Top engagement photographers near me

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Allie B Photography
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Allie B Photography offers Engagement Photography, Event Photography, Headshot Photography, Portrait Photography, and Wedding Photography. Joined as a ZipBooks P…

Engagement Phot… Event Photograp… Headshot Photog… Portrait Photog… + 1

Planning weddings can be an exciting but challenging task. There are so many elements and options to consider to make your most important day perfect! One of the most impactful choices you will have to make is who is going to be your engagement photographer.

You will look back at your engagement photos in the years to come, and one or some of the photos will be on the invitation that all of your friends and family will be looking at! So you want your photos to represent you and your significant other well, make people want to go to your wedding, and stand the test of time.

Look in the Right Place

So how do you go about finding your perfect engagement photographer? First, narrow down the photographers out there to the ones that are near you or near where you want your engagement photographs taken.

With ZipBook Pros, you can easily find engagement photographers near you. On the home page, just type engagement photography” or “engagement photographer” into the search engine that appears on the home page. Then you can type in the zip code of where you want to find the photographer. A list of engagement photographers near you will appear. Just click on the ones that you want to check out, and their location, contact information, and reviews will appear.

Other than ZipBooks Pros, there are several excellent online sources that can help you to limit your searches to find engagement photographers that meet your specific proximities.

WeddingWire: WeddingWire is an extensive site that provides a wide variety of vendors for wedding service, including flowers, catering, flowers, and photography. With WeddingWire, you can organize and find all of the components for your wedding.

  • Pros: With WeddingWire, you can customize your search by area code, distance range, availability, price range, photography style, photography services, and the formats of the photos. On the selected photographer’s page, you can view a handful of photographs, read the photographer’s bio, look at reviews, and directly message the photographer.
  • Cons: Even though being an extensive platform has its pluses, it also has its minuses. It is easy for anyone to post their wedding services on Weddingwire, so you need to really vet potential photographers. Anyone can write reviews, including the photographers themselves. Weddingwire also gives out awards to photographers, such as “Couple’s Choice Award.” However, these awards are easily handed out, and that awarded photographer may not be the best fit for you. So always be thorough in investigating when you are selecting a photographer!

SmartShoot: SmartShoot is an online search engine for specifically finding videographers and photographers. People can search for what they are looking for by videographer or photographer type and by area code.

  • Pros: It is a great that this site is specifically narrowed to photography, that way you don’t have to filter through other wedding details. Once you find a photographer that you want to hire, all of the logistical matters—such as payment, scheduling, and packaging—are taken care of directly through SmartShoot.
  • Cons: SmartShoot is a smaller service compared to larger sites such as WeddingWire. So when you are looking for photographers, you won’t have as large of a network to explore. And like many other sites, make sure that you select a reliable photographer since you might run into scammers on occasion.

Mywedding: Mywedding is a wedding planning site that allows you to create your own personalized site for organizing your wedding. You can browse through several items and services to customize your wedding and look for vendors, such as engagement photographers.

  • Pros: Like many other sites, with Mywedding, you can filter searches to location and other specifics. One unique feature allows you to search for photographers according to the languages that they speak. If you or your significant other need your photographer to speak a specific language, then this could really help! You can also look at the search results either in a list or map format, so you can find local photographers through the method that works best for you.
  • Cons: Mywedding isn’t quite as user-friendly as some other platforms. For instance, not all of the immediate results have a featured image. This makes it difficult to quickly see if a photographer has a style that you like or not. To be able to see photographers that have a featured image, you have to manually filter the search by images.

Determining Your Price Range

Since many of the search features for sites allow you to search by price range, it is important to know how much you are willing to spend on photographer before you start searching. It can be a big waste of your time if you look at photographers that you can’t afford. And with wedding planning, time is precious.

Engagement shoots generally cost anywhere from $150 to $500. It all depends on the photographer’s level of experience and other factors such as time, locations, the market you live in, and photo packages.

Flat Rate Packages

Most commonly, engagement photographers charge by a flat rate. The pricing for these packages takes into consideration the length of the photo shoot; whether there will be clothing or location changes during the shoot; how many photos the photographer will take; the amount of final, edited images; and the format of the photos—whether physical or digital.

