Kay's Captured Moments - Wedding Photographer in Hampton Roads, Virginia

Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Finding and choosing the right vendors for your wedding can seem like a daunting task! When people find out you’re getting married they start throwing suggestions out left and right. Then you try to search on social media, Google, or wedding planning sites and get bombarded with even more options! In today’s blog post, I’m going to share a simple 5-step process for how to choose your wedding photographer from that sea of recommendations!

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer - Step 1: Determine Your Style

Choosing the photography  editing style you want for your wedding will IMMEDIATELY narrow down the pool of qualified photographers. If you want a dark and moody photographer, you can stop looking at anyone who shares light and airy images! Boom! Choices cut in half! Here are some popular photography editing styles and examples  so you can compare:

  • Light & Airy: Light and airy photographers seek to minimize shadows in their photos, which creates a flattering look for the subject as shadows are often how blemishes are most noticeable in photos. With a light and airy photographer, expect your photos to have lots of white and a softness to the colors.
  • Dark & Moody: Dark and moody photographers use shadows and warm colors to create dramatic photos. If you go with a photographer who has a dark and moody editing style, expect your photos to have dark shadows and more sunset-y tone.
  • Natural: Photographers who have a natural editing style try to keep colors, light, and shadows as realistic as possible while still flattering the subjects. Expect colors to be true to tone and shadows and light to feel balanced.

Light & Airy

Dark & Moody


The next way to narrow down your options is to consider what images the photographer is capturing - are they candid? Posed shots? Traditional portraits? Finding someone who has the approach you want will help you continue to narrow the field and choose the perfect wedding photographer for your big day! Here are some approaches to consider:

  • Traditional: Traditional wedding photography is essentially the posed family and couple shots that are probably hanging on the wall or sitting on the mantle at your parents and grandparents houses. Why? Because they are timeless. Traditional portrait photography is important because it’s often the way everyone who matters to you gets included in your wedding photos!
  • Candid: If you’re looking for playful images that capture the true nature of you and your partner, look for a photographer who has plenty of candid shots in their portfolio! This is how you’ll ensure that you get photos that truly reflect all the wonderful things about your relationship.
  • Editorial: The editorial photography style is meant to tell a story. Editorial images function as a whole and are often a combination of poses and candid photos. They are often captivating for viewers because of their storytelling nature!
  • Mixture: Want the best of all the worlds? Look for portfolios that have a combination of these styles
Bride and groom portrait | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


Candid of bride laughing | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


Editorial style groom sees bride for first time | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


Note: There are definitely more styles of photography, but these are the ones you’ll see most often in the wedding realm!


Wedding photography is truly an investment. As someone who didn’t prioritize her wedding photographer and regrets it, please, if you take nothing else away from this post, remember this one: Make your photographer a priority in your budget. At the end of the day people won’t remember what alcohol was or wasn’t served at your wedding, or how the food tasted, but what YOU will have to remember the day is photos. Be realistic about your budget, but make sure you’re putting the proper investment into your photographer so that you’ll be happy with the images you receive!


Once you’ve narrowed down your style and your budget, head back to those search engines or social media or wherever you like to do your searching and look for those specific things. You’ll probably find that most photographers don’t post their prices openly on their website, but if you send them a quick inquiry, they’ll likely send you a pricing guide that can help you figure out if they are in your budget or not. So when you start searching for your wedding photographer, look for the style of photography you want first, then reach out to those folks about their prices!

Couple plays on beach | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Couple hugs and laughs | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer - Step 4: Interview

You are going to be spending so much time with your photographer! From engagement photos and all the planning, to the actual wedding day and beyond, you want to find a photographer who fits your vibe. The best way to do this is to meet them in person (or virtually if you aren’t local to each other). When prospective clients reach out to me, after I share my pricing and availability, I offer to treat them to coffee. This allows the couple to get to know me and make sure they’ll be comfortable enough to be in front of the camera for a full day. During our coffee dates, I chat with couples about their relationship and how they are going about wedding planning. Some couples are super involved and want to be part of every step in the process and others want to be hands-off and  trust that their vendors will do what needs to be done. Making sure that you and your photographer are on the same page about this is crucial to ensuring that you get the images you want from your wedding day.

Other things to chat about during your interview with prospective wedding photographers:

  • Logistics: how many years of experience do they have, are they insured, what is included in their packages (print rights, social sharing rights, etc.), hours included, how many photos you’ll receive, payment plans, etc.
  • Photographic Approach: how do they help with posing, what if you’re really camera-shy, what is their favorite part of a wedding to photograph, etc.
  • Personality: how do they handle last-minute changes, how would they describe their communication style, what are their hobbies, etc.
Groom sees bride for the first time black and white photo | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Bride smiles at groom black and white photo | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Bride and groom smile at each other on beach | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer
Bride hugs groom from behind | How to Choose a Wedding Photographer


After you’ve had time to sit down and get to know your photographer options, take a moment to chat with your partner and really listen to your gut. Is there someone you both clicked with right away? Did one person have a vibe you just didn’t like? Your intuition will help you decide who you’ll be comfortable working with and if you can trust them with your wedding day photos.

That's it! That's my 5-step guide for how to choose a wedding photographer! I hope this helps you sort through all of your options and make the choice that is best for you!