A Wedding Photographer's Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer

For a long time, I have had the suspicion that things are not going well in the Wedding Photography Industry. I am a wedding photographer, so I know the intricacies of the business. I have also helped friends and family to choose a wedding photographer (I like to go to my friends’ weddings!

With some suspicions, I conducted a survey of many married people. It was shocking to discover that 71% of respondents were unhappy with their wedding photographer. This was significantly higher than I expected. Surprisingly, 85% of respondents stated that they would hire a better photographer if they could.

You can see that 85% of respondents were disappointed with their photos and felt they should have hired an experienced photographer.

Evidently, there is something wrong in our industry.

There are many issues. I believe it is partly wrong photographers, somewhat poor expectations management, and partially couples that aren’t experts in this industry.

Here’s a guide from a wedding photographer on how to select the right photographer. There are many other factors to consider, but these are the main ones. You will be more likely to be satisfied if these are followed.

1. Style

In many ways, style is the easiest thing to master. After you’ve read magazines and started a Pinterest account, you know you want a photojournalist style or an editorial style. You can easily find a photographer who will shoot the style you prefer by looking at their usual style.

2. Qualitative

The quality of the photographer you choose is the second and most important decision. This is not about style (photojournalism, documentary, etc.) or cost. I am referring to the photographer’s quality. What number of great photos did they take throughout the day?

This is an attempt to show you the variety of photographers that are available for your wedding.

# 1. Uncle Tom. He loves to take snaps.
# 2. Jane’s cousin Pete. He is a keen amateur photographer who may have studied once.
# 3. # 3.
# 4. # 4.

Are #3 and #4 not the same thing? Yes, they are not! I would say that 50-80% of professional wedding photographers are con-men who believe they can be called professionals by buying expensive cameras. A scalpel is not enough to make you a surgeon. It takes many years of dedicated work to become a professional photographer for weddings. It takes passion, dedication, and a desire to improve your art.

How can you tell the difference among professionals at #3 and #4?

#3: They will confuse you with flashy websites full of great images from different weddings. They will give you expensive brochures and champagne.

#4 will fool you with flashy websites full of stunning images from weddings. They may even have slideshows set up to music. They will give you expensive brochures and champagne.

What is the difference? This is the crucial difference. #3 will show images from different weddings. #4 will show you photos from only one wedding (especially if asked). This is the difference. The #4 photographer should be capable of capturing great images throughout the day. Not just one or two images.

Mr & Mrs. Wedding Photography’s website showcases three different weddings: one at a beach, one in a chapel, and one at a destination. This will give potential clients an idea of the level of quality throughout the day they can expect.

My #1 tip for choosing the right photographer is to see images from at least one wedding. This will give you an idea of how many high-quality images you can expect to see after your wedding.

This leads me to my expectations.

3. Expectations

First, photographers, even professionals, are not gods. They will not capture every aspect of your day, from 8 am to midnight, in award-winning magazine-quality photos. It doesn’t happen. You will not be disappointed if you expect stunning images from sunrise through sunrise.

You can expect consistently high-quality images from most #4 photographers throughout the day. This is what you should aim for. You will be proud to display these great images on your wall.

Two costly US-based wedding photographers are known to me. They are both highly skilled and in high demand—both charge more than US$25,000 for their basic packages. I have seen all of the images from one wedding, and I can assure you that if you expected every painting to be a winner, you would be disappointed. While some photos are stunning, many are excellent, while others are just snapshots.

You should be satisfied if you have 5-10 unique images, 30-60 really great photos, and the rest are just lovely snaps.

4. Cheap

Cheap is always good. Remember what I said? Cheap is always affordable. You can expect a drop in quality if you choose a photographer just because they’re cheap. You might only be able to afford/budget this photographer, but it is not going to work miracles. Don’t expect to be happy (especially if you plan to share your images with your grandkids).

Keep in mind that your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. While it may seem appealing to save money on photography, the reality is that you will have no other memories after the day. All you have left are the photos. Imagine your grandchildren looking at your wedding album and finding only mediocre images. Is it worth it?

5. Recommendation from a friend

This might be an excellent place to start if you have seen all of your friends’ wedding photos and you like them. Be aware of these things. 1) Have you seen all of the photos? 2) When was your friend married? 3) Ask your friend about the worst part of the experience. If they say something irrelevant like that they didn’t like their package, it’s okay. However, if the photographer misses a key image, that’s not okay.

Do not accept a recommendation to prove that the photographer is all you need for your wedding. Refer back to points 1 through 4.


These points are a good starting point. There are many ways to find the perfect photographer for your wedding. I hope that this helps.