One of the most important decisions you will make while organizing your small wedding or elopement is choosing the proper photographer. Although there are many photographers available, only one will be with you on your wedding day, so it’s crucial to spend your time selecting the perfect elopement photographer for you!
Verify the Credibility & Experience of Your Elopement Photographer
Is he/she a professional photographer?
When selecting an elopement photographer, it’s crucial to ensure that they are a legitimate company. Not merely someone who can “shoot photos” is what you want to find. You want someone who has committed time and resources to their career and who takes elopement photography seriously.
You can keep an eye out for items like:
- Is the company listed as a sole proprietorship or an LLC?
- Do they maintain a company website?
- Do they make you sign a contract before offering any services?
- Do they have the right equipment?
Employing someone who has put time and effort into not only mastering the art of photography but also correctly establishing their business will help to keep everyone safe. Researching someone is the best approach to determining whether or not they are a professional. Peruse their website and social media profiles. You may find out what people are really saying about their experiences by reading the Google reviews left by previous customers.
Do they have industry experience?
How much a photographer has worked in the field is another crucial factor to take into account. Photographing an elopement is considerably different from photographing a newborn or a family. Even if you already know or can find one, it is crucial to find a professional photographer with the appropriate level of industry experience.
A skill is elopement photography. Every wedding or elopement I photograph teaches me something new, whether it’s about a new place, how to take pictures in different weather or lighting, or just meeting new people.
Asking questions like “How long have you been in business?” Or “How many weddings/elopements have you photographed?” will help you find a photographer with experience in a variety of settings. Great areas to start getting to know your photographer include asking them questions like “Do you have experience taking pictures in our venue or location?”
It will be easier for you to have a better wedding day experience if you hire a photographer that can both capture excellent images and interact with clients.
Make Sure Their Values Align with Yours
What do they stand for? — You will feel more at ease and relaxed on the day of your elopement if the photographer shares your personal values. You should have faith that your photographer will support you and always act in your best interests. A few things to pay attention to include:
Are they welcoming to LGBTQ people? — Examining a photographer’s website and social media accounts is the best approach to determining whether or not they are inclusive in their shooting. How do they present themselves? Do they frequently post genuine, inclusive images?
Do they have experience documenting various cultural wedding traditions? — If including cultural wedding traditions is important to you, you should look for an elopement photographer who will respect your traditions and shoot pictures of all the significant moments and details. Asking your photographer, “How experienced are you with photographing cultural weddings?” is acceptable.
Are they committed to Leave No Trace? -The idea behind Leave No Trace is to leave the environment in better condition than you found it. I adhere to these guidelines while working with all of my elopement couples because I think that conserving the environment is one of the most crucial things we can do to make sure that people may continue to enjoy these breathtaking locations.
Review their portfolio
Examining the photographers’ work is one of the simplest ways to determine if they are the appropriate elopement photographers for you. Your reaction to the photos? Is there a particular aspect of their work that you adore? Once you’ve decided which images are most important to you, you can start searching for and whittling down your list of potential photographers until you discover one who can deliver the results you want.
Instagram or Social Media
Instagram or social media are frequently the first places people visit to view images. You can get a sense of an elopement photographer’s entire aesthetic and style on Instagram. Although it’s a fantastic place to start, there are other places you should look as well.
You will only be able to see a select few of the most important pictures from the day because each Instagram user is only permitted to share a maximum of 10 pictures. An elopement day may last for ten hours, so it would be impossible to capture the entire event in a small number of images. Make sure you check elsewhere when considering whether or not an elopement photographer is perfect for you. Instagram is a nice place to start, but it won’t show you everything.
Portfolio Blog Posts
The website of your elopement photographer is the next place to visit to get a sense of their style. A blog article is an excellent resource for gaining a more complete understanding of what an elopement day can entail. Typically, blog entries include 30 to 60 photos that span the whole wedding day. You should be able to get a sense of the types of photographs the photographer enjoys sharing by reading through many blog entries. Do they have a lot of photographs of the couple or a lot of detailed shots? Make sure the photographer emphasizes the photographs that are significant to you.
Viewing whole galleries of actual weddings is the most effective method to get a sense of the kinds of photographs you might acquire. Prior to making a reservation, it is absolutely worthwhile to ask your photographer if they might show you a few galleries of genuine weddings.
Written by Brittany West of Brittany West Photography
Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photographer for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.