When you are considering packaging prices, be sure to carefully read all the details of what the packages entail and if they meet your requirements. For example, if you are wanting a two-hour photo shoot, but the package only includes one-hour, then the photographer will most likely charge you extra if you want a longer shoot.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate

Don’t be afraid to negotiate with a photographer. Remember, your wedding is all about you and your significant other, and you shouldn’t have to cut yourself short!

When you negotiate, there might be some parts of the package that you feel like are unnecessary. So if you tell the photographer that you don’t need all those perks, then you might get yourself a better deal.

For instance, a large part of the money that goes into packages consists of the time that the photographer spends editing the final photos. Maybe you are someone who likes simplicity. Then you might not need as many final prints as the photographer initially offers, and then you could potentially get a lower price.

Wedding Photo Packages

Some photo packages might also include wedding photography. If you feel confident about your engagement photographer before the shoot, then you might want to consider hiring the same photographer for your wedding.

Paying for a combo package could end up being cheaper than hiring separate engagement and wedding photographers. Plus, it will also save you a lot of time by getting the logistics for your photos figured out all at once.

Portfolio Check

Now that you have an idea of what your price range is and where you are going to look for an engagement photographer, here comes the fun part—actually picking your photographer!

Even though you have already done some things to help narrow down your searches, you still might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of photographers to choose from.

When you are looking through a photographer’s portfolio, it is important to know what you want and what elements constitute a good photographer. Here are some key attributes to keep in mind when viewing a photographer’s work.

Photography Styles

You have your own unique style, so make sure that your engagement photos represent you! Photographers also have their own style of photography. When viewing a photographer’s portfolio, identifying if his or her style matches your own is the first step for knowing if the photographer is the right one for you.

Some sites for finding photographers will allow you to narrow your searches based on the photography style. Here is an overview of what some of those styles might be:

  • Traditional: A traditional style is pretty straightforward and safe. The poses, camera angles, lighting, and locations are fairly conservative. The pictures will most likely be straight-on shots of you and your significant other looking at the camera. If your style is classic and simple, this might be the route to go. But if you prefer something more artistic, you might want to go with a different style.
  • Candid: Maybe you’re not a fan of posing for a camera. Then going for a candid style can be a valuable option. The photographer can capture moments of you and your fiancé just interacting with one another and being yourselves. These types of pictures involve movement, lots of facial expression, and they might not be straight on shots.
  • Natural: A natural style, like it sounds, typically involves nature. These pictures will most likely be taken outdoors. Photographers skilled with this style know how to work with natural lighting, varying weather conditions, and can maintain a natural look with the post-editing.
  • Artistic: Perhaps you don’t want the photo on your wedding invitation to look like “just another engagement photo.” You want your photos to be unique. An artistic style will definitely help you stand out. This style can include non-traditional poses, interesting lighting and colors, unique angles, and a greater focus on photo editing.
  • Vintage: If you like old-fashioned things, then you might consider doing vintage-style photos. For these photos, location plays a huge part. Maybe the photos will be in an old, classy city building or a boardwalk by the beach. The photographer will also know how to incorporate props, such as a vintage camera or a parasol, to help give the photos that vintage look. Some photos can be in black-and-white, or the photographer might use filters to make the photos look old.
  • It’s great if you find a photographer who is an expert in the style that you want, but one sign of a good engagement photographer is that they are versatile. If you find photographers with portfolios that include a variety of styles, then they are more likely to cater their style to your vision of what you want.

    A versatile photographer has samples of photos in different locations, with diverse kinds of couples, and with a wide range of poses. Though George Street Photo and Video’s portfolio includes photos from multiple photographers, it is a good example of providing diverse options.

    You and your significant other make a special couple, so be sure to find a photographer that is flexible and can capture your uniqueness!

    Photography Techniques

    It’s okay if you’re not an expert on photography techniques. That’s why you are hiring a photographer—so that they can use certain techniques to make you look good, right? But if you have a general eye for what elements make a good or bad photo, then the elimination process of photographers will be much easier.

    Lighting

    Bad lighting can include having the same lighting throughout the image. This attribute of having total illumination can make the image look flat or boring. And you don’t want that. Also, if a photo has shadows in weird places, like on your face, then the photographer probably has room for improvement.

    But a good photographer will use light to his or her advantage to make the photograph pop! It’s okay if a photo has shadows, but if they are used in the appropriate place. For example, if a photo is taken at sunset, shadows can form a cool silhouette of the couple. Good lighting will also create a focus on the couple and not wash them out.

