The 5 things to know about finding a local wedding photographer

help finding a local wedding photographer

In a world of wedding planning expectations and to do lists, it’s like the industry wants you to feel like no one else has ever planned a wedding before!

Yes, your wedding should be uniquely about you and your partner, but that doesn’t mean you have to make every decision in a vacuum or reinvent the wheel of creating a wedding.

So, if you are looking for a photographer for your wedding, I have 5 things to know about finding a local wedding photographer.

Finding a local wedding photographer involves an information gathering stage.

minneapolis elopement outside first ave with stars

Exploring photography – Talk with people you trust.

Talk with your friends who were recently married, your cousin who is planning a wedding, and your coworkers.

Ask them about their experience with wedding photography! Ideally, they might have some recommendations to share.

The most important part? Listen to what mattered to them – was their photographer trustworthy, do they regret focusing on price?, do they love the style of photography they chose?

I’ve never heard anyone wish they had spent less money on photography, but I do often hear about photographers that didn’t listen, or that made people feel weird in poses – think about what matters for you.

Ultimately all the lists in the world won’t matter as much as figuring out what the two of you are lookin for.

Mantra for this step: think about how you and your partner want to feel on your wedding day as well as the photographs you want to cherish when its all over! 

What is your budget for local wedding photography?

Get your budget together

Yeah, of course price should be a factor in making your lists.

The reason it isn’t the first factor is simple – you probably have never hired a wedding photographer before: how do you know what is worth a splurge and what is worth saving on?

Now that you have more info, go forth and put together a rough budget!

The average for most professional wedding photographer to cover a wedding day is generally $2000-$5000 depending on extras. Some less experienced photographers will be able to come in below that.

Mantra for this step: Most people don’t wish they had spent less money on a photographer, but everyone has a budget – find a good number for you and your partner! 

Building your own list of local wedding photographers

Photography list building

Taking the list from step 1 and your rough budget from step 2, start making a list of photographers who you would like more info from.

Besides word of mouth, you can look through online reviews or local rankings from or Peerspace. Three Best Rated is a company that lists the top three companies based on reputation for any particular category.

The most experienced photographers will have years of consistent reviews – they should speak to the photography, but also to the experience of working with the photographer.

Mantra for this step: find trustworthy people and then trust their opinions! 

Comparing local wedding photographers!

header image of wedding party outside in a snowstorm under the arches of a church while snow whips past

Photographer comparison

Now its time to look at a lot of photos and have some feelings about them!

Take a look at the websites or socials for your lists. Are there photos that draw you in, do you like the way they tell stories in general?

Imagine yourself and your partner in those images – would you feel natural in those poses? Strike any off the list that don’t feel like your vibe.

Look for variety – have you seen examples of photography in dark spaces? What do photos look like if it rains or is cloudy?

Hey, this is also a step to really consider if the photographer is excited to showcase a full spectrum of humans! If showcasing couples in the LGBTQ+ community, a variety of body sizes, a variety of skin tones, and a variety of cultures is important to you (it is to me!), then look for that representation here.

Mantra for this step: A professional photographer captures great images of the people and locations regardless of any other factors.

Finding a good value for local wedding photography

bride and groom at grounds of interlachen country club for portraits
The gorgeous grounds of Interlachen Country Club served as a backdrop for some pretty epic portraits of these two.

Find your value

Now you should contact the photographers you like most.

Most photographers will want to set up a phone call or meet in person to get to know you better, so perhaps start with your top 3 to get more information.

You might quickly be surrounded with a lot of packages and information about pricing and products and albums and extras!

Before you get caught in the swirl of info, have a good talk about your budget and what is important to you and your partner. You don’t want a photographer who can’t meet your budget, and you don’t want to waste the time of photographers if you don’t want to extend your budget.

For the best value, plan to hire the photographer you like best, regardless of how much “stuff” comes with their packages. You can’t recreate the wedding day, so you need a photographer who can get that right the first time around!

Mantra for this step: Get the photographer you like best instead of the photographer with the most stuff for your budget – you can’t take the photos again, but you can go back and add more stuff when the wedding is over!  

Looking to find a great local wedding photographer?

Hey, I’m Becca. I’ve been a wedding photographer full time since 2006, and I haven’t paid for advertising in a decade because all my business comes from word of mouth or search. I’m listed as a top wedding photographer on many sites. More importantly, my clients have nice things to say about me in their photography reviews.

I’d love to chat with you about all the things you are planning! Lets connect! 

becca dilley photography bio photo on stairs minneapolis