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Wedding Pro's Advice To Bestie Bride | Wedding Photographer Shopping 101

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

bride in her wedding gown getting ready with maid of honor in the bridal suite on her wedding day

Being a Wedding Photographer Who CAN'T SHOOT one of her Bestie's Weddings, BECAUSE SHE'S IN THE WEDDING, is one of the WEIREST things ever...

And I'm not going to lie... I've been rolling over in my mind again and again, HOW THE HELL I could be BOTH - a bridesmaid AND their wedding photographer at the same time. And unfortunately the answer is...truly, I can't be. Not if I want to be present for their big day and help them celebrate to the fullest.

So that means that while she's on the hunt for the right wedding photographer she's sending me all kinds of questions.

So Here's What I'm Telling My Bestie As She Looks For A Wedding Photographer, Since I Can't Shoot The Wedding Myself...

A pink and gold wedding with wedding rings and bridal details

  1. Find Your Style: Look To Bridal Magazines, Blogs & Wedding Websites To Narrow Down Your Taste Before you can really move forward with a wedding photographer, the first thing you need to consider is WHAT IS YOUR STYLE when it comes to wedding photography? Do you love light and airy weddings? Darker and more moody vibes? True to color? This is a VERY personal decision and there is no wrong answer. I myself like True to Color WEDDING photography as I personally feel that it ages better and is more classic then "on trend" (que those 1970s Bridesmaid Bonnets - hello BoPeep! lol). But that's me... you do you babe. Once you know the style it's time to start reaching out to them.

Not sure what I'm talking about? I don't mean "photojournalist, editorial, arial, etc. I mean EDITING style; how the images will LOOK when they're done. Still confused? Photographer Sam Turchin does a great job of explaining it here.


Bonus Pro Tip: If you love light and airy photographer - DON'T book a moody photographer because they fit your budget better or because your MoH or Momma likes them better. It's not going to turn out well...


pink wedding flowers for a summer wedding with bride's earrings showing bridal details

2. When reaching out to photographers, ask for them to supply 1 or 2 links to REAL WEDDING GALLERIES they've shot that are similar in style to your venues.

For instance, if you're hosting a Barn Reception, you might ask them...

a) Have they shot at your venue and if so, if they can share the link

-or, if not -

b) Could they share some gallery links of other barn weddings they've shot


Bonus Pro Tip: Look for consistency between the galleries. The similar qualities are what's going to transfer over into your own wedding gallery such as their editing style, Portrait posing, details captured, etc.


wedding rings on a piece of paper with vows, on bride and groom's wedding day

3. Pay attention to what's in the package you want vs. what's outlined in the contract

If it's not specifically outlined in the contract... it doesn't exists. Be sure to take a few minutes to review the proposed photography contract to ensure any print products, albums, etc. are all included somewhere in the document to ensure their delivery later.


purple and white wedding bouquet flowers in front of barn wooden doors for a winter wedding

4. Gallery Image Count Isn't EVERYTHING... Go with QUALITY over QUANTITY

Look - 3000 unedited, badly shot images is NOT better then 500 highly curated, fully edited delivered images. If you're really caught up in the # of images they plan to deliver it's because you have DOUBTS about their CONSISTANCY and if they're going to be able to do their job well: ie. capture all the details, pose tricky body types, etc.

It's ALWAYS better to go with a QUALITY option you vibe with then a CHEAPER option that you're both "praying and spraying clicks" over. Go with your GUT. If your gut says you think you'll need 1800 of their images to make sure there are a few you can love, they aren't the photographer for you. You need to keep looking.

Don't get me wrong. Knowing the expected final image gallery size IS important, but keep in mind, it's not everything. Look at the bigger picture and trust your gut.


And that's what she and I are talking about these days as she hunts for the right photographer to capture their big day together.

Planning Your Own Wedding & Want to Chat Capturing It All Together?

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