I get it. Choosing the best wedding photographer is really tough.
There are so many awesome wedding photographers in Wisconsin. I know because I have worked closely with many of them, and admire the work of many more! It can be really difficult for newly engaged couples to narrow down your search when it seems like everyone is offering the same thing: great photos of the biggest day of your life! (Want to see some of my favorite photos from recent weddings? Check out my gallery!)
On one hand, the fact that there are so many incredible photographers nearby is really encouraging: after all, no matter who you choose, you are likely to end up with some great images. On the other hand, a photographer is one of the people you spend the most time with on your wedding day, and if the experience with your photographer isn't awesome, it can cloud your fond memories of the best day of your life.
TLDR; there is a lot more than pricing that matters when you're selecting your perfect wedding photographer. The following is a list of the top five things to consider when selecting the best wedding photographer... and here's a hint: price isn't one of them!
Top 5 Things to Consider when Selecting the Best Wedding Photographer
- Compatibility. I put compatibility at number one because it really and truly can make or break your day. As previously mentioned, your wedding photographer will be the one who is with you the most on your wedding day. Your photographer will be watching, documenting, and directing every moment of your day. Your photographer will be hanging out with the bridal party, and if you choose someone you mesh with, that photographer will be like another member of the family (or at least the friend circle) by the time the night is done! You'll want to choose someone you feel comfortable around, so you can relax and express your genuine emotions as they happen (and wow, weddings certainly bring out strong emotions)!
- Values. Yes, this is related to number one, but values is more about mindset than personality. Someone with values similar to yours will understand your vision and will do everything in their power to help your wedding day dreams come to life. Don't want to do a first look? Your perfect photographer will find a way to create sentimental photos full of anticipation without it. Want to modify the traditional timeline for the day? Your perfect photographer will come up with suggestions on timeline modifications to capture all the photos you'd like. Want to include your pets because furbabies are family? Your "purrfect" photographer will find unique ways to involve them in photo opportunities throughout the day (and will most likely bring treats to make those photos happen).
- Flexibility. Weddings are filled with "Make it Work Moments," and you need a photographer who is experienced enough to adapt and accommodate all the little things that come up. A flexible photographer knows how to keep their cool when the flowers arrive late and there are only minutes before the ceremony to pin on the boutonnieres. A flexible photographer knows how to create beautiful photos indoors when it begins to hail outside. No matter what the wedding day brings, a flexible photographer is a professional photographer who can laugh and pivot when things don't go according to plan.
- Transparency. The best wedding photographer for you will answer all your questions with no hesitation. Got a question about your contract? Your photographer will be able to answer that question with confidence and clarity. If you can trust your photographer to treat you with kindness and help you understand everything before the wedding, you can also trust your photographer to work with you to ensure that your digital photos, prints, and albums are perfect for you after the wedding. Trust is a big must!
- Inclusions. Ah yes, collections, packages, and bundles. There are so many options to choose from! Should you choose the photographer who offers all the edited digital files on a USB? Should you choose the photographer who offers prints and albums? Should you choose the photographer who includes a second photographer but you have to purchase every photo you wish to keep? The best wedding photographer is the one who shows up and captures your day in a professional and friendly fashion, and who also gives you something of value to take with you when it's all said and done. It is my firm belief that any wedding photographer worth their fees will include at least a few quality prints, if not a full album, in their offerings. Photos on a screen can elicit emotion; photos in your hands and on your walls are tangible reminders of the love, joy, and fun you shared as you celebrated your perfect day.
So, am I the best Wisconsin wedding photographer for you?
Now that is a wonderful question! Of course, we won't know the answer until we meet. Until then, here's how I address each of those items listed up above:
- Compatibility. Again, we won't know until we meet. That's why I schedule a discovery call with each and every potential couple before we even talk price. During this short phone call, I ask you to tell me all about you and your fiance(e). I want to know all about your love story and your vision for your wedding, and I want to learn about your values. What really makes you tick? What is your dream wedding day like? How does your ideal photographer support that dream? Contact me here and let's get chatting!
- Values. I am a person who strongly believes that a couple's wedding day should be as near-perfect as it can be, and I will do anything in my power to make that happen. I am the photographer who is down on my knees bustling up your dress. I am the photographer who takes control during the family photos so we have more time to spend at the party! I love listening to your unique ideas for your day and bringing them to fruition. Read more about me and my wedding day style.
- Flexibility. I am a quick thinker and I love a challenge. No light? No problem. Rain on your wedding day? Let's bust out my umbrellas. I come prepared and keep smiling when things go off-kilter. Outside of the big day, I am flexible with planning and payments. I am a wedding photographer for fun first, and I have the margin in my life to be flexible with my couples when timelines or budgets change. Tim Gunn is my ultimate hero with his legendary "Make it Work" attitude!
- Transparency. I will be honest with you right now. I am not the best photographer for everyone. In fact, I will sometimes tell a couple that I think we are not the right fit, and I will refer them to someone else who shares the same values and who might be more compatible. It is my ultimate goal for every couple to have the best wedding day experience, and if I feel that I might take anything away from that experience by way of differing expectations or incompatible personalities, I will be honest right up front. You have my word.
- Inclusions. All my wedding collections include a complimentary engagement session, a second photographer, a full gallery of edited digital files, a print release, and an heirloom-quality album. I absolutely adore the albums I create for my couples; the value they add to my clients' experience is immeasurable. I get a thrill when I picture my clients a few years down the road opening up their wedding album to show their kids what they looked like on their wedding day, just the way I often show my children my own wedding album. That experience alone makes the album completely worth it.