What You Should Know Before Choosing an Elopement Photographer.
Eloping is an intimate and personal way to say “I do.” It allows engaged couples like YOU to focus on their love and commitment without the stress of a large wedding. Choosing the right elopement photographer is SO SO crucial for capturing these intimate fleeting moments that will feel personal to you. Here are ten essential things you should consider before choosing your elopement photographer.
1. Determine Your Elopement Location
Before choosing a photographer, decide on your elopement location or location options. Whether it’s a stunning mountain peak, a secluded beach, or a bustling city, your photographer should be familiar with the location’s unique challenges and opportunities. Whether you’re eloping somewhere local to your elopement photographer, or picking a destination location across the globe your elopement photographer should be prepared to do the research about lighting and great possible shoot locations. Each location offers new possibilities and challenges which is one of the best things about eloping. Find an elopement photographer that has galleries from multiple different locations so you can ensure that no matter where you’re eloping, they’ll take great care of you.
2. Style Matters
Different photographers have different styles. This can be broken up into two categories: shoot & posing style, and editing/post processing style. Explore various portfolios to find a photographer whose style aligns with your vision. Find out if you love the light and airy soft exposed editing style, warm and bright editing, more true to life colors with minimal editing at all, filmy vintage colored editing, or something else! Each photographer will have their own specific recipe for how to edit so you won’t have a short supply of options. While looking at the other category: shoot & posing style, some elopement photographers specialize in candid, less posed, natural shots, while others focus on artistic, posed images. While others are a mix of both.
3. Experience with Elopements
Elopements require a different approach than traditional weddings. Make sure your photographer has experience with elopements and understands the unique dynamics of small, intimate ceremonies. Planning an elopement timeline requires a completely different approach than weddings as well and should customized to the couple and their ideas for the day, with the photographer guiding them on the best shoot locations, and lighting during different times of day.
4. Ask for Referrals
Don’t hesitate to ask friends or family for referrals. Recommendations from people you trust can lead you to experienced and talented photographers. If the destination elopement photographer you wanted was booked for your date, ask them to send you elopement photographers with similar style that they can recommend!
5. Check Reviews and Testimonials
Online reviews and testimonials can provide valuable insights into a photographer’s reputation and the quality of their work. Look for consistently positive feedback. A few less than 5 star reviews are not all red flags though, especially if the photographer has responded with a comment to the situation. (Karens run wild on the internet!)
6. Pricing and Packages
Discuss pricing and package options upfront. Ensure you have a clear understanding of what is included and any potential additional costs. Most elopement photographers will have at least starting pricing on their website, but ask for a full pricing guide too! As well as getting any info on customized packages. Typically destination elopement photographers will have a plan for travel fees but its good to know everything up front and options for any a la carte things you may be interested in adding on. Get informed on their reschedule and cancelation policy as well.
7. Availability and Flexibility
Elopements are often less traditional and more spontaneous. Find a photographer who can accommodate your schedule and is willing to help plan a good date that works with your location ideas to ensure the best possible outcome for mitigating background crowds especially if you are considering tourist-y locations!
8. Legal Requirements
Depending on your location, you may need to ensure your photographer is aware of any legal requirements for marriage ceremonies. Many locations require a special permit to be attained to get married. This can take up to several months so make sure your photographer is educated and helping you planning ahead!
9. Communication Is Key
Your photographer should be an effective communicator. Responding to you in a timely manner is the bare minimum. Setting clear expectations in advance, and following up with you throughout the booking and planning process. If it takes them weeks to reply to an email, thats a red flag honey. Check past reviews for clients experience on how timely they were with communication and gallery delivery.
10. Post-Processing and Delivery
Inquire about the post-processing of your images and the expected delivery time. Knowing when to expect your elopement photos will ease your anticipation. Most professional elopement photographers will tell you a timeframe to expect the gallery, and then try to deliver it early. However, sometimes during busy season photographers will be delayed and thats totally normal.
By considering these ten crucial factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing an elopement photographer. Remember, your elopement photos will capture the essence of your intimate ceremony, so investing time and effort in finding the right photographer is well worth it.
11. BONUS— personality
Okay okay… while every other of the 10 points is important, I would say NONE of it matters if don’t like them as a person and your energy just doesn’t match. You’ll likely be with your elopement photographer for several hours on your elopement day aside from the phone calls and emails during the planning process. Not to mention having them be there as possibly your only witness to your ceremony. It is *crucial* to have a photographer you actually LIKE being around! Check their social media presence to get a feel for their personality. Instagram stories are amazing for getting to know someone virtually! & you can always schedule a pre-booking phone chat to meet them before deciding on moving forward.
I hope this helps you find the perfect elopement photographer for you!
NOW –If you’re looking for a FUN, communicative, and organized elopement photographer with a mix of effortless posed & candid shoot style packaged up in a vintage colored film inspired edit? I’m right here. Head to my contact page, I can’t wait to chat with you!
Finding the perfect elopement photographer takes careful consideration and research. Follow these steps to ensure that the person you choose can skillfully capture the beauty and emotion of your elopement, providing you with cherished memories for a lifetime.