Hiring a wedding photographer? Here’s what you should know.

Engagement season is in full swing, which means that soon my inbox will be filled with excited brides inquiring about pricing, engagement shoots, meetings, and wedding dates. The song lied, engagement season truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Now as a bride you’re faced with one of the tougher choices you’ll have to make. (I’m partially laughing because I for sure understand how there aren’t any easy choices in wedding planning… Other than telling your 14-year-old second cousin NO she cannot bring her boyfriend of 1 month to the wedding.)

Here are some things to ponder and consider before saying “I do” to a photographer. (Cheesy I know, but hey I love, love okay?)

Make an investment in your wedding photographer.

While bitcoin may be all over the board in terms of investment, investing in your photographer is something you won’t regret. Think of photography as a fine wine… It only gets better with age. Those photographs are images you will come back to years down the road. They will hang in your house, they are images to show your children and grandkiddos. Don’t think of it as dollar signs, think of capturing history and documenting moments of your life that you will get to share with your family for years to come. I get that the initial sticker shock might hurt your heart a little, but when you look at where all the money goes in a wedding, (food and drink that are consumed, centerpieces that mysteriously disappear, favors that get left behind) at the end of the day photography is the one thing YOU get to take home from your wedding day. (I mean other than a spouse of course.) In the end, it’s a small price to pay for the joy that comes from the memories within a beautiful canvas hanging on your wall. P.S. Monthly payments are totally a thing that I set most brides up with.


Enjoy their editing style.

While this sounds like a no-brainer, you wouldn’t believe how important it is. Obviously you are hiring a photographer because they are a wiz behind the camera, all the things mentioned here but you are also hiring them because something about their images *hopefully* clicked with you. There are so many ways to edit photos, some are trendy and may pass quickly, some are more timeless and it will lend to the cinematic effect of the photo instead of dating it. But under no means should someone ever say “Would you be able to edit them to look like this?” Most photographers take years to perfect their editing style, and it can be a kick in the gut if you say you’re interested but instead ask for something different. It’s not our specialty, so it’s not going to turn out the same as the images you’re looking at. Now you might be saying to yourself “But wait, aren’t I paying a photographer…? Shouldn’t they edit the way I want?” I get it. But if that’s truly the editing style you want we will always gladly send you some recommendations for photographers in the area who fit the bill. P.s. not sure how to determine if you love a photographers style? Take a peek at my blog and my portfolio. You can see my editing style consistently throughout the work I’ve done. It’s probably best not to ask to see an entire wedding, as many have personal and private moments that are just for our clients. Plus a blog post shows the entire story from start to finish!

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This isn’t a flea market, please don’t barter.

Please, from the bottom of every photographer’s heart, do not treat us like we are at a flea market. While we are willing to work with your budget and make sure that the photographer of your dreams is capturing your wedding day, remember we have a bottom line too. There’s so much more than just the 2-10 hours of coverage we provide on your wedding day. There’s hours upon hours of culling, editing, cropping, etc. Our equipment isn’t free, and all good photographers are continually looking to improve upon their craft by investing in further photography education or new gear se we can be at the top of our game and provide you with the best possible images. You wouldn’t go to a restaurant and order a burger and ask for them to cut the price when you ask for no lettuce. (Which you’re smart, lettuce is gross…) The same thing applies for photography. If you truly value our work and what we do for our livelihood, then you will understand if we are firm on our prices.


It’s okay if we aren’t the one

Really. Just let us know! If you inquire about a date and we have a chat I might pencil you in because I’m so excited too… Then when I don’t hear from you, and another bride asks about that date then I’m caught between the “Wait, is this a yes or a no…?” Then begins the awkward back and forth of trying to reach you… and during this time you’ve already found a different photographer… Phew. That was a mouthful. But in all seriousness. It’s 100% okay if we aren’t a perfect fit. There are so many incredibly talented photographers out there that I understand if there’s someone else. Just for the sake of my mental health, please let us know. The only ghost people like is Casper… The friendly one.


Those things called RAW files… And other odd requests

Promise you’ll trust me on this. You don’t need them. I don’t even keep them past a certain time period because they take up so much room, not to mention the fact that unless you have certain software you won’t be able to open the files. I’m only saying this because it truly is a thing. Brides ask for these RAW files without actually knowing truly what they are. One file is so large it can slow down your computer just trying to open it, now imagine 400+ of those. Exactly. I will spare you the headache and send you the most gorgeous images ever. That’s my promise to you. Oh, and of course I will take more photos than I deliver. I am not withholding masterpieces from you, I don’t find my favorite and hide it in a dungeon never to see the light of day, I find the ones where you’re blinking… Or where there’s a double chin… And I hide those away. It’s called “culling” and I delete the images that are unusable or could be used as blackmail in the future. Also, copyrights =/= print rights. You want print rights. You’re welcome.


The contact form is there for a reason!

Most photographers have their contact form on their website, it includes a few questions about yourself, usually the tentative date of the wedding, the name for you and your future spouse, etc. And of course somewhere on our website our email is listed. Please don’t be that sneaky bride who finds the email and disregards the contact form! Often your emails will slip between the cracks because it doesn’t go through the proper channels that our contact forms are hooked up to. Usually our forms are connected to a booking/organizational type site which allows us to keep track of all communication from one place. Not only does this make it easier for me, but it also ensures that you don’t get double booked with another client. And to segue off of that, our interview time is SO important! Not only are you interviewing me as a photographer, I’m interviewing you as a client… And first impressions matter. If you skip out on our coffee date, I will be SO sad. It’s time I’m taking away from my adorable pups to get to know you and your fiancé, and believe me my dogs get jealous.


This is Candess & Jess. They’re so happy they contacted S Photography.

Rustic Italian Winter Wedding in Kennewick, WA | S Photography