What you should ‘actually’ be looking for in a wedding photographer

wedding photo of a queer lesbian couple in Jasper National Park posing in front of a tree

You’re casually scrolling instagram when you happen across the most heartstoppingly epic wedding photo… and OMG, it turns out that your dream photographer lives here, in your city!? So you call your fiancé over, and together you marvel at this photographers’ grid – more gorgeous couples, perfect backgrounds, destination weddings, amazing editing, touching moments. There’s even a great photo taken at your venue! You keep pressing that heart button.

Maybe, just maybe, you have found your wedding photographer.

But this wedding photography gig is SO much more than pointing a camera at something pretty.

It’s time to dive further down the rabbit hole. Hit up that potential wedding photographer’s website, and ask yourself these important questions:

  1. Does this photographer use inclusive language?
    “Brides and Grooms” aren’t the only people getting married – sometimes brides marry other brides, sometimes there can be two grooms. It’s 2023, surely we can wrap our heads around using “couple” instead of gendered language. “Spouses” “spouses-to-be” “to-be-weds” – the list goes on. (are you reading this as a photographer? Here’s a link to a helpful article on the Knot with some ideas about inclusive language.)
  2. Does this photographer have LGBTQA2+ people in their portfolio?
    I’m not talking one token photo of a queer couple. Do you get a surefire sense this photographer is inclusive and welcoming to queer folks? Do they say it somewhere in the text on their site? Follow your gut instinct. If they’re an experienced photographer, and they haven’t photographed any queer folks, there’s probably a reason why…
edmonton outdoor wedding ceremony with beautiful lesbian couple in white clothing, laughing
  1. How about people of color?
    Ask yourself the same questions as above. If your photographer doesn’t have any people of color on their site, ask them why.
wedding in Chicago with beautiful black bride and groom celebrating with their friends and loved ones
  1. Are a variety of bodies featured in their portfolio?
    Fatphobia is real in the wedding world – don’t get me started on wedding dress sizing/dress sample sizing! If a photographer is only showing thin bodies on their site, byeeeeeee.
  2. Does their contact form request your pronouns?
    Does their bio page mention pronouns? It’s 2023, I feel like this should be a basic consideration in every business correspondence.

Maybe you’re a cis-het-white couple who are thin, and you’re saying to yourself “this doesn’t apply to me.”

But what about your guests? Have you invited queer folks, POC, fat bodied people to your wedding? Wouldn’t you feel more confident about hiring vendors who respect all of your guests?

This might seem like a lot to think about, given that you’re just out here looking for pretty pictures, but you spend a large chunk of the most important day of your life with your wedding photographer, and a lot of money – it’s nice to know you’re giving this money to someone who’s not a secret bigot.

Luckily, there are so many brilliant photographers out there! You can ask all of these questions and more, and find a perfect photographer whose work you love, someone who you’ll be proud and excited to have at your wedding, interacting with and lovingly photographing your diverse, amazing group of friends and family.

Published by Buffy Goodman Photography

Edmonton based wedding and destination wedding, family, and portrait photographer

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