With Google at your fingertips, searching for a wedding photographer can feel quite overwhelming. There are so many choices and different options- how do you choose a wedding photographer? When your day has gone, the only thing you will have to remember your beautiful wedding are your photographs. Choosing the right photographer is a pretty big deal right?
Here are some tips on how to choose a wedding photographer that’s right for you.
This is a biggie- there are so many different styles of wedding photography and it is a personal choice. The images from your wedding need to be timeless- you want to love them in 20/30 years time as much as you do now. Do you like posing and staging shots for the big grand portraits? Or do you love the candid/documentary type shots that capture you and your guests in a natural way as the day unfolds? Are you traditional? Or are you more relaxed and all about the fun?!
Some photographers will spend a lot of time photographing the details, and setting up shots. Others will focus on photographing the people and observing the day, looking for the magic moments! As you look at more and more images from different photographers you will start to see the type of images that keep grabbing your attention! I love to capture people naturally and photograph the real moments that make you feel something when you look back at the photographs from your day. I always photograph the details and the main shots, but I observe and document the unscripted moments, the laughter, emotion and craziness that makes your day amazing! If my couples send me a message saying they are crying as they look at their gallery, I know I have done a great job and I am one happy photographer!
There is such a range of prices for photographers and every couple has different budgets and different priorities. Your wedding photographs are your everlasting memories of your day and you only have one chance to get them right. Tears shed when you look at your photographs should be happy tears- not tears of regret! So, with that said- how do you know how much to spend?!
A professional photographer will set their prices based on some of the following factors; experience, business costs, what is included in their packages, if they are dedicated to wedding photography full time, and their place in the market. We have outgoings such as professional equipment, maintaining the equipment, editing software, management systems, insurance, back up hard drives, online storage, back up equipment, and ongoing training and development- just to name a few! As you can see, there are many reasons behind how we price ourselves- it is definitely not a ‘finger in the air’ job! So- while this post may not have told you what price you should pay, hopefully I have given you an insight into why prices differ. Your customer experience, quality of your images, and ultimately forever memories will depend on the choice you make and often what you invest.
Thinking about letting a family friend photograph your wedding, because they have a ‘good’ camera and have posted some great pics on instagram? If your friend had a ‘good’ sewing machine, would you let them make your wedding dress?! Investing in a professional photographer will give you piece of mind, knowing that your precious memories are in the best hands.
If you think about your wedding suppliers on the day, the person you are going to have most contact with is your photographer. In fact you will probably spend more time with us in close range, than any other person at your wedding! We are there for hours! We are with you for the most emotional moments. We are up in the action. We are in the middle of the crazy, chaotic bridal prep. We tag along for your couple moments alone. We are in the middle of the dance floor with you and your wedding guests. We can have a big impact on your day- for better or for worse!!
Your experience of us leading up to your big day and on the day itself, will have an impact on how you view your wedding photographs. Guests love to tell me stories about bad experiences of photographers they have witnessed at other weddings! When you think about your photographer on the day, what do you hope for? Do you want a big, bold character who will shout a lot and take charge? Do you want someone skimming on the edge of the action with a big long lens, keeping their distance? Or do you want someone who will blend into your day, chat to your guests and capture the action from within?
Personality is a huge factor in choosing your photographer. You need to like them (honestly!!). You need to see them fitting into your day, getting on with your guests. You need to trust how they approach your wedding and be confident in the knowledge that they won’t annoy the hell out of you or your guests! The best feedback I get from guests is that they have hardly noticed me. I often get asked how I know the couple, assuming I am a friend rather than a supplier- I love that! Personality is huge and should be a big factor in the decision making. I urge to to meet your photographer or have a good chat over Skype before making the big decision.
Have you photographed at our venue before?
A question I get asked a lot is ‘have you photographed at our venue before?’ I can understand why this might feel important, but let me tell you why it really isn’t!!
A professional, experienced wedding photographer has years of experience, photographing weddings in all kinds of venues. I have photographed in tipis, marquees, the darkest churches, barns, chapels, hotels- even an art gallery and more! We come prepared, not just with excellent knowledge and experience, but also with professional equipment! When I was a new photographer, I would always visit the venue before, searching for the best spots to use on the day and researching what other photographers had done there before. Now, I trust in my ability and experience. I use my knowledge of light to source the best spots on the day (which may even be different for each wedding at the same venue!). I get excited about photographing at new venues, which inspires me and encourages my creativity! A lot of the weddings I photograph are tipis which are not in place until two days before the wedding. I LOVE this- turning up on the day to see the amazing set ups and to be challenged into creating something awesome and totally individual for that wedding. My advice is to let the other factors be the important ones in helping you to choose your photographer- look at experience, their style and their personality to help you decide if they are the one for you.
When you are shopping online, do you like to read reviews before you buy a product or invest in a service? Reading reviews and testimonials from past couples is a great way to get an idea on how the wedding photographer works and the service they offer. Happy couples love to share their experiences and will often post a review on google or facebook. Word of mouth from friends and family is also a good way of narrowing down the list. Knowing someone that has worked with a wedding photographer, had a great experience and loves their final images is a much more trustworthy source than a random pick off google!
View a full wedding gallery
We all know that social media only shows the good stuff and is not always reality! Photographers (like everyone) will show off their best images on their social media pages and website gallery. I am always really happy to share full wedding galleries from real weddings with prospective couples. This gives them a really good idea of my style and approach to a wedding. It shows images from every part of the day and tells the complete story of what they could expect, if they were to book me to photograph their wedding day. While every wedding is different and images can never be replicated, a full gallery will show you what the photographer observes and documents through a wedding day.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas on how to choose a wedding photographer that’s right for you. From seeing their work, reading reviews and chatting to a wedding photographer, you will have a gut feeling about whether it is the right photographer for you and how they will fit into your wedding day. If you would like more information about my wedding photography, follow this link
I have also written a blog about candid wedding photography. This is a great fit for laid back relaxed couples looking for a fun, relaxed wedding day! For latests images and weddings, check out my facebook page.
Happy wedding planning!