Last night we spent an amazing two hours with Shauna Danielle Photography, a talented photographer based in our ‘hood of East Van. It was only supposed to be an hour long but we had so much fun chatting and scouting locations around Jericho, plus we brought Oshie along who caused a bit of a ruckus, that time just flew by!

I wanted to share the first few shots from our engagement session. Of course, most of them I will keep private but they’re all so amazing how could I not share a couple with you?!

It definitely brings up the conversation of how we came to pick Shauna, which leads me to my first wedding post: how to pick your wedding photographer. Apart from the venue itself, this was the biggest stressor for me. I spent almost a full blown month looking at every photographer within the lower mainland and around the province. I came across all different styles and price ranges, experience and approach to weddings but after hours of deliberating, made my pick — Shauna!

So how did I narrow down my choice? Here are my 4 biggest tips that I learned the hard way but want to share with YOU:

Pick a style. There are so many styles out there: photojournalistic, edgy, fine art, natural, light and airy — the list goes on. My two personal favourites are the last two… but they’re so different from each other stylistically that I initially struggled to bridge the gap. But I realized you can have both, and on my personal Instagram, have started to lean more towards a mix of editorial and natural — highlighting what exists in reality while still maintaining an overall aesthetic.

Do your research. Once you’ve decided on the style you like, research all the photographers who fall into that category. I can tell you right now, Vancouver has an enormous pool of talented photographers. Search them on Wedding Wire or the Knot, OR what I find more helpful was checking out the pictures on Instagram from all the wedding planners and sourcing the photographers from there. You could also search wedding venues, officiants, caterers, decor companies, etc. — it’s all there on Instagram!

Meet with them. Once you’ve narrowed down your top 3-5, send them a note. Are they responsive? aKeep in mind that summer is the peak season, with weekends being the busiest of times. Do they ask questions about your wedding and are they accommodating of that? The best sales people and ultimately the people who are going to produce the results that YOU are most happy with ask questions about YOU and your vision for your wedding. And if you like them, grab a coffee of beer with them! You’ll be able to tell within the first 5 minutes whether or not you like them, which is super important — if you feel uncomfortable with them it’ll show in your pictures. To be honest, that was the deciding factor for me: after hearing rave reviews about her work, the moment we chatted I knew her and I would just click.

Review your budget. Unless you’ve factored this into the research stage, by now you should have a list of 3-5 photographers who you click with, produce images you adore — but will inevitably have a different range in prices/services. The typical packages for weddings, and the reason why prices vary so much is because they’re based on 6-8 hours of work AND whether you want one or two photographers on site. Unless you’re having a super small wedding, I’d highly recommend getting two photographers. As an example, you’ll want one capturing you walking down the aisle and another capturing the reaction of your fiancé. Other than that, it’s up to you and what you feel comfortable spending within (or stretching) your budget!

I hope this has been helpful for you! As I mentioned above, apart from the venue picking the photographer was the biggest stressor and inevitably, my budget but, based on the engagement images alone, was totally worth it. I couldn’t be happier with our pick and I’m SO excited for next summer!

Shop my outfit below.

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