you narrow down your wedding photographer?

There’s a popular expression about weddings: the only thing remaining is the couple — and the photographs. So you see why it’s so important that you pick a photographer whose style suits you!

Dear Wedding Guru:
“My fiancé and I are planning our wedding. Neither one of us knows a lot about photography (besides shooting with our iPhones). Can you give us some pointers for choosing the photographer?” — Panicked About Pictures

Dear Panicked:
You’ll want to do a lot of looking, ask a lot of questions, and see a lot of photographs. The best way for you to decide which photographer will fit your wedding is to view samples of weddings they’ve worked in the past. Make sure you ask for referrals and call previous brides and grooms who have used them, too.

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Here are some types of photographers and their shooting styles that you might want to consider:

  • The traditional photographer emphasizes portrait-style photography. This type of photographer is less concerned with un-staged photos and candid shots than another might be.
  • The photojournalistic photographer records the story of your wedding with lots of candid shots. The opposite of a traditional photographer, she’s less concerned about staged or posed photographs or portraits.
  • A commercial photographer focuses on the details of your wedding. You can expect table arrangements, centerpieces, flowers, and the like. This style often results in photos that you might see in magazines. This photographer will deemphasize spontaneous, candid shots.
  • The photographic artist places emphasis on the artistic elements of the wedding. Her goal is to emphasize the art in each photograph. You might expect photographs in black and white and sepia tone, for instance.

The good news is that you can often find a photographer who emphasizes the type of photography you like, but is also able to shoot photos in one or more other styles. That’s why it’s important that you look at the work of every photographer you interview!

Have a wedding question? Write to me at

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