How to Make Your Minnesota Wedding a Breeze
When it comes to your wedding day, finding the perfect photographer is essential. Your photos are the only thing you truly get to keep from your wedding day. A skilled Minnesota wedding photographer will capture all of the little moments, and the big ones, to give you a gallery full of photos to bring you right back to the moments years, even decades, later. In this comprehensive Minnesota wedding photographer guide, I’ll walk you through the process of choosing the best wedding photographer in Minneapolis, MN, for YOU, so your day and your photographs are truly perfect.
Understanding the Importance of a Minnesota Wedding Photographer on Your Day
Our main goal as your wedding photographer is to give you jaw-droppingly beautiful photos. Photographs that make you tear up when you relive all of those emotions years later. Photographs that make you feel like a hundred million bucks.
Our job is to help your day run smoothly (with the help of your wedding planner or coordinator!) and make sure that you are happy and thriving all day long. I always say that my images are only beautiful because the moments were beautiful. I can spot a fake smile from a mile away. You probably can, too. And that’s the last thing you want to see on the cover of your wedding album, right? So choose a wedding photographer here in Minnesota who you trust to keep things light, keep you in the moment and who will help make those beautiful moments and images of your best day ever.
Qualities to Look for in a Minnesota Wedding Photographer
Experience: Wedding photography is absolutely a place where you get what you pay for. Yes, there are a ton of incredible Minnesota wedding photographers out in the world. And yes, a lot of them charge what many would consider “cheap” prices. I would never shame a photographer for just starting out (Hi, been there!) but I would caution couples who want high-quality wedding photographs to put a decent chunk of their budget into hiring a photographer.
Here in Minnesota, those of us with years of experience and dozens or hundreds of weddings under our belts have seen it all. Like I said, there’s a ton of great photographers out there, but shooting a wedding is SO much more than a pretty photoshoot. We are creating and managing a timeline, watching weather forecasts and planning all kinds of backups, keeping all of your people happy and on task. We are scouting locations, working all kinds of crazy lighting situations and working as journalists capturing the story that is your wedding day. And while budgeting for your wedding is no joke, I can’t recommend enough hiring someone with experience and spending a little more in order to have the best experience possible.
Style & Vision: When you think about what you want in a wedding album, try to answer the following questions:
- Are you hoping for more of the candid moments or lots of editorial-looking (think: magazine lookalike) images?
- Are you drawn to bright, white photos? Or more true-to-life images with color? Or a more dark, moody photo with lots of dark blacks?
- How comfortable are you on camera? Have you had professional photos taken before and feel good in photos or are you feeling nervous about having your photo taken and need a little help getting comfy?
- What’s most important to you: photos that tell the story of your wedding day, beautiful images of you and your future spouse, or a solid mix of both?
Write your answers down and then tell all of the photographers you interview (yes, you should interview them!) what you said. Make sure they are prepared and comfortable, or better yet excited, to work with you based on that information. This will help you narrow in on your style if you haven’t yet and ensure the photographer you choose is on the same page and fully understands the assignment.
Reviews and Testimonials: One more place where you can vet Minnesota wedding photographers is to look through their reviews. Whether you’re looking on Facebook, Google, The Knot, each photographer’s website, etc. look at the words those former clients use. Do those align with how you want to feel? Do they touch on the same concerns or requirements you have? One great example is that if you are not super comfortable in front of the camera, see if any of those photograph’s other clients have said things like:
- “We are so awkward and X made us feel so comfortable!”
- “We’re not photogenic, but our photos came back so beautiful”
- “I loved working with X, he/she made us feel so comfortable on camera and we do not like having our photos taken!”
If that’s you, consider reviews like these green flags.
Finding the Perfect Minnesota Wedding Photographer & Collection
Doing Your Research: This is where things can feel so overwhelming, and I get it! You’ve read it here, there are SO many great Minnesota wedding photographers out there. Here’s where I’d start my search:
- Search on Google for wedding photographers in your area and start clicking through. Yes, this can feel a little overwhelming but if you’re in Minneapolis, starting with “Minneapolis wedding photographer” in Google and clicking through a few pages of results will help you narrow down the style you want even further and give you some leads to reach out to!
