Discover Must-Know Advice from a Wedding Photographer

Find out what you need to know about hiring a wedding photographer.

We asked Stephen Karlisch of Karlisch Photography to share his tips with us on choosing the right photographer, as well as some additional things to keep in mind once you do hire one.

real wedding photo by tessa lyn events at bel air bay club wedding recessional bride and groom shaking hands
Photo: Laurie Bailey Photography

Bride and groom on dance floor wedding inspiration

Photo by Karlisch Photography; Planning & Design by DFW Events

Regardless of budget or wedding style, nearly every couple chooses to have a photographer capture the special moments of their wedding day. It's a commemorative celebration that only happens once, so even if you never hire a photographer again, you'll want to do so for your nuptials. It's also important to choose the right photographer since – as we mentioned – there's only one chance to get all of the images you need to fill your wedding album. Finding a professional who not only fits within your spending limit but also has the experience and expertise that allows you to trust them with this special occasion is of the utmost importance.

We asked Stephen Karlisch of Karlisch Photography to share his tips with us on choosing the right photographer, as well as some additional things to keep in mind once you do hire one. Even if you're not the most photogenic person, a great photographer will work with you to ensure you and your beloved will want to share your images with friends and family – and display them in your home – for years to come. Wedding photography is certainly an investment, so it's important to be confident in your choice. Read on below to discover expert advice!

Bride in front of church wedding southern karlisch photography

Photo by Karlisch Photography; Planning & Design by DFW Events

Read Stephen Karlisch of Karlisch Photography's Tips on...

...Choosing the Right Photographer 
First off, I think finding someone you are comfortable being in front of for your entire wedding – even in the most intimate moments – is crucial. You will see your photographer more than your groom on the wedding day, and having a good connection is key to being relaxed in front of the camera.

Their work should be the style you are looking for, but really seek out the truth in their images. Are they staged, from a workshop, and put together by a team of stylists and models in an epic location? Don't fall for fakes. Experience is a must. Find someone who is able to work in the type of setting your wedding will take place. For example, don't hire someone showing only outdoor weddings and portraits if your event is in January and in a ballroom – it's like hiring a sushi chef for a barbeque.

...Being More Photogenic on Your Wedding Day
Move as much as you can. Do not stand still! Sometimes I will just ask a couple to walk around the block while I shoot, capturing spontaneous moments – the types of moments that don't happen when you are standing still thinking about your hands, hair, etc. Act goofy, as much as possible.  It's not usually the shot of you making a funny face that is what the photographer is after, it's the moment after you let your guard down and relax.  Being natural isn't easy in front of the camera, so sometimes you have to do something to forget the camera is there.  

...Understanding the Deliverables
This one is huge for us. You might have met with three different photographers, all with similar packages, prices, etc., but make sure you read your contract to know exactly what is included. It's not fun when you realize after the wedding that something isn't included that another photographer you met with offered to you. We all have different deliverables, so check the bottom line before sending in your signed contract.

...Getting to Know Your Photographer
Tell them everything! Well, whatever is relevant to them knowing what is important to you. This could be a quick phone call or dinner together, but make them a part of this experience. The more involved I am in the process and understand 'why' you are getting married, the photos are remarkably better.

Discover more tips on choosing the right photographer, gather additional ways to be more photogenic on the wedding day, and find out what not to do during your "first look" – should you choose to have one.