When it comes to picking your perfect wedding photographer, the choice can be quite overwhelming. Here’s a few pointers on how to find the wedding photographer for you…
Decide which style of photography you love
So first up, let’s talk style. You’ll need to work out which style is your favourite, and there’s many styles of wedding photographer out there. They tend to all lean towards one (or a combination of) the following categories: creative/fine art, documentary/reportage, and formal/classic.
Do your research - stalk wedding blogs, Pinterest the hell out of photos you love and look for common themes. Are you attracted to real, natural moments of couples and guests having an awesome time? If so, a documentary photographer might be the way to go. Or perhaps you’re attracted to beautiful portraits? Creative and fine art wedding photographers have a real focus on this. Maybe you’re drawn to more traditional style photos? Then take a look at more formal wedding photographers.
Think of a wedding photographer’s website as their shop window - they should display the style of photography they specialise in along with information on how they approach photography on the day. So once you have an idea of what style of photos you love, start looking at websites to see if they’re ticking all the boxes for you. I personally would categorise myself as a documentary photographer for the vast majority of the day, taking the time to get some creative and natural portraits with a few family group photos. You can read more about my photography style here. You can also ask photographers to show you examples of full weddings so you can see how they shoot all parts of the day.
Budget will of course play a part in finding the perfect photographer for you, and there’s a huge variance in price when it comes to wedding photography, from a couple of hundred for full day coverage, all the way up in excess of 10k.
Your wedding photos are one of the few things on your wedding that increases in value over time, so it’s worth investing as much as you can afford. In years to come, it will be your wedding photos that you have to look back on and remember your day. If you find a photographer that you absolutely love but they’re out of your budget, find a way to get it, even if it means spending less on other parts of your wedding.
Be wary of photographer packages that seem too good to be true - quite often there’s a very good reason, be it lack of experience, not running a legitimate business with professional, insured equipment - or, they’re just not very good.
Check your photographer’s availability and meet them
Wedding photographers get bookings up to two years in advance, so you should prioritise booking your photographer after securing your venue to avoid disappointment. If free on your date, I’d always recommend meeting your photographer before finalising your booking, whether that’s in person or via Skype/phone-call. Why? Getting on with your wedding photographer is so, so important. They’re normally there for the majority of your wedding, so having a great rapport and understanding how they approach the day is crucial for building that trust and getting the best possible result.
I insist on meeting my couples before they book and have several touch points with them in the lead up to their wedding so we can get to know each other better. My couples always feel like friends and this helps me capture authentic, natural moments.
Ask questions - be clear on what’s included
So you’ve found the perfect wedding photographer - it’s time to double check you fully understand what you’re getting. Ask as many questions as you want - are they insured? Do they have back-up equipment? What would happen if they’re sick on the day? How long does it take to get the photos after the wedding? I include the answer to all these on my FAQ page, but am more than happy to answer any questions couples may have. No question is silly, and I’d much rather you ask something than be unsure.
A professional photographer will send you a contract to sign before booking - don’t just sign this without reading! There’s important information in there to protect both you and them. You should also be aware of how much you’re being charged and what’s included in the price. My full day package includes all travel and accommodation expenses within England and full Personal Use License on your finished images so you can print and share online as much as you wish. Read more about what I offer in my full day package.
And you’ve done it! Woo!
If you think I’m the perfect wedding photographer for you, please get in touch!