finding a wedding photographer

Finding a Wedding Photographer: A Simple Method to Narrow Your Search

January is one of the most predictable months of the year in wedding photography. Following a December engagement, a couple will wake up in the new year to realise that they have a wedding to plan. After deciding on the date and location, they will proceed to the other big-ticket items, such as finding a wedding photographer.

Finding a wedding photographer that’s right for you is no simple task, and you should consider many variables before narrowing your options. Here’s what to consider when searching for a Toronto wedding photographer:

  • availability
  • photographic style
  • experience
  • client reviews
  • the consistency of quality
  • products and services offered
  • price
  • and, for some couples, having good chemistry with the photographer

Unless you’re a professional wedding planner or exactly know what you want, finding a wedding photographer without relying on word of mouth recommendations can be overwhelming.

Finding a wedding photographer is time-consuming

Finding a wedding photographer is a stressful experience because adequately considering the above criteria for every candidate is tedious work and requires lots of time. Being presented with a vast number of possibilities that you must review in a sequential order makes the initial few steps the least productive part. Here’s a simplified example of the process:

  1. Search for wedding photographers in your area (online, directories, blogs, etc.)
  2. Visit a wedding photographer’s website
  3. Review their portfolio. Do you like what you see? If yes, proceed to the next step. If no, return to step one.
  4. Review all available information, such as services offered, pricing, and FAQ Do you like what you see? If yes, proceed to the next step. If no, return to step one.
  5. Contact the wedding photographer to see if they’re available for your wedding day. If they are, proceed to the next step. If they’re not, return to step one.
  6. Arrange a meeting with the photographer.
finding wedding photographers
The web search results only show four pictures (in blue). The rest is ads, local, and organic results, none of which show you images before you visit their websites.

I’ll stop right there because the process tends to get muddy as you move towards an organic back and forth with the wedding photographers under serious consideration. At this point, you should be participating in conversations with a handful of candidates and examining their work very carefully. (I’ll discuss the most important element you should consider before hiring a wedding photographer in the following article.) For the time being, let’s consider why this type of process is not an efficient use of your time. While the above process is simple enough, there’s great potential for improving the efficiency of steps one to three. Since the process is inherently sequential, you’re limited to reviewing photographers one by one in the sequence that you visit their websites. Such a process involves a lot of clicking, loading, and reviewing the websites and portfolios of photographers who may not necessarily meet your strict criteria for quality, style, and personal preference;  and that’s before you consider any other parts of the hiring equation. The first three steps of your journey to finding a wedding photographer would be much easier and cause fewer headaches if you maximise the amount of information you could review in parallel—that is, all at once.

How to quickly narrow your search for the right wedding photographer

The most novel method for quickly and efficiently finding wedding photographers whose work speaks to you is to use Google Images. A couple I met several years ago introduced me to this technique during our introductory meeting. They were the first client to hire me after finding me exclusively via my website—not through word of mouth—so I was naturally curious about their process.

The technique is just as you would imagine it: type in your typical wedding photography search phrase, allow the results to load, and from the horizontal menu at the top left select ‘Images’ instead of the default ‘All’. Google will present you a single continuously scrolling page containing a grid of images matching your keywords. By implementing this simple technique, you will be shown a birdseye view of wedding photographs.

Unlike the regular Google search results, you’ll see more than ten results per page and—bonus—there will be no ads to distract you. Depending on the size of your computer’s display, you can see anywhere from twenty or more photos, and since it’s infinitely scrolling, there’s nothing to click to interrupt your workflow. To see the source web address for individual images, just move your cursor over the thumbnails. Click on an image to load a larger version—all without leaving the results page. It’s fun, quick, and so easy that even your grandma can do it!

Why this method saves you time

finding wedding photographers
A birdseye view of wedding photography allows you to compare many photographers, anonymously, in parallel.

Using this technique for starting your search for a wedding photographer saves you time by immediately exposing you to an extensive variety of work by photographers in your area. When an image captures your attention and appeals to your artistic sensibilities, just position your cursor over the thumbnail to reveal the source website. If the pictures that catch your eye are consistently authored by a small group of wedding photographers, go ahead and visit their websites to get a better sense of their work and style. Using Google Images for finding wedding photographers will save you time and hassle by ensuring you’re not visiting dozens of websites in vain.

Pro tip: try using search phrases that are specific your location or the style of wedding photography you are seeking. The bottom of the regular Google results page can provide you with some examples of alternative search phrases related to wedding photography.

TL;DR: The benefits of using Google Images for finding wedding photographers

Quick, efficient, and to the point!

  • A birdseye view of the results that matter: photos!
  • No time wasted clicking through pages of text search results.
  • Avoid wasting time visiting websites to discover that their images don’t meet your expectations.

Greater variety of results

  • The infinitely scrolling results page allows you to see a larger variety of work than the typical ten-results web search page.
  • Compare wedding photographers on an equal footing by judging them by the calibre of their pictures, not the order in which they appear on the results page or the name of their brand.
  • There’s no mental hurdle to scrolling down a grid of images, unlike with clicking to 2nd or 3rd page of the typical search results.
  • Find wedding photographers that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered because their websites aren’t as professionally optimized for search engines.

I hope you find this advice useful in your quest to find a wedding photographer. This article is the first part of a two-part series about how to search for and choose the best wedding photographer for your wedding. In the next article, I will reveal the single most effective method of choosing the wedding photographer to hire.


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