Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
One of the questions I hear most frequently is, How do I choose my wedding photographer?
We all know there is a lot of choice out there when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer so I put together the following blog to help you find your way.
Tips for Choosing your Wedding Photographer
If you’ve not got time to watch our video on our facebook page, these are our 5 top tips. Click on each one for more advice.
1. Set Your Wedding Budget
As you start looking for your wedding photographer you’ll notice that price can vary considerably with photography packages ranging from £200 to £2000 for a full-day wedding. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. So, the question you need to ask yourself is “How important is having photos of my wedding to me?”
If the answer is “not very” feel free to make your decision based on price alone. However, if your wedding photography is important to you, look for photographers who are within your budget or who offer payment plans. If you’ve fallen in love with a particular photographer’s work see if you can book them for a shorter period of time if their full-day price is too high. Another option is to add the beautiful folio box or album you want to your gift list so that your guests can help you.
Finally, wedding photographers who are establishing themselves, such as myself, can be budget friendly and provide great quality images with a high level of service. The key thing here is to do your research.
2. Decide on the Photography Products You Want
You have a wide range of options available to you including digital images, digital images and prints, large wall art, albums and folio boxes to name a few.
It’s a good idea to let your photographer know what you would like before your wedding as this can impact on the images taken.
A wedding photo album will be shot with certain page spreads in mind so your photographer will make sure they get everything they need.
If you’d like a large wall image it may also be a good idea to look for someone who has experience in preparing images for printing and creating this kind of artwork.
3. Choose Your Favourite Photography Style
Now, style is a big topic, one which I could dedicate a whole blog to, so I’m just going to give a quick overview. To me, a photographer’s style is what you see in the final image. This is made up of several artistic choices like lighting, posing (if any), composition and the final edit.
The combination of how each of these things are done is unique to each individual photographer like a fingerprint is unique to you. By composition I mean where the happy couple are placed within the image and whether the image is tight to the couple or shows the action within the whole room. The final edit is based on colour and tones, some photographers don’t like green so they choose to tone it down, others like their image to be dark, and moody with muted colours, others love light, airy, pastel shades.
Look though lots of wedding images, create a Pinterest board of your favourites. What are your preferences? Dark, light or natural colours? Close up or whole room included in the image? These are your preferences, there is no right or wrong, and they should form the basis of your search for your photographer.
Please don’t ask a photographer to change their editing style. That’s like asking Vincent van Gogh to paint with acrylics when he’s known for his watercolours. Find a photographer who’s style you love.
4. Look at Real Wedding Examples
Once you’ve narrowed your wedding photographers down it’s time to talk about their portfolio or body of work. Check out my images here.
Ask to see at least three real weddings if possible. You need to look for consistency in their images meaning are the colours and tones the same? Other questions you might ask yourself are: Is the style of photography similar throughout? Do the couples look relaxed and comfortable.
Look for any weddings where the photographer has shot at your venue. This will give you an example of what can and can’t be achieved. It is also worth asking to see any weddings that were taken around the same time of year as your wedding.
Overall, the most important question to ask yourself is; do you still love their style of photography?
5. Meet your Potential Wedding Photographers
So, you’ve narrowed down your choice of wedding photographers, confirmed they are available on for your date. The next step is to meet them. You want beautiful images, however if your photographer doesn’t make you feel comfortable this will show through in your wedding photos. It’s worth noting that your photographer may also see you partially dressed during your preparations. Make sure you are ok with this as you don’t want to miss out on the photos of all the fun and emotions you’re having getting ready.
My recommendation is to always meet your photographer in person where possible. If the distance is too far, Skype is a good alternative. I’d also recommend having an engagement shoot so you can get to know how your photographer works and begin to feel more relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. It will make a big difference!
6. One Final Note
Once you’ve made your final selection please spare a thought for the photographers who you’ve met and decided not to use. Just drop them a quick email thanking them for their time and letting them know you have chosen elsewhere. Many photographers will hold your date as provisional for the duration of the enquiry so this ensures dates aren’t being held unneccesarily and also means your inbox isn’t filling up with follow up emails you don’t have the time/energy for.
Need more wedding or photography advice?
For real weddings, inspiration and tips check out our blog.
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