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October 31, 2017

How to choose the best photographer for your wedding

Denver City Wedding


Welcome to the Melissa Brielle Photography insider! I am so happy you are here! You are all set to receive tips and tricks to look amazing in photos, and also free guides made by a real photographer (*cough*cough* ME!) to help you in your wedding nuptials! Be excited guys- these tips and guides you can not find anywhere else, and can make a huge difference on your wedding day!

Below you will find our exclusive guide to help you choose the very best photographer for your wedding! Enjoy!

How to choose the best photographer for your wedding day


There are numerous details to consider when choosing the right photographer for your wedding. The first important matter to settle is to decide what kind of photography style you would like to be applied on your special day. Do you want dark and moody? De-saturated colors? Bright and airy? Bold and vibrant? Heavily photoshopped? Or clean and classic? Perhaps a mixture of some? Do some research! Look at some perspective photographers portfolios and keep those descriptions in mind. Pay attention to what it is about the style of each photographers’ editing and determine what you like best.

Style can get much more in depth than just how a photographer edits and delivers images. Shooting style makes a huge difference as well when determining what you are attracted to. Do you like wedding portraits that are shot from a far distance to highlight the scenery? Or do you like portraits that are more up close, personal, and emotional? Pay attention to the emotions in the photographs as well. Do you imagine yourself in these photographs and do you like how the subjects feel? So ask yourself, does the photo you’re looking at have a sense of humor? Is it romantic? Is there a softness to it? Does it look crisp like a magazine image? The story a photographer tells is going to be your story through their eyes, so you want to make sure that they match up.


Lyons Farmette Wedding



After you have figured out what style of photography you are looking for, then it is time to narrow down some of your choices. The first step to narrowing down your options is to research their portfolio. Make sure you look at a sample gallery on their website from more than one wedding. Analyze the different types of scenarios this photographer has worked in- will this photographer’s skill set compliment your venue? Can they photograph in any type of weather, in direct sun, and/or at night? Do you like this photographer’s shooting style in each part of the wedding day from the getting ready details all the way through reception dances? In most cases you can find a larger portfolio on a photographers social media accounts. Make sure to check those out as well!

As you start looking through photographers’ portfolios, pay attention to the lighting quality in the pictures. Are they dark and moody? Bright and romantic? Each photographer has a certain style, and there will most likely be one that you mesh with better than others. You may also notice while you’re looking through portfolios that some photographers refer to themselves “natural light photographers” which just means that they only use whatever light is available, rather than using a flash or other lighting setups during the day. If you are getting married somewhere dark without a lot of windows, you will want to make sure that the photographer knows how to create light when it isn’t there. Every lighting situation is different for photographers, so make sure you’re looking at photos that have similar characteristics to your venue. An outdoor wedding in the middle of the day with bright sun requires a very different skill than a New Year’s Eve reception in a dark venue (Also, a hot tip: ask to see some reception shots, since many of us don’t include those in our portfolios). Because if you are having an art gallery reception with no light, you want to make sure we can handle it. If all the reception photos are a little blurry and have been converted to black and white, then low-light situations are probably not that photographer’s forte. If you see lots of backlighting and what appears to be bursts of light behind the dancing, it means that that photographer has the ability to create standalone lighting in situations where the light is nonexistent. After lighting, the next thing you want to look at in someone’s portfolio is composition. This basically means, how did they set up the photo? Even when photographers are capturing moments as they happen, we’re still looking for interesting ways to tell the story that are unique to our style.

Sonnenalp Vail


Another thing to look for during your wedding photographer search are reviews and other credibility cues. Pay attention to how long a photographer has been in business. Are there any reviews or client raves on any of his/her social media accounts?Flying Horse Ranch wedding

A little disclaimer on this one though because sometimes people are just poopie and write bad reviews on businesses they have never worked with before. Don’t discount someone if there is a less than perfect review here and there, but be sure to look into it and determine that for yourself!



Guys, this is important! MEET your photographer before hiring them. For most photographers, during wedding season it can be difficult to meet up with couples in person and instead offer a phone call or skype session. DO IT! If you can meet up, even better!

But really, make time for that phone call. And here is the reason why : your photographer is only person that is going to be with you. Every. Second. on your wedding day. Photography aside, this person is going to pretty much be a part of your bridal party. Your photographer is going to be there when you have your first look, when you say I DO, when you have to deal with the herd of cats this is your family for formal portraits, when you have your first dance. All of it. You have to genuinely like this person guys! It is so important that you like your photographer as a person, and how they make you feel simply just spending time and communicating with each other.

As a photographer myself I won’t allow anyone to hire me unless we have had a chance to either talk on the phone or meet in person. I like to have a connection with my couples so that they know it is a friend photographing their wedding, not a someone who is just there for a job. And might I add, my clients become personal friends of mine throughout this process too. So really that initial consultation is a friend interview ( don’t tell! haha)!



Want to meet with me!? Click here to fill out our contact form. I can’t wait to get to know you!


{ All photos copyright Melissa Brielle Photography}

  1. Mark Murphy

    December 5th, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I really appreciate your tip to tell your photographer if there is going to be a lack of light. My daughter is getting married in a couple of months, and she told me that she wants to have her wedding reception under the stars. I will be sure to tell her that if she does that, she will have to tell her photographer to warn them!

  2. mgabriel

    December 5th, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Oh yes that makes such a big difference! Glad I can help!

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