Sometimes I forget just how hard it is to choose a photographer. I look at photographs ALL THE TIME, so I have learned to look at an image of someone else and picture myself in that setting and in that pose. I knew that when we asked Bit of Ivory Photography to take our anniversary pictures, that we would LOVE the outcome, because I knew and understood her work.
But training your eye for that sort of thing takes time. So I understand why it's hard to choose one photographer. Perhaps Photographer A recently photographed a wedding with a similar color scheme and feel to yours and you can see yourself in those images. And then Photographer B shot your friend's wedding last year and you feel emotionally connected to the images. And what about Photographer C who did a beautiful wedding of a bride in a lavender field that you can't stop thinking about, even though you're getting married in the city.
Obviously this is a hypothetical example, so there's no telling which photographer would be the perfect fit.
But hopefully it shows that style can be REALLY hard to compare. And I think that's why a lot of people start comparing on price. Comparing two photographers with completely separate styles is apples & oranges. Because while price is a factor, it's not really what separates one photographer from another.
A friend of mine recently shared a brilliant blog post by NY based maternity and newborn photographer Francesca Captuo and it captured this concept perfectly. She compared photographers to restaurants and I'm going to borrow that analogy.
When you're considering where you want to eat out, your first thought is probably what kind of food you want to eat. Are you craving a burger or do you want seafood? Once you decide that the style of food you want is seafood, you'll make plans to go to your favorite seafood restaurant. The one that draws you the most.
You're not going to change your mind halfway there and decide to just eat at the burger place instead because it's cheaper. And you can just ask them to make you seafood right? No. That doesn't make sense. If you really want seafood, you're ok with spending a little extra.
Now sometimes you do have a budget in mind and you have to take that into account. As much as you might like to, you can't eat at fancy restaurants all the time. If my husband and I are looking for a cheap meal option, we might choose Chickafila, Moes, Thai, or pizza. It all depends on the style we want. But we're not going to pick Chickafila just because it's a couple dollars cheaper than pizza. If we want pizza, we're going to get pizza. So once you determine your budget for your wedding photography, look at the options within that budget for which style you like the best.
Some photography styles can be hard to pick out, but others are simple. Bright colorful images. Subdued soft images. Heavily edited. Natural edits. Blur. Sunflare. Flash. Use of props. Posed. Candid. Lifestyle. Casual. Formal. Black and white. Vintage tints. All these things distinguish one photographer from another.
You probably have opinions on some of these things right away, but there are probably some that don't really stand out to you. So maybe you feel the most drawn to bride & groom portraits that are outside at sunset with a wide variety of poses, but you're not sure where you land on editing. That's a great starting point!
When you're trying to choose the right photographers, take a little extra time to look at their work. Send them an email and see if you connect with them on a personal level.
I'm not saying all this to say you have to pick me. I'm not the wedding photographer for everyone. And I'm ok with that.
Your memories are too important to rush this decision. Your memories are too important to choose based on price alone. Your memories are too important.
I recommend taking a minute to read Francesca's article as well. She's talking about newborn photographers specifically, but I think her side by side comparisons really show the different styles of photography.