I love western weddings! And here in Utah, there are many hidden (and gorgeous) farms and ranches which make the perfect backdrop to any western wedding. The mountains add a whole new level as well, and that’s why I love shooting western weddings here! And if you’re planning a western wedding, you want a photographer as excited about it as you are. So in this article, we’re not only going to look at what it takes to hire a wedding photographer in general. We’re also going to look at how the rules are slightly different when hiring a Utah western wedding photographer. Let’s get started!
What to Look for When Hiring a Utah Western Wedding Photographer
#1 – Experience with Utah Western Wedding Venues
A great way to find a western wedding photographer is to find someone with experience shooting at western venues. There are two ways to go about this: you can ask the venues you love for recommendations of photographers they’ve worked with, and you can look through wedding photography blogs and portfolios to see the kind of venues they’re shooting at.
Having a photographer who has experience with your chosen type of venue (or better yet, the specific venue itself!) can help seal the deal and make sure you know you’re in good hands. (And if you’re looking for venues, one of my favorite venues is out in Paradise, Utah, at The Barn in Paradise. It’s a beautiful rustic venue perfect for a western wedding!)
#2 – An Eye for Detail
Western weddings are loaded with details that might be completely missed by the untrained eye. Considering the effort you’re going through to make sure the wedding is stunning, you’d want that all captured in the photos! Make sure whoever you choose as your Utah western wedding photographer is aware of things like the brands, turquoise jewelry and accessories, western decor, belt buckles, cowboy hats, boots, western-styled floral arrangements, and anything and everything western. When you’re looking through their portfolio, check for their captures of the little details.
I recently did a Utah western wedding shoot for a beautiful couple in Logan. Taysie and Carter’s wedding was filled to the brim with charming western-themed elements.
Carter was wearing his classic cowboy hat, Taysie’s gorgeous western bouquet featured wildflowers and pheasant feathers, everyone had their best boots on, and the venue itself exuded western charm. You’ll even notice the cake had a rustic western look about it!
#3 – Experience Shooting Western Subjects
Just like having a photographer who knows their way around a venue, you want to find out if they’ve ever shot anything western-themed before. This doesn’t have to be for weddings. It can be for just about anything.
It’s possible that while they’ve never had the honor of shooting a western wedding before, they’ve done some work in the western world. This can be work done for branding photos, western boutiques, farm work, and more!
Why bring this up? Well, I personally was raised working on a farm and my husband was raised working on a cattle ranch. So, my love for the western lifestyle runs deep. Finding someone who can understand and appreciate that while also having some wedding experience is honestly exactly what you should be looking for.
This is because having that experience gives someone a much deeper appreciation for it. It’s not only a wedding theme, but it is a whole lifestyle! So, when you’re looking for a Utah western wedding photographer, keep your eye out for someone who has experience beyond simply shooting weddings. They will be much better at serving you and understanding the meaning behind everything.
#4 – The Right Editing Style
If you’ve ever seen a western movie, you know that it looks far different from any other movie you’ve seen on TV. There’s a certain style to editing western photos and videos that’s so important! So, make sure that you like the editing style that you see on the photographer’s website. If you want more examples, don’t be afraid to ask!
#5 – A Quote Within Your Budget Range
When you’re planning your wedding, make sure you put a generous budget aside for a Utah western wedding photographer. Knowing your budget can help you to filter through candidates and choose someone who is the right fit for you.
Keep in mind that of all your vendors, a wedding photographer is by far one of the most important, considering they’re who will capture your wedding in photos that last forever!
#6 – A Great Connection with You
Connecting with your photographer and feeling comfortable with them is a big deal! Meeting with a potential Utah western wedding photographer means getting a feel for their personality and how you can work together. They need to be involved with so many different aspects of the wedding to get the ‘full picture’. Plus, you need to feel like you can trust them with the most romantic day of your life!
So make sure you book with someone who you feel comfortable with. When you have that initial conversation with a potential photographer, pay attention to how they make you feel. When you’re not getting a friendly vibe from a potential photographer, it’s time to walk away.
#7 – Good Reviews
Make sure you read the reviews before hiring anyone! It matters that you value what other people have to say about your potential options because they might help you see why they are or aren’t a good choice.
Most reputable wedding photographers have many reviews on and off their website so make sure you check those out to hear from real couples they’ve worked with before. Google Search is a great source to lean on when looking for reviews.
#8 – Availability for Your Dates
Finding a great Utah western wedding photographer is difficult, but finding one and realizing they’re unavailable after everything is far worse! So maybe highlight this from the first meeting or inquiry to ensure you’re not wasting anyone’s time.
With everything that goes into finding a wedding photographer, the stakes are a little higher when searching for a Utah western wedding photographer. But don’t neglect these steps because they’re what will help you get the best possible wedding photographer for your beautiful western wedding!
If you want a Utah western wedding photographer that knows what you want before you want it, I’m your photographer! My name’s Robin, and I’ve lived and breathed western ideals for as long as I can remember. I know what it takes to take the right kind of photos for your wedding! Take a look at my portfolio, and let’s chat about your upcoming Utah western wedding!