13 Apr How to choose a wedding photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer can seem like a daunting task. But fear not! Help is at hand with my quick guide to getting started.
So, you’re planning to get married. First of all, congratulations!! Love is the spark for so many amazing things in life, and your wedding day is perhaps the biggest of all.
But, of course, that’s a big pressure too, and organising a wedding, even if you’re getting lots of help, can be pretty stressful. The number of choices that you have to make can feel overwhelming at times, partly because you want it to be perfect. And often the biggest problem can be simply knowing where to start.
I’ve met a lot of engaged couples in my time as a wedding photographer, and the first thing to say is that to feel pressure to get everything right is completely normal. In fact, to not feel stressed at all would be very, very unusual.
6-point Guide to Choosing a Wedding Photographer
But fear not! Help is at hand, at least when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer. Within 30 miles of where you live there will be hundreds of wedding photographers, some professional, and many amateur. Some will be good, and many not so good. So how do you begin to choose? Here is my ‘6-point Guide’:
1) What style of photography do you like? Posed, traditional, candid? I’m very much a documentary wedding photographer – candid pictures with an eye for storytelling. Although most of my clients want a few posed and group photos too (and I’m very happy to do this), they choose me because I tell the story of their wedding day thoughtfully and unobtrusively. I observe and capture those little natural moments that no posed image can come close to. In my view, these will be the pictures that you will cherish for the rest of your life. But you might want a more traditional, or posed approach.
2) How do you know what you like? That might sound like an odd question, but it’s important to have idea of what makes a good picture. Do they move you? Make you smile? Are they well composed? Do they tell a story? Do they make you think? Can the photographer capture the beauty, joy, humour, fun and poignancy of my special day?
3) But where do you start to look for the kind of photographer that can capture these sorts of pictures? Getting recommendations from friends is one way and asking your wedding venue for tips, but venues often only recommend a few photographers. The best place to look for a range of wedding photographer these days is definitely online. Searching the web can be time-consuming, but it can be really worth the effort. Of course, there’s searching on Google, and Google images, but most of the best wedding photographers these days have Instagram and Facebook accounts on which they post regularly and show their latest work. For example, on Instagram you could search for a photographer in your area, eg, ‘#sussexweddingphotographer’ if you live in the Sussex area, or ‘#surreyweddingphotographer’ for Surrey etc. If you like documentary wedding photography, then search for that. It’s a great way of seeing lots of images all in one place and being able to narrow down the search criteria to suit what your want.
4) How do you know how professional is a particular photographer is? There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of money on wedding photography and not getting the quality of pictures you were expecting. Here are some tips on making sure you get what you paid for:
- Price isn’t everything, but be wary of people offering to shot your wedding for a few hundred pounds – there’s a reason they’re so cheap. As a rough guide, most professional wedding photographers charge between £800 and £1,500 (excluding a wedding album).
- Anyone can take the a few decent photographs, but can they take hundreds? Have a look at the blogs on their websites. It’s there that you’ll find dozens of pictures from individual weddings.
- Does the photographer have a professional-looking website offering wedding albums, prints and private online galleries for clients. Check the site’s frequently-asked-questions section (FAQs). Is it helpful? Is the photographer fully insured? Do they use professional cameras and lenses?
5) All professional wedding photographers have testimonials on their websites. And, surprise surprise, all are positive. They wouldn’t put them up there if they were negative! You can already see what a photographer’s pictures are like, so best to look out for comments on what previous couples felt about their photographer – were they friendly, easy to be around, helpful, considerate, professional etc.
6) If you like a photographer’s pictures, but aren’t sure about something, arrange to speak to them on the phone or skype. They should be able to reply within a day or two at the most and make time to speak to you. They should be able to listen carefully and answer your questions confidently. In the end, you should be able to click with your photographer, if you pardon the pun!
I hope this short guide has helped in some way. If you like my style of photography and would like to talk to me or email me some questions, I’d love you to get in touch.