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Wedding Planning 101 – How to Hire Your Wedding Photographer

November 23, 2012 | Christy

As former wedding photographers and discerning photo editors were head over heels in love with extraordinary imagery, and we understand how much your wedding photography means to you. That’s why we’ve spent the last four years compiling and updating the Junebug Weddings World’s Best Wedding Photographers Hotlist. Every artist and team we recommend has extraordinary talent, solid experience, and a proven track record of outstanding customer service, so you can choose the right photographer(s) for your wedding day with confidence and ease.

Here are our suggestions for finding and hiring the best photographer for your wedding.

wedding photo by Jonas Peterson | via junebugweddings.com
(wedding photo by Jonas Peterson)

Choose Your Style

You’ll find over 200 outstanding photographers on the Junebug Weddings World’s Best Wedding Photographers Hotlist. Each one has a distinctive style and all of them are available for travel. In fact, many of our member photographers specialize in destination weddings.

You may want to look for a photographer who lives near your home or wedding location, but don’t stop there as you may find someone who fits your style to a tee listed somewhere else. View the photographers website and blog, and imagine yourself in their pictures. Look at how they pose, (or don’t pose), the couples they’re photographing and ask yourself if their style feels right for you. View a body of work from several weddings and take note of how well the photographer shoots in different lighting situations and under different circumstances. If you’re drawn to natural light photos in sun-drench places but you’re getting married in an elegant ballroom lit by chandeliers, you’ll want to be sure your photographer excels at capturing photos indoors.

Read the photographer’s bio to see if you are likely to connect well, and gather all the information you can about their approach to wedding photography. If you are looking for high-fashion portraits of you and your guests you’ll want to choose someone who specializes in that type of work. Alternatively, if you would rather not pose for your pictures you may want to choose an artist who takes a documentary, photojournalistic approach to wedding photography.

wedding photo by Brian Dorsey Studios | via junebugweddings.com
(wedding photo by Brian Dorsey Studios)

Connect and Communicate

Once you’ve found at least five photographers who you would like to contact, reach out and see if your date is still available. Ask each artist to provide you with their latest pricing, packages, and contract information as well as several references, and set up a phone consultation. Ask about their approach to their work, and what makes them love shooting weddings, and find out what you can expect from them on your wedding day and throughout your relationship. Keep in mind that not every great photographer is a great wedding photographer, so be sure whoever you choose has ample experience shooting weddings.

wedding photo by Studio 222 Photography | via junebugweddings.com
(wedding photo by Studio 222 Photography)

Evaluate Your Options

Once you have a good set of choices, evaluate the information you’ve gathered. Think about the quality of customer service you’ve received so far, and how you feel about the photographers you’ve contacted. Ask yourself who you trust the most and how excited you are to have them as your wedding photographers. Consider their pricing and packages and how important wedding photography is to you in terms of your overall budget. It’s easy to let the many aspects of wedding planning overwhelm you and forget to prioritize your expenses. Keep in mind that when your wedding day is over your photos will help you remember it for the rest of your lives together, and that they will act as part of your legacy for generations to come.

Once you’ve made the connection with the right photographer, share your vision for your wedding and your personalities, so your photos can be a true reflection of your story. Chemistry between you and your photographer is vital to ensure you look relaxed in your pictures and that you fully enjoy your wedding day.

wedding photo by Bob and Dawn Davis Photography and Design | via junebugweddings.com
(wedding photo by Bob and Dawn Davis Photography and Design)

Relax and Revel in Your Wedding

When your wedding day arrives, be sure you’ve allocated all the time you need for the pictures you want, and then relax and let your photographer create the images you’ve hired them for. When you work with an outstanding photographer there is no need for you to worry that they will miss anything important and they’re bound to capture hundreds of priceless, in-the-moment images that you could never imagine ahead of time. So, walk down the aisle, dance with abandon, party with your guests and let your photographer handle all the little things that go into creating amazing wedding images.

wedding photo by Ed Peers Photography | via junebugweddings.com
(wedding photo by Ed Peers Photography)

To see lots of work from our members and get inspired for your wedding be sure to check out our Photobug blog, Real Weddings Library and Wedding Photo Gallery where you’ll find tons of beautiful weddings, engagements photos and stand-alone images that are setting the bar in wedding photography.


  1. That’s a great list!

  2. Great advice!

  3. This wedding is so sweet in so many ways, I love it! Love and sunshine is the best combination

  4. Love this compilation of great advice. I’ll be sure to share it with potential clients and friends!

  5. Great advice. A really impressive list of photographers too.

  6. whoah this blog is wonderful i really like reading your articles.
    Keep up the good work! You understand, a lot of people are hunting around for this information, you could aid them

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