You’re engaged! Now the planning starts. You’ve booked the venue, you’ve got the DJ, now what? The photographer. This checklist includes some of the finer points to consider when making that choice.
What are you supposed to look for? What kind of photography do they do? Below is what I call a wedding photographer checklist. In the preceding paragraphs, I will go over what you should look for and some things to consider when picking the professional to document your special day

 Do you click?

Photography humor aside, the number one thing that you absolutely must look for is, above anything else, personality. I wouldn’t say just like your photographer, I say, LOVE your photographer! It is one of the most important days of your life, the last thing you want to do is to spend 8, 10, or 12 hours with someone if you don’t get along. They could have the most beautiful images in their portfolio, but it doesn’t mean diddley squat if you can’t enjoy your time with them. It will totally show in the images. And the last thing anybody wants are frowns in your wedding images. Ain’t nobody got time for dat!

funny pictures of couples

What is their style?

Some photographers are heavy on setting up all the little details. They can make your Louboutins and Swarovskis look like they floated out of a catalog. Others may take a more photojournalistic approach and eek out those moments you may not notice when caught in the whirlwind of the day. There is nothing wrong with either, it just comes down to what you hold important. If you find yourself drawn to a particular style, find out more about how they approach the day, ask them questions and see if not only their style, but personality fits with yours. For me, I am more about the moments and interactions between couples than what shoes they wore. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy shooting the details, I just love raw emotion!

John DeFiora Photography_0058

Are they passionate about what they do?

It’s not uncommon for people in any field to reach a certain plateau, where growth is at a standstill. I speak from experience when I say that the right photographer never stops learning. Every wedding I do, I try to see something new. It’s why I ask my couples to do crazy things and earn their trust, so that if I want them to stand in a field or climb a hill, I am wanting them to do so to create something truly epic. Why have some boring photograph of you in a gazebo that has been done a million times? Why not kick it up a notch and do something amazing? I am so passionate about wedding photography that I still get excited when I get those images on the back of my LCD screen that I can’t wait to get home and edit. I love what I do, and the best part is, I don’t know of another job or career where I could find as much joy consistently from weekend to weekend. I get to be a part of couple’s most memorable moments.

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Are they versatile?

As many can imagine, wedding days often do not go as planned. Timing can be off, limos can be late, and it can rain. A good or great photographer :::cough cough John DeFiora Photography cough cough::: will be able to adapt. Many weddings I photograph, I am in the lap of luxury as I am given enough time for all the images. On the times I am not, I make it happen with what is available. Whether it be shooting in an unlikely location (as seen below) or shooting in the rain, I always strive for the best and adapt to the moment at hand.
(You would never guess that this shot was done in natural light in the lobby of a busy hotel – I only changed the color to be warmer.)



This is a biggie… You have to sit down and consider what you value most on your wedding day. For some it may be the photography, for others it may be the DJ, or perhaps the venue or food. If you value photography, you will go to any length to get the shots and set aside enough time for them. If you don’t value photography as much as a different aspect of the day, that’s okay. But also make sure you feel you are getting value for your money (which, if someone is as passionate like in the paragraph above, it should be a no brainer.)

John DeFiora Photography_0123

What about the price of wedding photography?

Why did I save this for last? Because this is the absolute last thing you should be concerning yourself with. Most would think this should be the deciding factor in choosing your photographer. I know I know… Budgets are made and supposed to be adhered to. The cost of seat covers and centerpieces are mounting, and if that truly is the case – get off Pinterest. At that point, there is no more moolah for mason jars in the budget.

So why is price last? Here’s why. You can pay for the absolute cheapest photographer, have an uncle do it, or get a kid down the street who’s into photography…but why? Not only is it your day, your husband or wife’s day, but it’s also a day you may want to remember and showcase for future generations. You have spent an enormous sum on the venue, why would you want to invest that much, only to have the caliber to document it be so little? Someone who isn’t well versed in weddings won’t know to go through a list with you. Or make sure that the timeline is correct so that you  have enough time to take the images and enjoy your day. Sure, you can take your chances and save a few bucks, but in the long run, what I have found is that to go from Meh to OMG!!!  is so negligible, it simply doesn’t make sense. If you are willing to spend money on something that you only slightly care about, why not spend a little bit more and get something that you can truly value?

groom crying, groom, sounds to go, red bank


In an effort to help brides and grooms in the process of wedding photography,
I will be writing more articles like this. Check back soon to see what’s new!