- Instagram can also be a great tool. Search with hashtags, like #minnesotaweddingphotographer #minneapolisweddingphotographer or #twincitiesweddingphotographer to start looking through the top images or recent ones.
- Listen to your friends and family. One of the best ways to find a photographer who does good work AND creates a great experience is by talking to the people you know who have gotten married and loved their choice.
The Interview: Now that you’ve narrowed in on your wedding photography style and started to research your local options, it’s time to interview your Minnesota photographer options. This is where you can ask all the questions you have, let your photographer tell you why they would be a good fit and learn about the collections options and cost. I’ve created lists of great questions to as your wedding photographer to help, too.
Make Sure You Click: Your photographer is going to be the person you see more than almost anyone else on your wedding day. Make sure you actually kind of like them. Again, this dynamic can mean a super fun, laid-back wedding day or a stressful one if your personalities clash. As a Minnesota wedding photographer, I always feel like I do my best work when my clients feel like friends. Choose a photographer whose work you love, who has the experience you can trust to do the job well AND who you could have a great time getting a drink with. Do all of that and you are pretty much guaranteed to have a great experience on the big day.
Backups on Backups: Be sure to ask your photographers how they keep your images safe until it’s time to deliver your photos. It’s not a fun thing to think about, but what would happen if your photographer’s laptop was stolen, their hard drive crashed (it happens!) or one of their memory cards is corrupted? This is where experience comes in handy, too! Hiring a solid, professional often means they have a solid backup protocol to put your mind at ease. If a Minnesota wedding photographer doesn’t have at least two places they are storing your images, you’re putting yourself at risk of your images disappearing – and no one wants that.
Contracts to Protect You Both: Contracts are often thought of as an agreement protecting the service provider, in this case, the wedding photographer. But they protect you, too! I’ve seen it all in wedding photography groups from brides and grooms whose photographer or hair stylist or whoever cancels on them last minute. They’re left in the lurch and completely scrambled just weeks or days before their wedding date. Having a solid contract avoids that, and sets up a system should your photographer be unavailable for illness, injury, etc. The contract should outline the day(s) you’ll receive photography services, what happens in case of emergency, when you should get back your final images, all items you should receive and lots of other protections that keep everyone on the same page. Whatever you do, make sure you have a contractual agreement with any photographer (or other wedding vendor!) you hire.
Setting Yourself, and Your Photographer Up For Success
Engagement Shoots: Many photographers include an engagement session in their wedding collections. And it’s for good reason. Your engagement photos make great save the dates, help fill out wedding websites and are a great way to fill up your walls with gorgeous photos with your future spouse. But I’ll let you in on a secret –that’s not why we offer them. We offer them to get a chance to work together, feel out what works best and help YOU feel more comfortable with what the photography process will be like on your wedding day. Even if you don’t plan to use engagement photos as a part of your wedding stationery, this is a great opportunity to trial-run your Minnesota wedding photography experience.
Trusting Your Professionals: You hired your photographer for a reason, so trust them to know what and how to shoot your day. While it can be extremely helpful to talk through what you value most, any specific images you’re hoping for and let them know of any events/ceremonies/moments you want captured, creating a length shot list and prescribing all aspects of how you think a photographer should do their job can stifle your vendors creativity. If you’ve hired a professional who’s work you love, trust them to do their job as your wedding photographer.
Connecting Your Vendors: At the end of the day, your wedding vendors should work as a team. And the sooner you can help them connect the dots, the better they’ll work together. I’m specifically talking about your wedding photographer, videographer, planner/coordinator and venue. These are the people who will have the biggest impact on your experience. Help them help you by connecting them early.
Have other questions about selecting a wedding photographer? Leave a comment or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to help!