How To Choose A Wedding Photographer


April 24, 2019

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I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings & engagements and serve our EH Couples in Virginia, South Carolina, and beyond!

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Wedding Wednesday with Em Series | Lynchburg Wedding Photographer

There are so many photographers in this world of weddings. How on earth are you expected to know who to book for your wedding day? There are different price points, experiences, packages, and more to consider when choosing a photographer.

So today I am sharing some tips for you to choose your wedding photographer! These 5 categories are just a few things I think you should consider when making your decision.


#1 Reviews & Referrals

So I put this as number one because honestly this is what matters most. You want honest opinions from the ones you love and trust! For me, I know that if I hear about an experience from a friend or family member, I would trust that over some random reviews. If you know anyone that recently got married ask them who they hired for their day and find out what made it special?

I have worked with so many bridal parties and photographed multiple bridesmaid’s weddings because of this! I love getting referred to bridal parties because its like a mini reunion with my EH Brides!! Reading reviews on photographer’s websites (and social media) and referrals from friends are going to be your best source of information. So check in with couples who recently got married! Ask them specific questions about their photography experience.


#2 Budget

I know I sound like a broken record from last weeks post (5 Things You Need To Do After You Get Engaged) but seriously you need to find out what price is right for you. There are going to be photographers that charge as low as $500 all the way up to $15,000+!! The experience and services you receive are definitely at risk for both ends of the price range.

Wedding photography is so important on the wedding day, but of course you need to consider your overall budget and wedding needs! There are so many package options out there but once you figure out what is important to you you can go from there. James and I started out with 4 different packages with tiered pricing.

After 4 years, we found that our EHP couples wanted the following things:

  • An engagement session

  • 8-10 hours of wedding day coverage

  • Two photographers

  • Photography focused timeline

  • Online viewing gallery of their images

  • A personal and unique experience

So with this in mind, we created a unique experience for our couples. If you know the photographer you want is a little higher in price keep that in mind when finalizing your wedding budget. After your wedding day, all you’ll have is your photographs! So investing in a quality photographer is SO important and should be a priority!!


#3 Experience

This topic of discussion is definitely one that we hear quite a bit. Many bridal magazines and blogs say that you should book a photographer that has years of experience and has photographed at your venue. This implies that if a photographer has not been to the venue or had enough experience that they would be less prepared for your day. I can definitely see where that mindset comes from but I wanted to share my thoughts on this.

There is certainly an advantage if your photographer has photographed a wedding at your venue previously, but I would not count them out if they haven’t! For me, exploring a new wedding venue is so much fun and exciting! It offers the perfect opportunity for me to get creative and not fall into a routine of the same shots at the same venue.

When we book a wedding at a new venue, James and I do a few things to prepare. We check out their Instagram page, website, and arrive on the wedding day early to get a feel for the venue. We get there early so that we can pick a few portrait spots out for the day as well as choose back up spots that are good in case weather decides to be unpredictable.

So I am just encouraging you to keep an open mind when it comes to experience in years and location. There are so many talented photographers with different visions and styles. New places can spark creative ideas for photos giving you beautiful and unique images!


#4 Personality

I had to include this shot of Matt and Katie’s bridal party above. I love including personality in our photos because everyone isn’t always perfectly smiling and happy all the time. It’s just not real life! So of course, I had to make personality an important factor in choosing your photographer. There was a time where couples hired a photographer for just pictures of their wedding day but that is not the norm today! James and I are much more involved in our couples’ lives before and after the wedding day!

I have been a planner, shoulder to cry on, a listening non-judgmental ear, a bag carrier, sweat rag holder, bobby pin savior, and day of coordinator! So what I am saying is we are not your typical wedding photographers. We love our couples so much and value their friendship! On their wedding day, we feel like we are so much more than just a “hired hand”. We have seen that this bond has a HUGE impact on the wedding day!

I cannot tell you how many times the weather has changed our timeline and our sweet couple trusts us completely to get their portraits done. This trust and responsibility is a result of how we work with our couples and is something we do not take lightly. The entire day has such an ease to it, even the most chaotic parts of the day.

I definitely encourage you to find a photography team that fits not only your wedding day needs but offers you more than just a final gallery. I know that it may seem like an odd thing to think about but this is a huge part of our unique wedding experience!


#5 Editing and Posing Style

There are so many editing styles and posing styles. Every photographer is different and has different vision for their work. The best advice I can give you is to decide what you like and want for your wedding day. For example, James and I focus more on the natural beauty and emotion of our images. We include some black and white but for the most part we LOVE colorful and bright images. I consider our look to be timeless!

To achieve this look we use natural light outside with a light set up for receptions. We feel that this type of edit is a timeless look that will stand the test of time. We have several friends in our industry that have a more moody and dark feel and we absolutely love their work! So there is no right or wrong answer here. It really just depends on what look you want!

Another part to your images is the posing. There are some photographers that do not pose you at all and some that pose every single shot. James and I are a happy medium I think. We pose things on the wedding day that will help keep everyone organized which would include family formals and bridal party portraits.

During engagement sessions we teach our couples posing so that on the wedding day we can roll right through portrait time with specific poses. The ceremony and reception is completely candid and we do not interrupt the events! So definetely make sure you like their posing style. Looking at your photographer’s blog is a great way to see their posing and editing styles.

lynchburg wedding photographer

So just to summarize in case you skipped to the end (no judging I do it too):

  1. Referrals: Ask your friends who recently got married about their experience. If you don’t any newly weds, search on social media for a local photographer with great reviews!

  2. Budget: INVEST in the right photographer. If your ideal photographer is right outside your budget, you can adjust your budget in areas to make it work! It’s so important you love your photographer!

  3. Experience: Check out their experience level and don’t worry too much on if they have photographed at your venue before.

  4. Personality: Make sure they match what you are looking for personality wise. Do you want someone who genuinely is invested in you and your fiancé? If this doesn’t matter to you that is totally fine, either way it will help narrow down your list of options!

  5. Editing & Posing Style: How do they handle your wedding day posing and what kind of edited photos will you receive? Do you want a timeless look or the latest trendy style? Are you a modeling pro or scared to death to come up with your own poses?


This is such a special day in your life and choosing your wedding photographer should be simple! I know there are so many opinions on this but my hope is that this helps narrow down your search. What are some other things that are important to you for your wedding photography?

Learn more about our wedding experience here!

I can’t wait to chat with you about your wedding day!

Until next time,


lynchburg wedding photographer

lynchburg wedding photographer

Hey there, I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings and engagements and serve Virginia, DC Area, South Carolina, and beyond!

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I’m Emily! James, and I are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Lynchburg, Virginia. We specialize in weddings & engagements and serve our EH Couples in Virginia, South Carolina, and beyond!

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