How to choose a wedding photographer?
Congratulations! You are getting married! How exciting! No matter how large or small your wedding celebration is, hiring a professional photographer to capture all the details, the love and the joy of your day is a well worth investment. These are the one thing you can hold onto forever. But, how do you choose a wedding photographer?
Time to Research
Once you’ve set a date it is time to start researching wedding photographers. Generally speaking photographers are booked 6 months to one year out, sometimes longer. Narrowing down photographers is tough - there are so MANY creative, talented individuals in this industry.
Here are some tips to help you find the perfect photographer for your wedding:
1. Have a clear idea of the STYLE you like. This will help you narrow down the selection of photographers. Are you attracted to more traditional photography, posed images and pretty smiles starting at the camera? Do you prefer a documentary feel where the photographer goes unnoticed with no posed images? Is a candid style that captures the big emotions and little details to tell the story of the entire day your preference?
Also look at their editing style - that is the finished images. Some photographers edit their images with warmer tones, some are light and airy, others moody and dark. My personal style is for clean, colourful and natural images.
I love colour and will look out for colour everywhere, it could be a door, a red brick wall or a shipping container!
2. Get to know your photographer. Do you get on with your photographer? Your photographer is going to spend a lot of the day with you, your family and your friends. Make sure you like them. Pick someone who’s work you are drawn to and that you like on a personal level. I suggest meeting any potential suppliers in person - it is the best way to find out if you have a connection. Whenever, I meet couples, we ended up chatting about so much more than weddings - travel, films, gin!
I also offer a pre wedding session, these really are perfect for getting to know each other.
I love getting to know each of my clients better — doing this creates great rapport which is actually important when creating images filled with REAL emotion.
3. Ask to see a real wedding. It’s ok. Don’t be shy. It’s easy to post the best of the best on social media or share amazing stylised images from a styled shoot working with amazing suppliers (so every images is picture perfect) but what about those real moments and real couples? Ask to see a full gallery of a real wedding and your photographer will happily share.
4. Backup. Backup equipment is crucial. PLEASE ask your photographer if they shoot with backup equipment. You don’t want your photographer showing up to shoot your day with only one camera body. What if the strap breaks and the camera falls to the ground before the ceremony has started. What if the camera body is used frequently and the shutter breaks (this does happen). Do they have multiple lenses incase it a guest accidentally spills a beverage on the one lens being used. How do they back up your images? What happens if they are ill?
5. Insurance. Since we are talking business stuff ask your photographer if they are insured. Professional photographers should be covered in case something happens to their gear or something accidentally happens to one of your guests involving the photographers equipment
6. Ask about the DETAILS. What is included with the package? Are the images fully, individually edited? Will they only be edited with an additional fee? Will the photographer try to sell you the digital files in addition to the original package price? TIP: Make sure your photographer has a contract. For that matter make sure you sign a contract with all of your wedding suppliers.
7. Turn around time. Another really important question to ask. How long will you have to wait to view your photographs? Do they share them on social media? Will there be any sneak peeks
8. Don’t “Uncle Bob” it. Say your uncle shoots sports photography for your little cousins and since he does a great job you think he will do a great job shooting your wedding for free! Money saved, right?? Not quite. You will in fact save money but your wedding photos might not turn out how you envisioned and that will be a sad day. Wedding photography is a whole other game. I would be lying if I didn’t say it can be stressful. You don’t want to miss a shot or mess up on someone’s wedding day.
Finally - It is so important that you trust your photographer
Bonus tip: Once you have narrowed down your photographer, hire them for a “test” run and book an engagement session. This is a great way to spend a couple hours with them and see if you feel comfortable spending hours with them on your wedding day and you get great images you love. Win, win! This is extra helpful if either of you are camera shy as it will help you be more relaxed on your wedding day.