I’m going to jump out on a limb here and assume that when you go to Starbucks, your order is pretty specific. You know what you want. Whether it’s a grande cinnamon dolce latte, no whip with skim milk or a venti caramel macchiatto (that’s me!), you probably don’t walk in and just ask for a coffee. And if you do, the barista likely looks at you like you have three heads, because 1. who does that? and 2. who does that at Starbucks? Can I get an amen??
Now, if you were ordering a drink for a friend with no knowledge of what they prefer, you would probably just order them a grande coffee – maybe iced, maybe not. And you’d probably ask your barista to leave room for cream and sugar, because you just never know. Coffee may not be their Starbucks beverage of choice, but more than likely it will get the job done.
For those of you wondering why on earth I’m discussing Starbucks orders, stick with me here. I actually do have a point. The point, my friends, is this: I want to be your macchiatto. I want to be your grande iced, sugar free, vanilla latte with soy milk. Does everyone like me? Does everyone like my style? No. But you do. And that’s what matters. I’m not crowd-pleasing coffee for a reason. I’m made specifically for you.
Choosing a photographer, whether it be your wedding photographer or a newborn photographer, can be overwhelming. The options run the gamut. In a world of coffees, lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos, you need to find your latte. How can you do that?
Your first order of business is to look at their pictures. You probably knew that though. Think about whether or not this photographer’s style aligns with yours. Are you a dark and moody person or bright and happy? Do you prefer super posed pictures or more candid, genuine interactions? Scour their portfolio and blog and see if their style is what you’re looking for.
Next? READ REVIEWS. Hearing about someone’s firsthand experience with a photographer is so incredibly valuable. If a decent amount of people loved working with him or her, chances are you will too. Read about what it was specifically that they liked or didn’t like. If those things that they loved are important to you, then this may be a good sign that you’re on the right track. If you don’t know where to start, sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire are great places to do this for wedding photographers.
Your next order of business is to research their social media activity. Yes, I’m encouraging social stalking here, people. Look at their Instagram page and their Facebook page. Look at their blog. What kinds of things are they discussing? Do your values align with theirs? Do you have any overlapping interests? This may not seem important, but it is, you guys. Especially when choosing a wedding photographer.
This is someone who you’re going to spend more time with than just the 8-10 hours of your wedding day. This is someone who is going to witness some of the most sacred and intimate moments of your wedding day. If you’re looking for someone to shoot a lifestyle newborn session for you, then this photographer is someone who you may be inviting into your home. It’s someone who is going to interact with your children. This is someone who you need to feel comfortable with.
Now, if you’ve determined that this person might be your latte, you’re obviously going to want to contact them to make that final call. Whether it be via email, phone or an in-person meeting, get a feel for the kind of person your potential photographer is. We can learn so much about a person by seeing how they interact with us and other people, so this can be an extremely telling step! If you feel like you really jive with this person, and you feel like they are really invested in you and your photos, then you may have found your latte. If not, and this is maybe a frappuccino or an iced coffee, start back at square one and repeat.
It’s not the easiest process, but finding your latte, your machiatto, your frappucino or your venti no whip white chocolate mocha with skim milk will be well worth swimming through that sea of coffees for. We’re all uniquely made, so there’s no one size fits all recipe. There’s no one photographer for every person out there. That’s the beauty of it, though. Finding that person who understands you so well, who shares your values, your interests, finding the person who totally nails the type of photos you want and the person who understands just what you want on your wedding day… well, when you find that person you’ll see that working with them is a lot like ordering your go-to drink at Starbucks – easy, enjoyable and oh so much fun.