Columbus wedding photographers have varied styles, processes and must-get photos-we've gathered advice for finding the one that works for you.
The search for the perfect wedding photographer goes beyond finding a vendor that fits a specific budget and style. Booking a photographer who can capture intimate moments of the bride and groom while also snapping fun photos of guests and keeping track of the day's hectic schedule is not a task to be taken lightly.
Which is why-after watching him in action at her cousin's wedding-Lauren Howe knew Garrett Martin of Martin Digital Photography was the man for her own nuptials.
"The proof is in the pictures," Lauren says. "When I saw the photos he had taken, he was really able to capture so many incredible moments."
After meeting with Martin for the initial consultation, Lauren and now husband Brad appreciated that Martin cared so much about their ideas for the day.
"My favorite thing was that he really listened and understood what I wanted from a photographer," Lauren says. "He didn't sit down and pretend to understand and then do it his way-he listened and executed our vision as a couple really well."
Hristina Panovska of Aperture Photography says sharing in a couple's wedding day is a privilege.
"Their wedding day is one of the most important days of their lives, and we share it with them," Panovska says. "We're the shadow that goes through the emotions with them. The most important key is to know who they are and what they're looking for during their wedding."
That personable connection is often what makes or breaks wedding photos, as comfort typically leads to better shots.
"Naturally, you have to create a bond with them like, 'Hey, I'm on your side, and no matter what happens, I'm on your team,' " Martin says.
For couples just starting the photographer hunt, reaching out to family and friends for recommendations is a great first step. Chat with married friends to see what they did-and didn't-like about their experience. Like Howe, keep an eye out for impressive photographers at weddings you attend.
This is exactly what Carolyn Best did for her wedding after a coworker suggested she check out Julie Linz of Julie Linz Photography.
"She was up for doing anything and was really helpful in helping me decide on good places to take pictures," she says. "I also really liked that she was very organized … I knew what I was paying for."
Couples also shouldn't be afraid to shop around when searching for their perfect photographer-and to interview a few potentials.
"We always tell prospective clients to meet multiple photographers for their wedding," says Lauren Ewart of Barefeet Studio. "We've always found with clients we really connect with … the photos always turn out great."
Looking at wedding albums and blogs is an easy way to search for photographers in the area, too. Couples can easily browse different styles, poses and locations without spending a ton of time.
But at the consultation, Kasey Skobel-Conyers advises her clients to ask to see an entire wedding album. As the owner of Bliss Wedding & Event Design, she knows this prevents couples from falling in love with a photographer based on a few photos on his or her website.
"You should be able to look at the whole wedding and watch the story unfold. Some photographers only show the best shot of the day, but there should be 20 other ones that are in the running," she says, before emphasizing, too, how important it is for a photographer to really "get you."
Bringing a virtual wedding board on Pinterest is a great way to start the conversation at your initial consultation.
"Some people don't like to be posed, and they want something candid and more of a photojournalistic style," says Hillary Ferguson of Hillary Ferguson Photography. "I think it's just one of those things. They need to do their research and see whose style they like more."
It's recommended to book the same photographer for both the engagement shoot and wedding-day photos. This allows the photographer to get a feel for how you photograph, and it gives you and your fiance a preview of how the photographer works.
And while as much detail as possible goes into the planning process, it's hard to predict everything that could go wrong-like a dead camera battery or bad weather. Discussing this with the photographer beforehand helps to avoid any potential disasters.
"I even have a clause in my contract that says if I get sick, you'll be provided with a confident photographer who could shoot a wedding in my absence," Linz says.
Planning ahead for unexpected problems such as these are the perks of having professional photographers shoot the big day, as opposed to having a family member or friend take the pictures.
It's easy to see a way to save money and run with it, but when working out the overall wedding budget, decide where your priorities lie.
"I think you need to assess what your needs are. Do you need two giant albums and an additional smaller album and a million prints to go on your wall?" asks Skobel-Conyers. "Compare apples to apples because you can't just look at the price-look at what each one is providing for that price."
Overall, consider what's most important to you.
"The customers that seem the happiest are the ones that we just get along with," Martin says. "Our personalities are on the same page. Fall in love with the photos and then fall in love with the photographer."