The Best Time to Book Your Wedding Photographer + What to Know Before You Do

It seems someone popped the question and possibly a bottle of bubbly – woohoo! Congrats on your engagement! I hope you’ve taken some time to share the news and bask in the glow of those pre-wedding vibes because things are about to get interesting – in the best way possible!

If you’ve nailed down a date, awesome! Even better if you have a venue secured. But even if you only have an inkling of an idea, it’s time to start booking wedding vendors. 

Your wedding photographer should be one of the first vendors you hire after getting engaged. But how far in advance should you book someone? And what do you need to know before signing on the dotted line? 

I’ve got the answers to your questions right here. 

When to Book Your Wedding Photographer

Assuming you’re following a traditional wedding planning timeline of 12 months, you’ll want to book your photographer soon after you know your wedding date.

Many photographers, including me, start booking weddings 12-18 months in advance. So if there’s a photographer you have your eye on, the sooner you inquire, the better.   

Take your time finding the best match, though. You want to ensure the person you hire is a good fit in terms of personality, style, and budget. 

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your search.

Do Your Research Before You Book

Aside from the obvious things you’ll need to find out (Will they travel to your location? Are they available?), you’ll also want to research the photographer’s style. If you like a certain aesthetic, does their style match that vibe? 

For example, you may have searched for “bright and airy wedding photographer” and found me. Australia is huge on the dark and moody trend, so finding photos with the opposite look is somewhat challenging. But here you are! Think about how you want to see your photos – not just today – but decades from now. 

The bright and airy style I implement lends a classic and timeless feel. With me, your photos will never look dated. But you may really like whatever photo trend is happening at the moment. The thing is – will you still be okay with it ten years from now? Or will future you be thankful that you went with a timeless option?  

Get to Know the Photographer

Part of doing your research is forming a connection between yourself and your potential photographer. You need to know if this person is someone you feel comfortable with and someone you mesh with personality-wise. 

This is why I don’t just send a price guide when you reach out to me. Instead, we’ll get on the phone and talk about things. I’ll answer your questions, and you’ll get a good feel for who I am and how I work. I want you to be yourself and talk to me about anything involving planning. I’m a chill person, so it’s not hard to do! 

I’ll be by your side for an entire day, so there has to be a good connection. If you don’t feel comfortable, it will show in your photos. 

So whether it’s me or someone else, talk to the photographer and get to know them a little before making things official.

Have a Few Things Sorted Before You Reach Out

But wait! Before you get on the phone or have an in-person coffee date, have these things (mostly) prepared.

Wedding date: This is the all-important piece of information for a photographer to have. After all, they can’t put you on their calendar if there’s no set wedding date. 

Venue: Knowing your venue is a huge help, and some photographers will only book you if you’ve secured a location. Many of my couples have their venue, but sometimes people are undecided, which is okay. The way I see it, if you love my style so much that you want to secure me as your photographer before anything else, let’s do it! I can even recommend venues that suit your fine-art wedding style.  

Budget: You don’t have to have a full-blown wedding budget prepared, but it helps to know what you’re comfortable spending.

Ask Questions Before Signing a Contract

One last important thing you need to do before hiring a wedding photographer is ask questions. 

Chances are, this is your first time planning a wedding, and you don’t know what you don’t know (you know?!) So ask all the questions! Understand what you’re paying for and what you’re getting.

  • What’s involved in the process/experience?
  • What does the day look like?
  • Is there a second photographer?
  • If I book you, do I get you as my photographer?
  • Will you communicate with my other vendors?

Ask about their photo collections. Some photographers don’t include everything in their package pricing, and the couple gets slammed with unexpected costs. Knowing the details upfront can prevent hidden-cost heartache later on.

Also, consider asking how long they’ve been in the industry and if wedding photography is their full-time job or a side project. If it’s a part-time situation, they might not be as invested as someone who makes it their full-time passion (me!). I put tons of time and effort into my couples and offer help and support throughout the journey. 

Ready to Inquire…With Me? 

You’ve set your date, done your research, and have a list of questions prepared. Now, let’s create that connection! Reach out, and I’ll schedule a time for us to talk. 

Luxury Fine Art Film Destination wedding photographer in Tuscany Italy villa

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Whether your love story is one blossomed from elegant romance or one of epic proportions, I am so excited to be a part of this journey with you and can’t wait to get to know you more. I am a fine art photographer providing my services all throughout NSW, Australia and destinations worldwide. Passionately devoted to capturing the beauty of your special day. 

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Sheri Mcmahon

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