DEDE Occasion Wedding

Four tips for selecting a wedding photographer


Today marks one year for us. Since I am sentimental ALL of the time, this current influx of big feelings is mostly under control. In a way, I have been training for this all year. Every few weeks(ish), I thumb through our book of wedding photos. Then I look through all of the prints. Then I pull up the file on my computer where all 700 of the images live.

I do this because I love reliving our favorite day – but also because I am endlessly inspired by the way it was captured.

Hiring our photographer was one of the biggest decisions we made for our wedding. I was looking for someone who had a soft and natural style as well as a talent for capturing a mood. There is a very large pool of local talent in the area and it took us while to know what we were looking for. We learned as we went, but it would have been helpful to know these things from the start:

ONE – Choose quality over quantity. A few photographers try to wow with the sheer volume of photos they deliver. Complex packages labeled AA-ZZZ (think Jostons grade school days) are an instant red flag as they usually include predetermined sizes and quantities as well as subpar results. It seems the more talented photographers charge by the hour and their pricing plans are far less complicated.

TWO – Check out film. If your budget allows for it, look into photographers that shoot primarily in film. Not only does film yield a better photo, it also takes a photographer with more training to possess this skill. Additionally, because they are more talented at capturing a great photo with the camera instead of relying on post-processing, you can avoid an over-filtered look that will date itself more quickly.

THREE – Know your rights. In the end, we went with a photographer who gave us full rights to our photos (except for resale, of course). We were able to download them all and use them digitally or for print (up to an 8×10). This has been especially useful in creating photo books for each of our three sets of parents. However, some photographers are more protective of their work and require you pay each time you access/download a single photo which can add up fast.

FOUR – Do a chemistry check. While a phone call will give you a fairly good feeling, meet in person if possible. Andrew and I were actually a little nervous about the initial meeting and we chose the photographer with whom we felt the most comfortable. This really paid off the day of our wedding as our photographer’s calming presence put us to ease about some threatening weather.

Here are a few of my local recommendations:

  • Jill Thomas: Our chosen wedding photographer, as well as one of my inspirations. (Update: She is currently living in France with her lovely family and documenting it all on Instagram.)
  • Britt Chudley: Britt shot my Sister-in-law’s wedding and I’ve heard she is a dream to work with.
  • India Earl: Not sure if she shoots with film, but her style is very warm and intimate.

And here are a few of my favorite pictures from our wedding:

(All photos by Jill Thomas at PennyFern Photography).

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