How To Choose The Right Wedding Photographer For You

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Your wedding is the start of your story together!

Let me guess how you are feeling right now….excited beyond a doubt, but swinging like a pendulum between overwhelm and inspired. When it comes to wedding planning, you open up google, type in your inquiry and all of a sudden, you realize that in order to navigate the thousands of wedding vendors, you are going to need wine, a delectable amount of cheesy goodness, maybe some ice cream thrown in there, and (if you’re like me) some puppy cuddles on the couch. I mean, where do you even start to decide which photographer to hire??!!

I know, I have sooooo been where you are girly!

So let me help make some things simple (and quick because let’s be honest, we all need to get back to watching Gilmore Girl reruns on Netflix) and let you know, how to instantly tell who the right wedding photographer is for you!

If you have looked at hundreds of wedding images and wondered, who do I want to encapture my special day, fret not! Here, I will help you:

  • discover your photography style
  • find a personality that matches your own, so you feel comfortable in front of the camera (and with your photographer)
  • find your photographer’s “specialty”
  • determine your photography budget

Let’s dive in (and maybe take a sip of your wine…or two…)

Discover Your Photography Style

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I could talk all day about how I love the airy, creamy and dreamy style of fine art wedding photography. Especially when it comes to planning your outdoor wedding in Michigan (where the cobalt blues of Lake Michigan and the emerald greens of our gorgeous tree lines and dunes are bountiful) fine art wedding photographers can truly shine in this respect. You can recognize a fine art wedding photographer by our light, bright, and creamy images that, in my opinion, look almost golden as you view our gallery images. You can see pops of color, especially in the skies and foregrounds, that highlight the luxury venues that you choose. Our images are clean, bright, and classically gorgeous (we also are exclusively featured in many bridal magazines around the world, like Style Me Pretty and Wedding Sparrow.)

My favorite part about editing my wedding images to achieve the light and airy, film look?

My bride and groom portraits become the highlight of the day! I seriously countdown the hours until we get to personally work together during your wedding day, to find those intimate, subtle, gorgeous moments that authentically serve to showcase you as a couple, and by putting you in the best golden light that you could ever imagine! I swoon, swoon, and swoon some more!

The very opposite of these golden, fine art wedding images are your traditional photographers. These are the ones who apply matte filters (like the old school instagram days) have dark shadows and lots of black colors, and who dwell in the drama of the image. Couples who gravitate towards the moody style, are couples who enjoy a more traditional approach, who like less emotion and more “theater”, and who enjoy being trendy in their style.

All of these wedding styles are wonderful in their exclusive way!

So how do you choose?

When looking at wedding images and their particular editing styles, try to see which pictures get you excited, where you can’t stop thinking to yourself “how beautiful!”

Can you visualize yourself in this moment?

Would you want to hang an image like this in your home, to showcase your love and best day ever, for years to come?

Would you look back on these images from your wedding, many days later, and love them, just as much as you did when you received them?

Not to be biased or anything (ok I am totally going to be biased) but I gravitate towards the fine art wedding images beyond anything else I’ve ever seen. Viewing these creamy and dreamy wedding portraits are beyond beautiful. And the best part? They transcend trends and will truly, showcase your genuine emotion, joy, and beauty for many years to come. These images are the heirlooms that you will pass onto your children, to inspire your daughters to look at mommy in a wedding gown and start to wonder, what her own wedding will be like. They are redefining beauty, and are wonderful beyond measure!

Finding A Photographer Whom You Are Comfortable With

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This is HUGE – seriously – do not skip over this part! Choosing a wedding photographer who fits your personality is one of the biggest “make it or break it” moments of planning your wedding.

As your wedding photographer, I am one of the only wedding vendors who are with you throughout the duration of your day! If you hire a photographer who doesn’t fit in with your best gal pals or your family, it is only going to be awkward and downright odd to spend all those hours together, on the most important day of your life. We actually spend more time together, than you will with your fiancé – how crazy is that!

You want someone who can laugh with you…who can empathize and fix issues without causing stress to you (I’ve shot over 200 weddings, trust me, you will want someone who can help from start to finish and avoid problems before they even happen!) Find a photographer that can resonate with you, so that it feels like you are simply hanging out with a great friend on your wedding, instead of a stranger!

