Finding the Right Wedding Photographer for You, Part 3

After Robert and I researched photographer options and then reached out to our top contenders, we decided to interview two. We liked both, but in the end we went with Ariel Renae — a sample of her photos are above. Here’s why we chose her — these things may be worth keeping in mind when you select a photographer:

  1. She was really easy to talk to. In fact, Robert was joking around with her from the start, which is unusual when he first meets someone. And because Robert doesn’t like to have his photo taken, we liked the idea of someone who put him (and me) at ease. 
  2. She addressed our concerns. Robert and I  joke that he has one facial expression no matter the emotion. Ariel said not to worry, she had plenty of great photos of typically stoic people. I am the opposite. I have lots of crazy facial expressions — some of which I’m not too pleased to see captured in photos. Ariel told me that if she saw me doing some crazy facial thing, she would give me a (gentle) heads up.
  3. We were impressed with her eye. Both what she chose to photograph and her composition struck a chord with us. And she showed skill at portraits, candids and detail shots. It was important to us to hire a photographer who would capture all aspects of our wedding.
  4. We like her retouching policy. For example, if there’s a photo she submits in black and white and you’d prefer to have it in color, she’ll make that adjustment and other similar requests for up to 25 photos.
  5. She’s a fan of getting to know her clients before the wedding day. We had already selected her as our photographer when we came to Tennessee to scope out other vendors, so, at her suggestion, we met for coffee, just to chat and become more comfortable with each other. We felt this showed how serious she is about doing a good job.
  6. She’s willing to say “no.” This may sound like an odd one, but I was pleased to hear she doesn’t take on just any job simply for the money. She takes on couples when she feels everyone is in sync because that will produce better photos and a better experience for the couple.
  7. Her subjects look at ease in their photos. I didn’t see one person who looked like they had a smile frozen on their face — and I’d seen a lot of that in my hunt for a photographer.
  8. She takes lots of candid shots. Robert and I have a strong preference toward this. How wonderful it would be to look back on all these genuine moments from the wedding — many of which one might not even have known were happening at the time. Ariel takes plenty of shots of guests as well. Many of my just-married friends have lamented the lack of guest shots from their wedding, so I looked out for those in particular.
  9. She takes photos that aren’t part of the usual wedding photographer repertoire. She’ll take photos of the sky or of a piece of artwork in your venue. I like the idea that she’s always looking for a good photo, even if it’s not on her list of shots to get.
  10. Her photos tell a story. Because she’s taking these unusual shots, you really see how the day unfolds. We liked this wedding in particular — especially seeing how the day began so differently for the guys and the girls in the wedding party.

Also, we like Ariel, and we’re so happy to have her be part of our wedding!

Check out Right Wedding Photographer for You, Parts 1 and 2 as well, and find the right photographer for you here!

Photos by Ariel Renae Photography

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  1. Great article! never thought of these things before and your photog’s site is amazing! She completely changed my view of what a wedding shoot should look like!

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