The Sweet Christian Bride

Guest Post from Jaime Fenwick: 3 Keys to Finding (and Hiring) Your Ideal Wedding Photographer

by admin on February 28, 2013 in Budget, Photography, Vendor with 1 Comment

3 Keys to Finding (and Hiring) Your Ideal Wedding Photographer

By Jaime Fenwick

When married women meet me for the first time and discover that I’m a wedding photographer, one of the most common remarks I hear is how much they regret their choice in photographer, the quality of their wedding photos, or even the entire photographic experience. Some of these women were married before wedding photography evolved into the creative, limitless genre it is today, but others are recent brides whose photographer or photographs failed to meet their expectations for a variety of reasons. While I’m limited to what I can do for past brides (except offer a beautiful
anniversary shoot!), I can provide brides-to-be with tips on how to choose a wedding photographer that suits their unique style, personality, and budget.

With such a vast quantity of photographers to choose from these days, starting the search for a wedding photographer can be daunting. Below I’ve selected the three most important aspects I believe can help to define what sort of photographer and photography experience you and your fiancé are after.

A Signature Look

While poring over a photographer’s portfolio or blog, here’s one key question to keep in mind: Is the photographer consistent in his or her approach to photography, posing, editing, and marketing, or is the photographer’s work a mix of editing styles and photography techniques with no easily identifiable signature look? The more varied the work, the less you can rely on that photographer to produce a specific look on your wedding day. This is often the sign of a photographer who is unsure of his or her style and vision, and has not yet begun to build a strong brand meant to attract a specific type of client. No matter what your taste, seek out a photographer who works hard to appeal to your specific type of wedding, personality, and style. You are somebody’s ideal client so don’t be shy about finding your perfect match!


Once you’ve found a photographer (or several) whose work consistently impresses you and time after time resonates with your wedding style, take the time to consider their personality. I can’t mince words when it comes to how important it is that you and your photographer hit it off. The wedding photographer is one of the few people, and probably the only vendor, who will spend the entire wedding day with the bride, thereby stepping into a variety of roles as the day progresses: as a stylist when your veil or dress needs rearranging, as a creative director when composing group portraits, and even as a bouncer of sorts when dealing with hard-to-please family members! With so many emotions and expectations reaching a climax on the wedding day, a photographer with the right personality can help to keep things running smoothly if they are able to put you and your loved ones at ease in their presence—and you can bet that the level of comfort you feel with your photographer will be revealed in your photographs! Bottom line: if you don’t feel like you could be friends with your photographer, think twice before signing that contract and slipping a deposit in the mail. If you’re on the fence, hire the photographer for an engagement session and give them a test run!


There is no ‘average’ cost of a wedding photographer in today’s market, so before deciding on a photography budget, consider how much you value photography. Where does it rank in terms of importance? Whether you’re working with a large budget or a small one, if photography is one of your top priorities, contact your photographer of choice prior to booking a date or venue to make sure they’re not booked, or to negotiate a package. For brides on a budget, you might be inclined to first inquire after the photographer’s pricing, but many photographers will work hard to accommodate you if they know your wedding suits their particular style and could benefit their business or rev their creative engines! For example, I enjoy shooting a wide variety of weddings, but if a fun-loving couple who appreciates attention to detail, stunning locations, and natural lighting reached out to me, I would bend over backwards to work with them because they’re my ideal clients! Again, if you’re unsure of how much to spend, which package to book, or how much you value photography, book your photographer of choice for an engagement session and gain some clarity and peace of mind in the process.

There are countless wedding details to consider, and I realize that photography is just one of many, however, I believe that wedding photography is an investment that can have a powerful effect throughout one’s marriage and for generations to come. I believe that God uses beautiful images as powerful tools to remind couples of the love, commitment, and community they vowed to protect, nurture, and celebrate on their wedding day, and to inspire future generations in their own pursuit of family and faith. The beauty of marriage, and a picture of God’s grace all wrapped up in a photographic heirloom to cherish? It doesn’t get more timeless or personal than that!

If you have more wedding photography-related questions, feel free to contact me at Answers to your questions will be featured in a special blog post this March at

Photos © Jaime Lauren Photography and Erich McVey Photography, respectively

Jaime Fenwick is a fine art wedding and lifestyle photographer from British Columbia, who lives with her husband Will in the San Francisco Bay area. She claims status as equal parts nomad and homebody, with a love for camel trekking, the Arab world, Pride + Prejudice (the BBC version of course), and quiet countryside landscapes. She loves visitors, so feel free to drop by the Blog or Facebook page to say hello!

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