PLUS if you feel uncomfortable, not at ease, or (even worse) you don’t fully trust your photographer – your portraits will never reflect the REAL you. Don’t get me wrong, kissing pictures are adorable, and I love me a good ole dip in the sunset. But the best pictures (and usually, my bride’s favorite images from their day) are the genuine ones! The real laughter that is caught on camera! That moment when your fiancé utters something completely ridiculous and it has you smiling, joyous, and full of bliss! But if you are feeling “odd” in front of the camera, you will never feel comfortable enough to truly let the real you shine!

So pretty pretty please, find a photographer who feels like they could be apart of your tribe and maybe even a great friend, and you will feel beautiful, comfortable and stress-free for your special day!

DISCLAIMER: I am obsessed with puppies, yoga pants (I consider these REAL pants, oh yes!) anything that sparkles, and macaroni and cheese (preferably the character kind with extra cheese.) And if enjoy a good caramel latte (extra caramel, extra latte) let’s pull up a chair and chat about your wedding!

Finding Your Photographer’s “Specialty”

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Every photographer has a favorite part of the wedding day. Mine? Photographing your wedding details (wedding invitations, rings, bouquets), bride & groom portraits (hello swoon-worthy pics!) and bridesmaids pictures (who doesn’t like a foray of gorgeous dresses, lots of laughter, and the best gal pals you could ever want?!)

Actually to be honest, I love love LOVE photographing your wedding details so much, that I am a total nerd and have actually created, what I call, a “styling kit” that I bring to your wedding. In it I have vintage lace, custom velvet ring boxes, hand dyed silk ribbon, curated silver platters, and so many more high end details that I can pair with your wedding jewelry and decor, to make it truly shine! And bonus!! These images are not only loved by wedding blogs (my brides love to have their images published!) but they truly showcase and tell your story in your album, which you receive soon after your actual wedding day. They are simply stunning – I love seeing your expression when you open up your wedding album and seeing how curated your favorite details can be!

And because I can’t stop here, I do have to brag just a little bit, about how amazing my Lux Light Brides are!! When it comes to photographing you and your fiancé (soon to be hubby!) on your wedding day, these images are so critically important to showcase who you are as a couple.

Chances are, you’ve picked up in your hands and stared at a picture of your grandparents on their wedding day. You’ve maybe even started to imagine your own wedding day, and what sort of dress you might wear, and how long your veil might be, after seeing those heirloom prints. My goal as your wedding photographer, is to capture those romantic, intimate moments for you – and your children – to enjoy and look back on, for generations to come.

Without a doubt, you do not want to look back on your wedding portraits together and wish that they had been captured differently. My advice to choosing the best photographer for you? Pay close attention to the emotion, poses, and style of the photographer you choose. What emotion do you feel as you view their images? Is this the same way you want to feel when you receive your pictures of your wedding day? If so, then you’ve probably found the best gal for you!

Choosing Your Photography Budget

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This can be a hard question, especially when it comes to budgeting for your overall wedding! But luckily, numbers can also make it pretty simple, if you can figure out, what your priorities are. I tell most of my Lux Light Brides that their photography investment should be around 10-15% of their overall budget. So for my $100,000 brides, you can expect to spend around $10,000 for your photography. With a budget like this, you can cultivate gorgeous heirloom albums, fine art prints, and an amazing wedding photography experience that you will love and cherish forever!

There you are friends! I am so excited and hope this proved helpful when choosing the right wedding photographer for you! If you have any questions – or would be interested in working together – let’s connect on my contact page! I would love to sit down, coffee in hand, and fantasize about your amazing day!

Interested in working together?

"OMG Melissa!! Thank you thank you! I can't wait to look at them all! You are by far the greatest photographer in my book! Your photographs will be what we keep for a lifetime to remember our day and you have gone above and beyond to make every moment perfect.
Thank you for an amazing wedding gift!”

Contact me below for a FREE quote on wedding photography packages and collections! We also offer custom designed packages for those brides looking for unique features.


Traverse City Wedding photography by Lux Light Photography, captures beautiful and fine art portraits for your wedding and engagements in all of northern Michigan, including Traverse City, Petoskey, Frankfort, Glen Arbor, Charlevoix,  Mackinac Island, Bay Harbor Village Hotel, Crystal Mountain, Homestead Resort, Castle Farms, Grand Traverse Resort, Arcadia Golf CourseVisions Centerpointe, and other favorite venues!

Contact us below for your FREE Quote!
Lux Light Photography
800 Cottage View Drive
Traverse City Michigan 49684

melissa@luxlightphotography.net
231-633-9410

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