How to choose a wedding photographer!

Shop Local!

I’ll be honest, I read a bunch of blogs that cover this exact topic. Most of the advice out there will encourage you to start with style, or budget, but I am going to encourage you to begin your photographer search by choosing local.

*Why local*
A local photographer will be your expert guide on the area, the best time of day to be photographing, where the light lands on the landscape, how busy popular locations might be, and even some hidden gem location you may have never seen before! Aside from all the obvious photography aspects, a local Banff Wedding photographer is also a wealth of knowledge when it comes to other local vendor recommendations!

Check out all the reasons you should hire a Local Canmore Wedding Photographer or a Local Banff Wedding Photographer!

*Finding a local*
So how do you find a true local wedding photographer?
As a local Banff Wedding Photographer and Canmore Wedding Photographer, I know that there are lots of local photographers to choose from! Every style and budget is available, you just need to know how to look! Typing in “Banff Wedding Photographer” or “Canmore Wedding Photographer” into google will bring up lots of options, but lets face it – google doesn’t always find you the “style” that you want! Some other options include doing hashtag searches on Instagram and keyword searches on Pinterest. By going this route you will find sample photos that speak to you and you can inquire to see more!
*Check for credentials* 
Banff and Canmore are such popular wedding locations that there will be a lot of photographers who want to photograph there to add to their portfolio – which is great! But it can also be deceiving as they might not be as knowledgable as the locals. You also run the risk of those photographers not being properly licensed or having the required permits. The town municipalities have started to crack down on un-licenced businesses and have been known to approach photographers during a shoot. The last thing you want is for your photographer to get fined or asked to stop shooting in the middle of your wedding day!!! Be sure to ask your photographer these important questions.

Choose your style

The best way for you to figure out your style of photographer is to spend time pouring over photographs and pay attention to those that you fall in love with! There are two aspects to style: 

The first is more obvious – the editing style! Light and Airy, Dark and Moody, Bold and Bright, True to Color – these are all the buzz words you might find splattered across a photographers website. Its important to pay attention to those that you seem to be drawn to! Its important that you absolutely love the way the photos are edited – you want the colours and aesthetic to appeal to you for years to come!

The second aspect to consider is a photographers shooting style: are they more photojournalistic? posed? formal? dramatic? creative? These are all important factors to pay attention to while exploring various photographer websites.

The most important part when making these considerations is that you understand that when hiring a wedding photographer you are hiring them for their style – both in the editing AND the way that they tell your wedding day story!

Set up some interviews!

You want to make sure your personalities mesh. Remember! You will have lots of contact with this individual for number of months, and they will be shadowing your every move throughout your wedding day. Not only do you want to get along, but you want to be in sync. This will make you feel far more comfortable, and that will reflect in your photographs!
The best way to get to know your photographer is by actually chatting with them over the phone, video chat, or even in person! This usually only takes 30-45minutes and gives you the opportunity to get to know each other personally and ask all your questions (like if they have their permits!)

Ask to view real sample galleries!

Don’t base your decision solely on what you see on a photographer’s website or social media. For good reason, photographers use their website to show prospective clients a portfolio of their best pictures, all from different weddings, so you’re seeing the best of the best. This doesn’t always mean you are experiencing well-rounded idea of their work. Ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings they’ve photographs so you can get a better idea of what your complete collection of photos might look like after the wedding. A good photographer will offer to do this without you asking!

If you see that the full gallery photos are just about as good as the ones chosen in the highlight gallery, then you’ve found a solid candidate. It’s best to ask to see at least one or two complete albums of weddings that are in similar settings to yours. For example, if you’re planning an indoor affair with dark lighting, don’t just look at weddings shot outdoors in natural sunlight. And if you’re planning to say “I do” on a mountaintop at sunset, you’ll want to see examples of that.

Get all the details upfront

Lastly, the formalities of hiring a photographer are imperative to ensure you get a quality photographer. Any professional will have a contract for you to sign. And they will want to make sure you are given an opportunity to review the contract in confidence. If a photographer doesn’t have a contract – steer clear! Contracts should be written to protect both you and the photographer. Most important clauses to pay attention to: the Delivery Schedule, the Cancellation policy and the Editing & Retouching limitations. It is standard to have questions about a contract so make sure you go over every detail thoroughly together!


That’s me, and my name is Emilia – the owner and operator of Magnifik Photography.

Authentic moments become treasured memories – for those who crave unscripted adventures. Just us, some amazing memories, and the photos to prove it!