Tips on Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

Tips on Choosing Your Wedding Photographer | Bespoken Weddings | Photo by Red Apple Tree Photography

There are so many quality wedding photographers, especially here in Greenville and the rest of the Upstate. Nowadays, most wedding photographers are going to capture your wedding day as it happens rather than posing the two of you. So, with all of these photographers, how do you know which one to hire? What should you look for?

Sposa Bella Photography

Do your research, and do your homework. Yes, you should run a Google search. But read reviews, and read reviews in more than one place (Google, WeddingWire, and Facebook are all great places to check out reviews). Ask around. Ask your friends, family members, and wedding planner who they would recommend. Look at each photographer's website. Look at each photographer's Instagram account. You can get a good feel for personalities this way, and you'll likely be able to narrow down your list.

Set up interviews. Call each photographer on your list, and see if he/she is available on your wedding date. If so, go ahead and set up an interview. You must meet your photographer in person. You need to ask questions (and they should ask you questions!), and you need to gauge their personalities. Is this someone you will get along with? Did they bring a portfolio or other photos to show you? Do you like what you see? Be prepared to discuss your wedding style and venue. NOTE: If you are interested in a large photography company/studio, unless you specify it in your contract, the person you meet for the interview may not be the person who photographs you on your wedding day. I highly recommend requesting that the person who will actually be photographing you on your wedding day be the person who meets you for an interview. 

Request to see a full wedding album. Most photographers are posting their best images on their blog and in their portfolio. It's completely understandable. But if you're serious about hiring someone for your wedding photography, ask to see an entire wedding album. This way you'll get an idea of what all of your photos would look like. Furthermore, you want to see albums from weddings that are similar to yours. If your wedding is going to take place outdoors with the mountains in the background, you don't really need to see an album from a wedding that took place in a hotel ballroom.

Take the time to review the wedding albums. Is the lighting dark and moody, or bright and cheery? (Neither is a deal-breaker...it just depends on what mood you want to evoke.) Are all the photos taken from the same angle or the same perspective? Does the photographer use film to capture his/her photos, or does he/she use a digital camera? (Again, neither is a deal-breaker...it's just personal preference.) Do the images tell a story? And what story are you trying to tell with your own wedding? Do you want to portray a soft, romantic love story? Or do you want to portray a fun love story full of humor and quirkiness? Or perhaps you want your images to be more editorial like they came straight out of a magazine? Does the photographer's images line up with what you are looking for in the end?

Compare packages. Each photographer offers different packages at different price points. Ask about standard packages, and after all of your interviews, compare all of the packages from all of the photographers to see the differences. Narrow down from there.

Photo by  Angela Cox

Photo by Angela Cox

What NOT to do:

  • Do not hire a photographer just because he/she is running a sale. If you only hire a photographer because of a sale and fail to neglect all of the above, you are running the risk of not being satisfied with your wedding photography, as well as not meshing well with your photographer.
  • Do not hire a photographer who shoots 100+ weddings per year. Do the math...that means he/she is shooting multiple weddings each weekend, and possibly some that are even back-to-back. Do you really want to hire a photographer who isn't solely focused on you on your wedding day?
  • Do not hire a photographer who is a family member or friend. If this person is close enough to you, wouldn't you rather him/her enjoy your wedding festivities as a guest? Also, what happens if you don't end up liking the photos? That could become awkward.

What else? Any other advice you would give in regards to choosing your wedding photographer? 

Need some wedding photographer recommendations? Check out the Versed Package!

Vendor Love: Ryan & Alyssa Photography

Ryan and Alyssa Photography | Greenville SC Wedding Photographer | Bespoken www.bespokenweddings.com

I met Ryan and Alyssa through Instagram a couple of months ago, and then we officially met shortly after that for some coffee at Spill the Beans, a local favorite in downtown Greenville. These two are beautiful inside and out. While the photography is beautiful, Ryan and Alyssa care just as deeply about building strong marriages and growing community. 

After getting to know them a little bit, I reached out and asked them a few questions that they're letting me share the answers with you today. Without further adieu...meet Ryan and Alyssa!

Ryan and Alyssa Photography | Greenville SC Wedding Photographer | Bespoken www.bespokenweddings.com

What is your area of expertise?

Weddings & Engagements

What led you to the wedding industry? 

From Ryan:  Honestly, we were asked! Alyssa started off in sports photography, but then a friend asked her to photograph her wedding. Though terrified, Alyssa agreed and from that moment on, she was hooked on weddings!

From Alyssa:  When Ryan & I met, I pulled Ryan into my wedding world, and we both enjoyed it so much, we felt called to pursue wedding photography as a husband and wife team. It's more than just the wedding itself, it's the marriage of our couples that drive and motivate us. We highly prioritize and emphasize the relationship we have not only with our couples, but with each other and their own marriage!

What is the best piece of advice you can give couples for planning their wedding?

Trust your vendors!!! Surrounding yourself with a talented team of vendors that both of you love and trust will not only enhance your wedding experience, but will also allow you to enjoy more of your day! You won't have to worry or stress about your vendors if you trust them to do what you've hired them to do!

Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Greenville SC Wedding Photographers | Bespoken www.bespokenweddings.com

What is your favorite wedding trend right now?

Can we have two? We LOVE seeing a more neutral color pallet, with pops of color and a hint of a metallic! We also love the unplugged wedding ceremonies, where our couples' friends and family can be in the moment, enjoy the details, and celebrate their love instead of behind devices and miss much of what actually happens!

What do you love most about what you do?

That we get to do this together. As a husband and wife team, we're able to relate to our couples in ways most vendors can't; we have the unique opportunity to form relationships, develop friendships with each and every one of our couples. That's what gets us out of bed every morning. We love that we get to impact marriages, impact other people, together!

What is your favorite wedding cake flavor?

Chocolate! You'll no doubt find Alyssa eyeing the cake to see if our couples picked a chocolate layer!

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

We love to take day trips! So if we have a few days off, or a break in our wedding schedules, we'll take a day trip to Asheville, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah, or any of the other surrounding cities! We also love to catch up with any of our couples living in those areas while we visit! Taking those day trips gives us the opportunity to explore something new, focus on each other, and enjoy some time away from the norm! And it's a bonus if our dog Mia gets to come along too! We also love trying new places to eat everywhere we go!

Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Greenville SC Wedding Photographer | Bespoken www.bespokenweddings.com

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

We looooooooove Blueberry Frog. Anytime we happen to be downtown for a session, location scouting, or vendor meetings, we make it a point to share some fro-yo together! Our favorite combo is the raspberry or pomegranate with white chocolate chips, strawberries and Oreo pieces. Yum!

What is your favorite Instagram account to follow?

@joannagaines! We love all things HGTV and Fixer Upper! Fellow addicts unite :-)

What would we be surprised to know about you?

Some of our favorite nights in are when we're watching the latest Food Network or HGTV series on Netflix! We love envisioning ways we could (re)decorate our home or cook up new creations for dinner. Though let's be honest - we mainly just like to dream about doing those things and continue watching!

connect with ryan and alyssa & say hello!

Alyssa's Instagram

Ryan's Instagram 

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