I obviously want you to book me, but realistically, I can't work with every couple. I can, however, give free advice to help you have the best wedding experience possible! And because I really do care, I'm going to do just that.

This is the same advice I give my engaged loved ones. It's blunt and untraditional, perhaps, but it's 100% sincere, using the knowledge I have as a wedding photographer and one-time bride myself.

I'm not going to tell you why I'm the perfect photographer for you, but I am going to tell you how to find the photographer that's right for you. And who knows, maybe we'll end up working together!

My TOP advice for booking your wedding photographer:

You must like your wedding photographer as well as their work

This is often overlooked but really essential. It ensures you have the best overall experience, but also, the way your photographer make you feel will show up in the photos. If they make you feel happy or relaxed, it'll show in the photos. If they make you feel uncomfortable, it'll likely show in the photos as well. Your experience is forever linked to your wedding photos. What kind of experience do you want to remember in 20 years? Please choose wisely and go for the good vibes!

Look through multiple full wedding galleries before booking

The truth is, it's easy for a photographer to look good on a website or social media. Both are highlight reels, and there's bound to be at least a few highlight photos out of the hundreds that go into a wedding gallery.

The REAL display of a photographer's skill is through their full galleries! How do they shoot a full wedding day? How do they handle dark or yellow lighting? Do they capture how the day looked AND felt? What do their family photos look like? Do you see a bunch of background distractions like trash cans & exit signs, or do they crop/edit most out where they can? If you look through and love at least 3 of that photographer's full galleries, you'll likely also love yours. Pay special note to galleries that have similar venues or vibes to yours!

Be sure your photographer has backup equipment, dual card slot equipment, and proper file management methods.

I know that sounds boring but it's SO important. Bear with me:

— Your photographer should have 2 camera bodies, flashes (or whatever lighting device they use), and multiple lenses so they aren't left without the ability to do their job should a piece of equipment suffer a fall or tech failure.
— Ensure your photographer shoots on dual card slot camera bodies. This means that the camera can record to 2 media cards instead of 1 the moment the photo is taken, so there's an instant backup of your photos. Very handy in the event of SD card failure (which is rare but does happen!)
— Be sure your photographer shoots in .RAW vs .JPG file format. .RAW files give the photographer more flexibility in the editing process, which is essential for correcting tricky lighting scenarios and more.
— Harddrive crashes and other unfortunate situations can happen, but professional photographers must have a robust file backup system to prevent any photo loss. Your photo files should exist in AT LEAST 3 locations for safekeeping until the final gallery is delivered to you. I do 6 to be extra-safe.

These points should be obvious to most wedding pros, but unfortunately, not everyone utilizes best practices, so it's always better to be safe than sorry. These are not mistakes that can afford to be made with your wedding photos and I want to protect you from mishaps!

Avoid big businesses and agencies

Avoid large, nationwide companies that have a portfolio shot by a bunch of different photographers. These agencies outsource labor (often via blind emails or Instagram DMs) and often do not properly vet who they hire. Their rates are attractive because they don't pay their photographers much, and results are hit-or-miss because they often hire inexperienced photographers. They assign available photographers to weddings, so you don't get to choose who you work with or speak with the photographer themselves before booking.

To ensure you're in good hands, I recommend booking a smaller business with one or a few photographers on staff. Ensure you know exactly who will be capturing your wedding beforehand and that you get to speak with them via video chat/phone/in-person (instead of just email) before you book your wedding. Finally, be sure only one person edits each full wedding gallery for consistency.

Ask about what's important to you

Curious about retouching options? Ask if it's included or available to purchase. Want photo previews? Ask if the photographer offers them. Different photographers have different policies and offerings, so it never hurts to ask.

Some frequently asked about topics include:
- Print rights
- Hi-resolution downloads
- Retouching
- Albums & prints
- Second photographers/photo assistants
- Photo turnaround times
- Watermarks
- Photo delivery method
- Wedding prep process

Never skimp on wedding photography

Photographers always use the phrase "photography is an investment in your memories" and I guess I'm no different because it's TRUE! There are things you can DIY or do without for your wedding day, but excellent photography is not one of those things. When the guests go home and the flowers fade, your photos are what's left. They will become intrinsically linked to your memories. They will be the most frequent way you look back on your day. You'll display these photos in your home, and they'll be an important part of your family legacy for generations to come. That's HUGE, so hire someone who is up for the task! You don't have to pay $10k+ for an incredible photographer, but make sure you're not skimping, either.