Melissa Fritzsche Photography


Tucson, arizona wedding Photographer

How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer



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Are you recently engaged and wondering how to choose your wedding photographer? If you are like many couples, the task to find the wedding photographer that will perfectly capture your day can quickly become a daunting task. It is my hope that this article will help you clarify what it is that you are looking for in a wedding photographer and will help you save a lot of time finding the right photographer for your big day! 

The Three P’s to choosing your wedding photographer

I find using the three P’s is the best way to make choosing a photographer as simple and straightforward as possible. The three P’s are:

  1. Portfolio
  2. Personality
  3. Price

Now, we will dive deeper into each of the “P’s”, but before we do, I want to point out that I listed these categories in this order on purpose. I know, I know, I’m the wedding photographer telling you to consider the price last… but let me quickly explain why. Many couples get lost in comparing wedding packages from different wedding photographers, assuming that the more things included at a lower price, the better. However, the free wedding album and 11×14 canvas aren’t so great when the photos in them are not what you were envisioning your photos to be.

Choose A Wedding Photographer With A Portfolio That You Love 

Find a Photographer With An Editing Style You Like

This is the most important consideration in my opinion. You want to find a photographer whose editing style you love. Some photographers specialize in dark and moody aesthetics, while others produce images that are light and airy.

I choose to edit in a light and airy style because it provides a timeless aesthetic with accurate colors and flawless skin tones. It prints beautifully and unlike other editing styles it is classic and to me reflects the feelings of joy and happiness of a wedding day.

If you are not sure which editing style resonates the most with you, begin by creating a Pinterest board of wedding images that you love. Once you have a collection of 50-100 photos, ask yourself what you like about the images. Is it the bright colors, the darker tones, the greenery in the background, etc. From there you can narrow down which editing style you like and only look for photographers that fit that aesthetic.

Ask For Real Wedding Galleries

In the wedding industry, styled shoots are a great way for wedding vendors to market and give couples inspiration for their wedding day. These shoots are a great way for photographers to practice and get creative in a low-stress environment. Models with extensive experience in front of the camera are set up in front of magazine-worthy backdrops full of florals. I love styled shoots and have attended many. However, I recognize that these beautifully curated events are not an accurate representation of a wedding day where timelines are tight and hiccups happen.

For a couple looking for a photographer for their wedding day, seeing these Pinterest-worth photos are impressive. However, a day dedicated to photographing a model couple does not mean that those same results can be achieved on a real wedding day where only 30 minutes are allotted for the couple’s portraits.

I believe couples should ask for a mix of both the creative portfolio-building images from styled shoots and a gallery from a real wedding day so that they can see the creative potential of their photographer along with images that they can expect from a real wedding day.

A Photographer Whose Personality You Love

On your wedding day, your photographer will be with you the entire day. You will spend more time with them than your partner, so you want to make sure your personalities click. Do you feel like they care about you and what you want for your wedding? If you love your photographer’s energy and you feel connected to them, this is key to making your whole wedding experience fun and relaxed. It is also what makes your wedding photos feel more authentic and like you as a couple.

I love to set up an initial phone call with my couples that lasts about 15-20 minutes. I like to get to know them as a couple, how they met, what they want the vibe of their wedding to be like, and what they are looking for in their wedding photography. From there, if all seems great, we set up a time for a full consultation. Here we go into more detail about the wedding and I give recommendations for a wedding collection based on what they are looking for.

Wedding Photographer That Is In A Price Range You Are Comfortable With

I am a girl who loves a bargain, believe me, I do. However, I have learned the hard way that there are some things you don’t skimp on. One, whoever you allow to wax your eyebrows. 🙂 Yes, I had to postpone my own engagement session because I allowed someone inexperienced to wax my eyebrows and all the skin around them apparently too. 🙂 But that is a story for another day…

But in all seriousness, price is one of the important factors when couples choose their photographer. I recognize this is important, and it is a factor to consider, but it is not the ONLY factor to consider. 

Low-priced photographers are typically more inexperienced. Their prices are low because they are building their business. It is not always a bad thing to invest in someone who is new. We all have to start somewhere right? But it is important to realize that their gear may be lower quality, they may be slower on the wedding day, and there is the risk that your photos may not turn out great. This goes back to when I encouraged you to look at full wedding galleries from REAL weddings.

Higher-priced photographers are typically more experienced, have better equipment, and have worked on creating a great client experience. They are usually pretty comfortable managing a crowd, a skill set that is important on a wedding day. 

As you compare wedding collections, be sure you understand everything that is included. A $5,000 wedding package that includes 8 hours of coverage, 2 photographers, and an engagement session is very different from a $5,000 package that includes one photographer and partial wedding day coverage. I’m not saying more “things” in your package is better, you just want to make sure you understand everything that is included.

Choosing The Wedding Photographer That Is Right For You

At the end of the day, choosing your wedding photographer is about finding someone that is right for you two as a couple. I believe that you know by the end of your consultation whether or not you vibe with your photographer. Sometimes I think the endless options create a sense of the grass is greener on the other side and we can create decision paralysis. 

I recently had an incredible couple reach out to me from out of state. We had the BEST consultation. In our follow-up conversations, we both remarked how comfortable we felt and as if we were chatting with an old friend. I happened to be the first photographer they talked with and they didn’t want to make a decision right away because they wanted to talk to some other photographers just to be sure. I completely understood where they were coming from. I wanted them to feel confident in their decision. However, later that week I met with another incredible couple that had their wedding planned for the same date, and they wanted to book. 

Now I’m not saying you don’t take your time, you absolutely should, but if you have a popular wedding date ( In the Spring or Fall if you are getting married in Arizona), then don’t feel pressured to exhaust yourself searching if you find someone that ticks all the boxes early on in your search. 

Your Tucson Wedding Photographer

Finding the right photographer is both exciting and overwhelming. There are a lot of options out there, but it is so exciting when you connect with someone who is just as excited as you both are to celebrate with you on your big day! If you are planning your wedding in Tucson and are in need of a wedding photographer, I would love to see if we are a good fit! Please reach out through my website contact form HERE. I can’t wait to get to know you both! 

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I'm Melissa and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a fun space to get lost exploring recent weddings and sessions, to get inspired, and to get to know me better. Stay a while and say hello!

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