    Focus

    Of course, for engagement photos, you want the focus to be on you as a couple! So how the photographer uses focus can either make or break your engagement photos. If there is a lack of focus and the image is blurry, then you, as the subject, won’t stand out. But if there is too much focus and sharpness, then there might be some exposure to unwanted details.

    A good photographer will find the right balance of focus to help you look your best.

    Depth of field is one technique that photographers can use to create good focus. Depth of field is capturing the distance between the nearest and farthest subject to emphasize one subject and blur out the others. This technique, when used properly, can make you and your fiancé stand out against the background.

    One rule that every photographer should know is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is being able to divide an image into three equal sections, both vertically and horizontally. Key parts of the image should generally be able to fit into these grid lines. Following the rule of thirds helps to establish focus, balance, and a natural line of site for the viewer. So when you are looking at photographer’s engagement photos, test out the rule of thirds on the images!

    Positioning

    We talked a little bit about how a good photographer can come up with a variety of poses for the couple, but it is also key for these poses to be natural and not distracting. When you are doing the photo shoot, you want to be comfortable. Some people enjoy being in the limelight more than others, but how you are positioned for the photos can either help you to relax or can make you feel awkward.

    In you photos, you want to be yourself! So while you are scrolling through a photographer’s sample photos, ask yourself, “Are those poses that I would naturally make?” or “do those poses look forced?” Answering these questions can help you know if the photographer is the right one for you or not.

    But even if some poses might feel natural for you, it’s also important to consider how the poses will look to other people. Maybe you can’t really see the couple’s faces or there are too many distracting things going on with the arms. So along with having creative and natural poses, be sure to think about what others when your photo is posted on their refrigerator.

    Editing

    One last point to consider regarding photography techniques is post-editing. Though a good photographer shouldn’t have to do a ton of editing, the editing that they do make should contribute to the quality of the photo and not be distracting.

    In a photo, you want to look your best, but you still want to be “you.” It’s probably alright if the photographer whitens your teeth a little or touches up on blotchy parts of your skin. But you don’t want to have unnaturally bright teeth or have your skin be two shades darker or lighter than normal. A photographer who knows how to edit well will make your photos look beautiful without causing people to say, “those photos were obviously edited.”

    After a photo is taken, the photographer might also need to do some cropping. The photographer should have good judgment of when there are unnecessary things in the background of the image that can be taken out to bring a greater focus to the subject. However, where the image is cropped should be a natural placement that doesn’t make it look like it was chopped up.

    Communication is Key

    Even if a photographer has all of the skills that we’ve mentioned, none of them matter if the photographer doesn’t have good people skills.

    Preparing for weddings can be very exciting but also overwhelming at times. So you don’t need an engagement photographer who will frustrate you because he or she doesn’t communicate well. Having a photographer that is on top of things, gets back to you quickly, is enjoyable to be around, and gives kind and clear instructions will help your engagement photography experience not be stressful but fun.

    Contacting

    Right from the beginning, you can tell if the photographer communicates well or not. If you reach out to a photographer, say either through email or phone, and he or she gets back to you right away, then the photographer is off to a good start! You can tell that the photographer is truly interested in you as a client and will most likely be reliable. But if a photographer takes a long time to get back to you, then you probably won’t want to waste your time waiting around on him or her, and you can move onto someone else.

    In-person Meeting

    Before you decide on a photographer, it’s a great idea to meet him or her in person. You will have to spend a bit of time with the photographer later, so it is better to find out beforehand if you like the photographer as a person and if your personalities get along well. Typically, a photographer who is good with people is outgoing in order to guide you through the photo shoot and make it fun—but not so outgoing that he or she is over-the-top and makes you feel uncomfortable.

    In this meeting, you can also review all the details—how much everything will cost, confirm the photo shoot date and timeline, etc. Before you sign anything, be sure that the photographer and his or her services match the description and that he or she is aware of your expectations.

    If you get to know the photographer before the shoot, you are more likely to have fun and be comfortable for your engagement photos.

    Once you have determined where you want to look for an engagement photographer, what your price range is, evaluated photographers’ portfolios, and ensured that the selected photographer is a good communicator, you have probably found your perfect photographer!

    Now just relax, smile, have fun, and remember that you will look back on your engagement photos in the many years to come!

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