Top tips for choosing a wedding photographer.

Jon’s Facebook / Youtube Live

Recently, I’ve hosted a live session on both my Facebook and YouTube and I shared about some tips on choosing the right wedding photographer for your wedding day. More importantly, the one hour of my live session showcase how weddings unfolds. If you are planning a wedding, this session of live will be interesting for you.

Top 5 Tips to hire a Wedding Photographer!

01. Hire a wedding photographer!

You want to be hiring the right type of photographers. Your friend who is a national geographic wild life photographer would not be a good choice.And here is why.

There are great portrait photographers out there, but they are not wedding photographers.
There are great fashion photographers out there, but they are not wedding photographers.
There are great event photographers out there, but they are not wedding photographers.
There are great product photographers out there, but they are not wedding photographers, and
There are great landscape photographers out there, but … they are not wedding photographers.

Because, wedding photographers, we do it all. We are all of that.

We are portrait, fashion, event, product and landscape photographer, and much more all combine in one.

A portrait photographer would probably not move as smoothly as we are during the wedding ceremony. They may not know where to be, where to stand and their intuition would not be as season to a wedding photographer. An event photographer would not be asking your wedding rings to shoot the details. Maybe he/she would, but would you wanna take that chance?

A landscape photographer would be a landscape photographer, a nice view, without you in it.

So, hire a wedding photographer. Not a person with a camera.

02. Photographers LOVE to showcase their portfolios.

If any photographers are proud of their work, they would love to show their portfolios as long as you are willing to see their work, especially if you are interested, even more if you are going to hire them to shoot your wedding.

If you love their instagram grid, that’s great. If you find their style and color fits what you are looking for in your wedding photos, that’s a good start.


Go beyond their instagram grids, Facebook post, or their online portfolio!

Here is why. The wedding is more than a highlight of the day. You want to see how the photographer shoot the portfolio pieces, to the mundane group photos that you would want. If you would want photographs of everyone who attended the tea ceremony receiving tea, do the photographer covers it?

The entire portfolio gives you a good idea what kind of photographer you are hiring. Is the photographer covering enough of the bride and groom, the family, the bridal party?

Besides, a lot of us charge more than just that 10 photographs of highlights. So, go digging.

03. Great book! What pen did you use to write the book?

If you never ask the author about the pen he/she uses, why ask a photographer?

I can think of some reasons:

  1. Is the photographer equip enough to shoot a wedding?
  2. Does the photographer knows their equipment and use it?
  3. Are you getting the best photo quality from the latest camera?
  4. Are you a film photographer?
  5. Will there be too much equipment that would take the mood out of the wedding, Ala too many lights.

All these are answered when you are able to see the entire portfolio that’s going to be similar to your wedding. The photographs are sharp where it is suppose to be sharp, nice creamy bokehs, camera exposure, ISO noise level. The technicality sort itself out when you are viewing the photos.

If you are satisfied with the photographs shown to you, then it does not matter what camera the person is using. What you are interested is the end result.

Instead of asking what camera you use, ask these:

  1. What is the biggest print you’ve made from your photographs? How are your wedding albums, can I have a look at the prints. – that’s to satisfy your megapixel curiosity
  2. How do you deal with equipment failure? – this is so you know they have spare cameras, memory cards and all.

04. More than meets the eye.

Photographs you’ll see are part of the experience you’ll remember from your wedding. The photographer will also be part of your memory.Hopefully the more experience once would behave better, are self aware, are more professional.

You want your photographer able to read situation well, and able to take charge of the photography, and solve these photography problems.

Like how many times, if you have been in front of a photographer, and the photographer ask you to pose, and be happy, and be excited. Would it be nice instead of telling you guys that, I’ll go, everyone look at me, and you hands, on the count of three I want you to rise it up, and give a big smile. Wave your hands if you have to. 

That’s how we take a happy excited photo… for example.

And the only way to vet this out is through getting to know your wedding photographer. Have your meetings, let them present the work, and see if their personality and work jives with yours. Even better, if you could hire the photographer for a engagement shoot. Recommendations from friends help. 

05. Budget.

You can hire a wedding photographer from various range. That really depend on how invested you are with the wedding you are organising.

Perhaps, you’ll just need photography for memory keep sake, so that photography exist – perhaps then photography isn’t going to be your priority.

There are photographers out there that are doing photography as a hobby, has a day job, and photography is their side hustle, you may get a lot of value from having them shooting a wedding.

If you are planning something special, you have invested on a nice venue, the best looking gown that you love, then you’ll want someone with experience shooting your wedding.

The more you spend on everything else in a wedding, the more you will need to be spending on your wedding photographer.

Some fees to look out for besides the services of the photographer. They are outstation and travel cost, additional hours, additional photographers, same day edits.

Find a photographer that meets your budget, and you gravitate to their work. Don’t find one that you like, and ask someone to be like them. Chances are it will not live up to it. If you like the photographs I take of other people, when you see your own people in the photos we take, you’ll more likely to like the photos.