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Bride Guide: How to Find and Hire the Best Wedding Photographer for You | Kansas City Wedding Photographer Merry Ohler

Finding the best wedding photographer for your Kansas City wedding can be a daunting task. Our city is full of incredibly talented artists with varying styles and options, and honestly? If you’ve posted a request for referrals in any Facebook groups – or maybe even on your own Timeline – you know just how overwhelming it can be. As a Kansas City Wedding Photographer and Wedding Expert, I’ve put together this list to help you sift through the noise and find, connect with and hire the best wedding photographer for you.

 

1.)    Figure out what wedding photography style suits you best.

Before you reach out to anyone, dedicate some time to doing your research. Visit some leading wedding websites and look at the different photography styles you see there. Stalk your friends’ wedding pictures on Facebook – what types of images draw you the most? Do you find yourself more engrossed in bright and airy, vibrant images? Or do you prefer cooler toned images with an edgier feel? Perhaps you find that you are more drawn to warmer, moodier images. Do you prefer more classic poses? Or do you really love the images that draw you back into the moment and capture genuine interaction and emotion?

Whatever style you find yourself loving most, gather some examples of that style and save them for future reference. A Pinterest board can be a great space to compile this data – just remember you are not on the hunt for poses – you are really getting in touch with what photography style you want from your wedding photographer. In Kansas City, you will find that we really lean in to the artistic. This means that you will be able to find a wedding photographer who can deliver the style you love – but you must be able to describe that style and know how to determine if the wedding photographer you want will be able to deliver on your big day.

2.)     Decide how important your wedding images are to you.

When the two of you have made your grand exit, the last guest has gone home and the gifts have been bundled away for safekeeping, what will remain of one of the most important days of your lives? Yes, you may keep your dress, carefully wrapped and hung in a storage closet. You might keep the wedding cake topper as a memento. But what will really remain in thirty, forty, or even sixty years?

You and your love, the legacy you create and your wedding images and films.

Picture the way your daughter’s eyes will light up as she pours over the glossy pages of your wedding album. The way her little voice will exclaim, “Oh Mama! You were a princess! Tell me the story of your wedding day!”

What will it mean to you to have those memories documented in a way that will tell your story to your children and grandchildren for generations to come? Wedding images and films are the single wedding investment that continues to grow more valuable with every passing year.

Yes, budgeting is important, but as you work through the process of hiring the best wedding photographer in Kansas City, remember that trustworthy, experienced professionals know the value of your wedding images and will take great care to deliver a seamless experience and flawless final images. They have the experience to know and understand just how important it is to have a backup camera - and a backup for their backup! They know what is at stake and go to great lengths to back up your wedding images – in more than one location. They are in the business of recording irreplaceable memories, and they have chosen this career path because they truly love love. They love documenting these invaluable moments for you, and they spend a lot of time, money and energy at honing their craft, staying up to date on the newest technology, ensuring they have the best equipment and ability to deliver the images you will cherish forever.

 

3.)    Make a list of your favorite Kansas City Wedding Photographers.

But how do I know where to start, Merry? It seems like everyone is a photographer! I hear you. It’s so hard to filter through the advertisements, social media posts and groups and Google ads. How are you supposed to find and connect with the right Kansas City wedding photographer for you?

For starters, I recommend asking people you know for referrals. It’s all well and good to visit the Wedding Swap Shop and do a search for “wedding photographers,” but a personal referral is invaluable in my opinion. Someone you know will be honest with you about their experience, and you will so appreciate that insight.

Next, try doing a Google search for the style of wedding photographer you want. For example, someone searching for my style might search “storytelling wedding photographer in Kansas City.” If you want a wedding photographer who is more bright and airy, try “bright and airy wedding photographer in Kansas City.” You get the picture.

Don’t get me wrong – you may check the wedding groups on Facebook! But if you’re tired of all the noise, try something a little more organic and ask people who know you and care about you for suggestions, or do a more specific search online.

Once you have the list pared down to your top four or five choices, you’re ready for the next step!

4.)    Schedule a consultation.

Here’s the deal: You are going to be spending a lot of time with your wedding photographer. They will likely be with you for your engagement session, your wedding rehearsal (maybe), and the whole day of your wedding. (Here’s a little pro fact for you: Did you know that you will spend more time with your wedding photographer on the day of your wedding than with your new spouse, your bridal party, or your family/friends?)

With that in mind, you can see why it is vital that you find the right wedding photographer for you and your betrothed.

Meet with your top choices, in person, and spend a little time getting to know them! Think about how you feel while you are with them. Does the conversation flow easily? Do you find yourself smiling and laughing comfortably? Does your fiancé feel the same way? Do the two of you feel like the interaction is natural? If you can answer yes to each of those questions, the odds are good that you’ve found a great match in the personality department. Alternatively, if you notice that conversation feels stilted, that either of you feel uncomfortable or disengaged, or that your smiles and laughter feel forced, STOP. Consider whether you want to spend your wedding day filtering those feelings on top of everything else. If not, cross them off your list. Trust me. Every wedding photographer is not right for every couple. By eliminating choices who are not a good fit, you are doing us and yourselves a favor.

5.)    Ask questions!

While you meet with your top choices, ask any questions you may have! Every wedding photographer runs their business in their own way, so it is extremely important that you understand how we each do business. It can be hard to know what to ask or what is appropriate, so I’ve made a list of the information I usually share with my wedding couples – plus a few extras – in question form for your convenience. Feel free to use this as a guide when interviewing potential wedding photographers!

  • How long have you been photographing weddings? Could you tell me about some of your favorite wedding couples or wedding days that you’ve documented?
  • How would you describe your wedding photography style?
  • Could you tell me about a wedding that didn’t go quite as planned, and how that played out?
  • Do you have back up cameras and equipment should there be any issue? Do you use off camera flash for situations that require it? Do you carry professional and liability insurance?
  • How many weddings do you accept each weekend/month/year? Do you include or offer an engagement session? Do you include or offer a second photographer? What is your turnaround time for delivering the final images?
  • Could you tell me about your favorite part of a wedding day, and why?
  • What do you need from us, should we decide to move forward? Is there a contract we should sign? What is your retainer fee? When is the final payment due?

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, the questions above will help you learn more about what your potential Kansas City wedding photographer offers and how they do business. More importantly, they will help you to segue into deeper conversation and get to know the heart of the photographer you’re interviewing. Broach these questions with a smile and explain – you don’t want to grill them! Be friendly and clear that you want to really understand them and how they do business to make sure you are a good fit for them, and all will be well.

6.)    Discuss and book!

Now that you’ve interviewed your top contenders, compare notes with your love! Which wedding photographer seemed like the best fit for you? What did you like about each photographer? Was there anything that you didn’t connect with or care for? Have a conversation about this and decide who you feel most comfortable with hiring, then make your move! The best wedding photographers in Kansas City book very quickly – many times a year or more in advance.

Booking the best wedding photographer for your Kansas City wedding may seem a daunting task, but if you follow my advice you will be able to find and hire the perfect Kansas City wedding photographer for you!

 

All the love,

Merry