Tips for Choosing an Elopement Photographer

Elopement Photographer photos in the Dolomite mountains

Finding the right photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make when planning your intimate wedding or elopement. While it’s true that there are a lot of photographers out there, only one will be with you on your wedding day so it’s important to take your time choosing the best elopement photographer for you! 

Make Sure Your Elopement Photographer Has Real Elopement Experience

Are they a professional photographer?

One of the most important things to check when choosing an elopement photographer is that they are a legitimate business. You don’t just want to find someone who knows how to “take photos.” You want someone who takes elopement photography seriously and has invested time and money into their business.

Some things you can look for are:

  • Is their business registered as a sole proprietor or LLC?
  • Do they have a business website?
  • Do they require you to sign a contract before providing any services?
  • Have they invested in the proper gears?

Hiring someone who has invested their time and resources into not just learning the art of photography but also setting up their business properly will help protect everyone. The best way to vet whether or not someone is a professional is to do your research. Review their social media pages, and browse their website. Read their Google reviews from past clients to hear what people are actually saying about their experiences.

Do they have industry experience?

Another important thing to consider is how much industry experience a photographer has. Elopement photography is very different from newborn photography or family photography. Even though you may know or find a professional photographer, finding one with the right type of industry experience is so important.

Elopement photography is a skill. Every wedding or elopement I shoot, I am constantly learning something new, whether it’s exploring a new area, shooting in different weather or lighting situations, or just meeting new people.

You want a photographer who is experienced in many different situations so asking questions like “How long have you been in business?” or “How many weddings/elopements have you photographed?” or “Do you have experience photographing in our venue/location?” are all great places to start to get to know your photographer!

Hiring someone who knows how to take great photos AND engage with clients will help ensure you have a more positive wedding day experience. 

Make Sure Their Values Align with Yours

What do they stand for?

Having a photographer that aligns with your personal values is key to helping you feel more comfortable and relaxed on your elopement day. You want to trust that your photographer will be there for you and have your best interests at heart no matter what! A few key things to look for are: 

  • Are they inclusive / LGBTQfriendly? – The best way to tell if a photographer is inclusive in their photography is to look at their website and social media. How do they portray their images? Do they regularly share inclusive images in an authentic way?
  • Are they familiar with photographing different cultural wedding traditions? – If including cultural wedding traditions is important to you, then you will want to find an elopement photographer who will respect your traditions and take photos of all the important moments and details. It’s ok to ask your photographer “How familiar are you with shooting cultural weddings?”
  • Do they practice Leave No Trace?Leave No Trace is a set of principles that focuses on leaving the environment better than you found it. I practice these principles with all my elopement couples as I believe protecting the environment is one of the most important things we can do to ensure these beautiful places stay available for people to enjoy.
Elopement Photographer photos on Isle of Skye

Review their Portfolio

One of the easiest ways to decide whether or not an elopement photographer is right for you is to review their photos. Do their photos speak to you? Is there an aspect of their art that you particularly love? Once you know what photos are important to you, you can start finding and narrowing down your list to find a photographer who will capture exactly what you are looking for.

Instagram or Social Media

Oftentimes, the first place people go to look at photos is Instagram or social media. Instagram will give you a feel for an elopement photographer’s overall style and aesthetic. While this is a great place to start, it’s not the only place you should look. 

The number of photos a person can share on Instagram is limited to 10 photos, so you will only get to see a few key photos from the day. An elopement day may include 10 hours of coverage so there is no way you would be able to get the full picture of the day in just a few photos. Instagram is a good place to start, but it won’t show you everything, so make sure it isn’t the only place you look when deciding whether or not an elopement photographer is right for you.

Portfolio Blog Posts

The next place to look to get an idea of your elopement photographer’s style is on their website. Blog posts are a great place to get a more full picture of what an elopement day could look like. Typically, blog posts contain 30-60 images from the wedding day from start to finish. By reading multiple blog posts, you should be able to get a sense of what kinds of photos the photographer likes to share. Do they have a lot of detail shots or a lot of photos of the couple? Whatever photos are important to you, make sure that your photographer showcases those. 

Full Galleries

The best way to get an idea of what types of photos you might receive is to view full galleries from real weddings. It’s definitely worth asking your photographer if they can share a few galleries of real weddings with you prior to booking. 

Your elopement photos are not just memories of your day, they also tell your love story. Finding the right photographer is more than just finding someone who will show up and take photos on your wedding day. Your experience begins the moment you inquire with someone. Choosing a photographer for your wedding day is a big decision, but we hope these tips will help you as you find the best elopement photographer for you!

Henry Tieu & Sergio - Elopement Photographers

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