Top Tips on Booking the Right Wedding Photographer for YOU
1) First…. ask yourself "how important are the Wedding Photographs to us?"
2) There are some incredibly talented wedding photographers out there, (and some very poor ones!) and everything in between, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Word of mouth can be a good place to start. Wedding fairs and looking online in your local area will give you the opportunity to meet different photographers and get a feel for their style of photography, as well as a sense of their prices.
3) It is of huge importance to find a photographer you actually like and ‘click’ with (excuse the pun!). So, make sure you meet as many photographers as you can before you make your decision. If it’s a larger company or studio then make sure you meet the actual photographer you would have on your day and see their work rather than the general portfolio of the studio (they will of course only put in their very best images) – I sometimes hear about this happening, and then the couple have been disappointed on the day!
4) On the back of the previous point ask a photographer you are considering if you can see a full set of photographs from a wedding day – not just a portfolio of their best work from different weddings. You need to see that their quality is consistent in different lighting situations etc. – and ask yourself does it tell the story of the day? If a photographer is reluctant to show you this or makes excuses – Be wary!
5) Fall in love with the photos, not the wedding they were shooting. It’s very easy when looking at wedding photographs to be swept along by the gorgeous designer dress, the Manolo Blahnik heels, the model bride and the handsome groom. Look at the photos and just make sure it’s the photographs and their style that you’re falling in love with, & not the beautiful wedding in it's fairy tale setting!
6) A recent poll carried out by a major wedding planning forum on Facebook and Twitter showed that wedding couples spend on average between £1,500 and £3,500 on their photography, (including albums, prints, parents’ books etc).
I wouldn’t advocate re-mortgaging your house for your photography, but ask yourself … ‘After the wedding what will I have?’ The answer is, your new spouse, your wedding ring, some great memories and (hopefully) beautiful images to cherish and share when the memories fade……and they do, trust me!
If I have one piece of advice, it’s SPEND AS MUCH AS YOU CAN POSSIBLY AFFORD.
I speak to so many people that regret not getting a good wedding photographer /
package or sometimes not a photographer at all but rely on a friend / family member who has a good camera – This is often a disaster!!
Also make sure you know what’s included in your package in advance, agree on any extras etc and get a contract that you would both sign.
7) What sort of photographs do you want? Think about your Shoot List – decide and discuss what you want, NOT what is expected – it’s your wedding, what do YOU want? Think about whether you want lots of formal, traditional shots taken or would you rather have mostly relaxed and reportage shots taken? – Some photographers offer both but not all do – make sure you ask if this is important to you.
8) Engagement session……do you want one?
Some photographers offer a pre-wedding shoot, normally a few weeks /months (depending on time of year) – I like to do them in advance so that one of the images can be used for invites or ‘save the date’ cards if required. If you feel camera-shy, a pre-wedding shoot may help you feel more comfortable and will give you an opportunity for you and your photographer to get to know each other better and how your photographer works. Make sure you ask if the engagement session is free as part of a package.
9) Ask potential photographers if they are insured in case the worse happens!
If they’re not and you really believe they are the photographer for you then make you sure you take out wedding insurance yourself to cover for the unlikely event of any ‘photography disasters!’…if you do this, read the small print so you know in advance what is covered.
10) A good photographer will…
Be happy to show you references from previous clients
Allow you to see a full set of images from a single wedding
Discuss what YOU want from your wedding photographs, not what they think you want
Be happy for you to go away and research other photographers and make the right decision for you
Meet with you in person and to visit your venue if possible
Discuss any fun or individual ideas you have for your photos as well as providing ideas of their own.
Make you feel as if your wedding is the most important wedding in the whole world! (because to you, it is)
11) Trust your instinct – you often know when you’ve met the right photographer for you, don’t leave it too long before booking them, they are often busy people!
And I hope you have the wedding of your dreams.
Blog written and all photographs taken by Alison of alisonwonderlandphotography.