Choosing your wedding photographer is quite daunting! It usually starts with an online search or suggestions from friends who gt married. Then results in a series of meetings before making the decision. But just how to choose your wedding photographer? What do you look for?
I hope these tips will help you on how to choose your wedding photographer. In no particular order:
This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but sometimes, cheap pricing does not always depict low quality. Your expectations naturally increase the more you pay for wedding photography.
We believe in being totally transparent about our packages. Our costs are available in full by clicking here, but we are also able to tailor make a package if the need arises.
Your photographer should offer a variety of packages to suit all and should always be flexible with pricing and what is included within each package. Your photographer is providing a service and each couple will have different expectations and requirements so do make sure that your photographer can tailor make a package to suit your needs.
Always remember to ask about any hidden extras. Some photographers charge an additional fee for travel, or extra hours or limited hours. Both of these are included in all our packages, but it is worth checking and being clear what is included.
Look at the big picture. What is the point of choosing the lowest wedding package, then after your wedding paying for photo albums, prints, photo booths, or anything else which may have been more cost effective if included in a higher package.
As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.
You can usually tell within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone, whether you feel a rapport or connection. First impressions are key and if you instantly strike a bond then you are on to a good thing. If you feel uncomfortable around your photographer for whatever reason then this will become very apparent in your wedding photos.
Also, think of your guests. If your wedding photographer is approachable, friendly, and down to earth, your guests will be at ease allowing the photographer to blend in and capture the day as it naturally unfolds rather than a forced and posed account.
Remember, a true smile is impossible to fake! If you are generally not a person that loves to be photographed, I usually suggest opting for our package which includes an engagement shoot. This is an incredible session before the wedding which helps tremendously to ‘break the ice’ and ensures a far more comfortable wedding day shoot.
3. Quality / Experience
The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.
Be aware that photographers have different editing techniques. If an image is heavily edited then chances are this will be a common theme within their photography portfolio and is usually an attempt to try to cover up poor quality.
Above all, the style of the images should say something about you both as a couple. Whether you are looking for relaxed and informal photography or you would like to go for a more adventurous and contemporary style, be sure to do your homework and shop around.
The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies, and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.
Another good thing to know is how long a wedding photographer has been in business. It doe snot undermine new wedding photographers, but it will give you a good idea of how experienced the photographer is at weddings particularly. A very experienced photographer could easily have an outdated style, in the same breath as a new photographer lacks experience. It also helps if they have photographed at the wedding venue you have chosen, that is a bonus – but not necessary. You can also ask to meet at the venue and discuss certain locations for the shoot. There should be a willingness to do this.
4. Ask for feedback
Your photographer should be giving you information, help, and tips in planning for the big day. I can give you two examples that we ask all our clients. If possible, the chair a bride gets ready in, the makeup chair so to speak, should be a 3/4 chair and also placed near a window with light streaming in. This helps with pasture and we just love the angles it provides, plus the natural light that filters through (not direct sunlight). A second one, we request that the golden hour belongs to the photographer. The golden hour is that dusk period when the sun starts to set, creating those stunning golden colours. If the photo shoot is done too early, you will be shooting in very harsh conditions of the very bright sun which is not conducive to stunning wedding photography. We know these things are not always possible, but giving advice and tips show we care about your day and want the best possible results for you.
A lot of my bookings have come through recommendations from previous clients and word of mouth. If your friends and family have been happy with the quality of the service and work of a particular photographer then chances are, you will be too. Again, this should not be the main reason for your choice but should be the final piece of the jigsaw.
Speak to your friends about their experiences with their wedding photographer and try to make use of tips and advice from those who have organised their own weddings. Ask colleagues, friends, family on their tips on how to choose your wedding photographer. A good photographer will always be able to give you a testimonial from previous clients.
6. Trust your Gut
You’ve done your research, you’ve narrowed down the choices, you’ve laid out your pro/con lists…now it’s time to trust your gut and make a decision. Which photographer made you feel the most comfortable during your in-person interview? Which photographer can you see blending in seamlessly with you and your guests on the big day? As long as your short list includes credible professional photographers who align with your vision and fit into your budget, you can’t go wrong. Go with your gut.
I hope this article has helped you decide on how to choose your wedding photographer. Feel free to contact me for a video call or to meet over coffee.