How To Choose Your Wedding Photographer
Why is choosing the right photographer important?
1) Your Memories
Choosing the wrong wedding photographer can be one of the most regretful decisions for any couple.
It's the biggest day of your life and if it isn't captured well you won't be able to relive all of those precious memories - How nervous you were getting ready, how you felt walking down the aisle, your first kiss as Mr&Mrs, how everyone laughed at that terrible best man joke and your first quiet moment together away from the hustle and bustle of your guests.
Your Wedding Story should be relived and enjoyed for years to come, so choose carefully.
What a lot of couples don't realize is how much time you spend with your photographer during your wedding day.
Try and get to know your photographer before booking them to make sure you like and trust them, follow their social media for a while, ask them to give you a call, or meet them for coffee!
Every photographer is different, and I've heard of horror stories where photographers have become 'the star of the show' during the day. They were so loud and sometimes rude, I think they forgot whose day it actually was. Many couples have approached me as they prefer a more discreet and professional approach, it is YOUR day after all!
3) Different Styles
Every photographer has their own style when it comes to capturing but also editing photos. Choose a photographer based on their style, so you have an idea of what to expect from your wedding photos (you don't want any nasty surprises!)
Try to picture yourself in the photos - some people hate having their photos taken, so try and choose a photographer whose style seems relaxed.
Check their style is something you love now and will continue to love for years to come; photos that you will proudly hang on your walls, and an album that you would love to show your grandchildren one day.
Don't go for cheap with your wedding photography - it's one of the only things you will still have after your day is over. Good photos speak a thousand words, bad ones stay in the cupboard!
If a photographer is cheap, or they're offering a ridiculous deal, ask yourself why. How are they able to do it so cheaply? Are they spending time getting to know you before your wedding day? Do they rush their editing? Are they booking too much work so their focus isn't on you?
Cheap isn't always cheerful.
If you're struggling to afford your photographer, it's worth thinking about whether you can cut back on something else. Think of it as an investment - your wedding might only last a day, but you will have your wedding photos forever. They are there for when you're feeling nostalgic about your wedding day or want to show the grandchildren how beautiful you and your guests looked on your big day!
What to look out for (to avoid the bad ones!)
1) My number one tip is to ask to see portfolios from the whole day. By this I mean, not just their best shots of the couple on their website, but also:
The morning preparations
Candid photos of the guests (are they laughing/smiling in these?) anyone can take bad photos of guests
Detail photos of jewellery, flowers, and wedding cakes
Wedding photography covers so many different styles of photography from products to portraits, so make sure they are skilled in all of these areas.
2) Check their social media feeds - you want to see consistency in their work and it should give you some indication of their personality as well.
3) Check for reviews from previous couples (even if it's just a few).
4) When they send you their packages/contract make sure you check whether their package includes the high-quality edited photos (without their watermark). Some may not include these. especially if their packages are cheap, and will charge a lot more for them afterward. Some photographers offer these photos on a custom USB for you so you can keep these memories safe.
5) Finally, Quality over Quantity.
It's always tempting to choose a photographer because they've told you that you'll have 1500+ photos at the end, or that you'll have the photos back within a week. This should send some alarm bells ringing. Yes, you may have lots of photos, but what you'll receive is all of the 'just okay' photos from throughout the day to pad out your album.
A really good photographer waits for the right moment and then captures it. They wait for the punchline of the joke you're making so they can capture your guests smiling and laughing, not a photo of their face full of food (although I'm sure it's great food!).
If your photos will be edited within a week, it's likely they don't spend much time at all on your images or send them off to an external company so they can quickly batch edit them. Avoid!
1) Create a shortlist of photographers you really like and start contacting them, check that they are available on your date.
2) Arrange a call with them
3) Choose a package with your favourite photographer (or ask for a bespoke one if none of them are what you're looking for).
4) Check their contract and make sure you're happy with it.
5) Get that deposit paid to secure your wedding date!