With thousands of Wedding Photographers in the Chicago area, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for YOU! There are a few steps that you can take to make narrowing down the field a little easier and settle on the best Chicago Wedding Photographer for you!
Before you start searching for your Photographer, it’s pretty important that you’ve already set your budget, and decided where you’re going to be spending the money! If you haven’t done this yet, head on over to my “Setting Your Wedding Budget” post! Trust me, this will save you a TON of headaches, arguments, and OVERSPENDING! In case you need a refresher, here are the AVERAGE ALLOTMENTS for your Wedding Budget!
Now that you have your budget all squared away, it’s time to jump in and start hiring some Wedding Pros! If you’re like most people, your photographer is going to be one of the BIGGEST investments that you make for you day. It’s the one memory that you will have for the REST OF YOUR LIFE! The decision isn’t always an easy one, but with these 5 Easy Steps to Finding the Perfect Wedding Photographer, the task is definitely more manageable!
My name is Jenn of Jenn Marie Photography, and I’m a Chicago Wedding Photographer! My goal is to educate couples who are planning their weddings on WHAT all goes into their Wedding Photography and how to choose the right photographer for them, all while creating personal and intimate experiences for each and every couple I work with! So, with that being said, here are my 5 Easy Steps to Choosing the Perfect Chicago Wedding Photographer for your Big Day!
STEP ONE: Find Your Style
Before you start looking for your Chicago Wedding Photographer, it’s important to know what style you are more drawn to! Do you want a photographer that is bright and airy? Or dark and moody? Maybe more classic and timeless?
Each Photographer has a unique style, and you can easily narrow it down with a quick google search (“Chicago Wedding Photographer” for example) and scrolling through the images, OR using Instagram Hashtags like #chicagoweddingphotographer or #chicagoweddingphotography. You can click on photos, usually find a link to follow to the sites of your favorites!
STEP TWO: Look Through Websites!
Once you have scrolled through what seems like HUNDREDS of Wedding Photos and narrowed down your style, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Visiting the websites of your favorites will help you with a few things:
- Personality and Values- Almost every photographer will have an “about me” page. LOOK AT IT! This is a really great way to read through their story and what’s important to them when it comes to the Wedding Experience! You can really get a sense of their vision, and see if it matches yours!
- Galleries- You can look through multiple Weddings and Engagements and get a really good look at their work as a whole!
- Price- Some, NOT ALL, Wedding Photographers will give you an idea of their average investments on their page. If your budget is solidly UNDER what they usually charge, and you’re not willing to budge for them, then you can eliminate one from your list! If the price isn’t listed, you can use the photos as a clue to where they fall on the Chicago Wedding Photographer Price Scale. For instance, if there are a lot of large weddings with a ton of details and at high end venues, then they are probably going to be on the higher end.
STEP THREE: Schedule a Consult!
If you’ve done the first two things, and you’re STILL in love with a Wedding Photographer, fill out their contact form, or give them a call!
Sitting down and meeting with your potential photographers is FREE to you, and it will really give you a sense of their personality and if you’re going to mesh well! I ALWAYS tell my couples that they will be spending MORE time with me than with their Fiance on their Wedding Day, so it’s VERY important that they at least like me a little 😉 Plus, I take you to lunch, so a free meal is always a bonus!
Don’t be afraid to meet with 2-3 Chicago Wedding Photographers, either! This is a HUGE deal, and making sure that you know what everyone offers is important!
STEP FOUR: Write Down your Questions!
Your consult is a time for the Photographer to give you information, but it’s not always the information you want to know! Don’t be afraid to bring a list of questions for them! Knowing what you want from your Photographer is essential, and asking the tough questions is a great way to make sure you both walk away from your Wedding OVERJOYED with the end result!
STEP FIVE: Read the Contract!
We all do it. Skim skim skim, sign. But, really, we are doing ourselves a disservice!
A Photographers contract, at the very least, should have the 4 W’s and one H covered (because by now we already know why, hopefully):
- Who will be photographing the wedding?
- What all is included?
- When will the photos be delivered?
- Where will you find the photos after your wedding?
- How will I get my photos and/or products?
These are NOT the end of the list of questions you can ask your photographer, but it’s a great start when reading through your contract! Check back next week for my QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER blog for more!
Hello lovely! I’m Jenn, Chicago Wedding Photographer and Toddler Mom! My goal in life is to drink coffee and take photos of people who love each other, and I can say that I am LIVING THE DREAM!
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Engaged? Looking for your perfect Wedding Photographer? I’d love to take you out to lunch and talk about your perfect day! Send me a message or give me a call! My phone is always on, and sometimes you’ll get to talk to my two-year-old, but I love a good surprise phone call!