Wedding Planning Tips

March 2, 2017

3 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

kilmarnock-reedville-good-luck-cellars-virginia-wedding-photographer-28_photos.jpgCongratulations on getting engaged!! I can’t wait to see that sparkly new ring of yours. Amidst all the joy and happiness, you’ll soon realize you have decisions to make. Once you sit down and plan your budget, the first thing you’ll need to do is set your priorities. If photography is high on your list, you might find it can be difficult to narrow it down to the one. 

These are the photos you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life, after all. They’re the ones you’ll look to when facing hardships – when you need a reminder of all the love on that first day. You’ll cherish them as you grow older and show your children and grandchildren all those memories. And if you’re like me, you want timeless photos so in 30, 40 or 50 years, they’ll still radiate that classic beauty you love so much.

But with so many choices out there, how can you decide? Here are three things you should do!

1. Decide on the Style of Photography

The first thing you should do is look at portfolios to find out what your heart desires. Do you find yourself drawn to dark, moody images or light, bright images? (I’m the lighter side – you can view my gallery here to get an idea of what that looks like.) You see, every photographer has a distinct style that’s woven into every image. It’s a combination of the way we shoot and the way we edit in post-processing. That’s why it’s important to look past the basics of a good photo. Instead, look a little deeper at each photo and ask yourself: if I was in that photo, would I love the style?

It’s also important to think about how they capture their photos. If you prefer a photojournalistic style, you might not want to go with a photographer who only does posed shots. Otherwise, you’ll likely be disappointed with the results!

Finally, make sure their style is consistent throughout their portfolio so you have an idea of what your gallery will look like. Otherwise, you might fall in love with a light and bright photo on their site, only to receive a gallery that doesn’t reflect that style.


2. Make Sure You Click With Your Photographer

I can’t emphasize this point enough! You should try to either meet your photographer in person, or talk on the phone to find out if your personalities mesh. When you really think about it, your photographer will spend the entire wedding day with you. I’m there to shoot the details as you finish hair and makeup. I’m there as you button up your dress and fight back tears as everyone tells you how beautiful you look. I’m there during the exhilarating first look moment – whether it’s an actual first look or when you walk down the aisle. I’m there for the vows, the first dance, the cake cutting – even the dramatic exit in some cases!

Wouldn’t you want someone you’re comfortable with – who you trust? Don’t you deserve that? Trust me, it makes a huge difference in your photos when you’re comfortable with the person capturing them. You can focus on each other and your loved ones instead of feeling awkward every time you see a camera out of the corner of your eye. And that alone is worth it!

I know that having a photographer around isn’t the most natural thing, but if you’re comfortable with the person behind it, you notice it much less. You’ll get more natural photos that truly reflect you’ll story. Not to mention you might just find yourself with a new friend by the time your day is over!


3. Go Through All the Details Before Making a Decision

No matter how much you love their work and personality, you should only say yes to your photographer if the rest of your needs line up. Are they still available on your date? Can you get the hours of coverage that you need? What about a second photographer – do you even need one? Do they offer the album your heart is set on? Do they fit with your budget? If they don’t, is it worth it to move things around to book them? These are all questions I discuss with my couples during the initial phone call or in-person meeting.

It’s the best time for you to explain your vision and wants, and for me to tell you if I have what you’re looking for. I also explain my process so you’re prepared. I go over how my photos are delivered, the timeframe you’ll receive them, how my booking process works and my posing style so nothing is a surprise. I even explain what to expect from your complimentary engagement session! The best way to feel comfortable with your decision is to know how the process works, and if it fits with your expectations.

Above all, you should feel excited about working with your photographer!! You should walk away feeling confident about the photos you’ll receive and the experience you’ll get. Like I said, you don’t deserve anything less, right?

And if you just so happen to connect with what I’m saying here (and my photos), I would love to hear more about your day! Send me a note here to get the conversation started.


  1. Camry Haskins says:

    Check. Check. And check.

    Emily fit all of these requirements for my husband and I. And it showed in our wedding photos, one of which she used for her final bullet point.

    We received comments like “Your photos look like they came out of a magazine” and have had trouble posting before friends and family, because as soon as people found her blog post they were sharing their favorites all over social media!

    Bottom line, Emily is the photographer you are looking for and you should book her before you date becomes unavailable!

    • Emily Alyssa says:

      Camry!! You have completely made my year with this comment!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are so sweet to say all of this, and I am so incredibly happy you chose me to document your wedding. The whole day was so beautiful, and I was completely honored to capture each and every moment.

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