Choosing the right wedding photographer for your special day is a completely personal choice that is based on the style of the photographers work, cost, location, or a combination of all three. This blog will hopefully contain some helpful tips on how to choose, give you some ideas about what to ask them and also the best places to search for your photographer.
Cost can be a major factor for people when choosing a wedding photographer which is completely understandable… everyone has a different budget and each photographer has a different price range. You might hear people say ‘you should stay away from the cheaper end of the scale, because it means that the photographer is bad’ In my opinion this is not neccessarily true. Lots of photographers have other jobs so they charge less as they have another main income…. so make sure you look at their full body of work and if it adds up and you love their style, then you’ve found a bargain.
Photographers may need to travel and stay over if they live outside the desired location so ask if both of these things are included in the package.
On a smaller note… some photographers require that you put lunch or dinner on for them during the wedding so its worth checking as this may add to your cost depending on the day and your choice of dining.
Photography is like any form of art in that the style will vary hugely depending on the artist and it is all about personal taste. Some photographers will use a mixture so as to maximise coverage and variety for the couples album, but generally there are three main styles.
TRADITIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY – This is mainly focused is on set-up or posed shots. There are benefits here in terms of making sure you have group photographs of family and friends that you wouldn’t otherwise get. The downside is that it is very time-consuming and can eat into the day and you will get very little in the way of natural, candid shots.
DOCUMENTARY STYLE PHOTOGRAPHY – Also known as reportage, candid or journalistic, this is the most natural form of photography and often suits couples who don’t enjoy having their photos taken and prefer a more relaxed approach to their day. The negatives are that you may miss out on the group shots so it is important to ask your photographer if that is also possible.
EDITORIAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY – This is quite like traditional or classic wedding photography in that it is posed and can be time-consuming, but it is more modern. The photographer will concentrate on surroundings, backdrop and lighting and your photos will have an editorial, fashion shoot look.
Think about how you would like your day to flow and which style reflects you best as a couple.
Most photographers will travel, but there are of course benefits to hiring a photographer that is local to the ceremony and reception locations. Local photographers will have knowledge of the area and all the hidden gems and will also probably already have a working relationship with many of the vendors and venues. If your photographer is coming from outside the area or has never been to your venue check that they will be going there prior to your date, or at least getting there early so that they can get a feel for the place beforehand.
If you live outside the area where the wedding is taking place why not set up meetings with potential photographers whilst you are booking venues.
It is one of the most special days in your life so make sure that you meet your photographer beforehand. A photographer is one of the few people to follow you throughout the most intimate parts of the day so you want to feel relaxed around them. I always think the photographer should be like an extra guest and not some strange person on the outside. Taking amazing photos is obviously the most important part, but they also need to communicate clearly, calmly and should be good with people. The better they get on with everyone the better and more personal the photos will be. If it isn’t possible to meet because of location or clash of work at least do a Skype call so that you can get a proper idea about the energy of your photographer and to make sure you are on the same page.
I always post a few photos on social media and on online, but I have chosen not to put my couples entire day on my website, for privacy reasons, so this is one of the things I am able to do with my potential clients in person. It’s also an opportunity to see samples of anything contained within your package and the quality of them, such as albums, USB’s, boxes and prints.
We are definitely an industry that is all about future bookings, but there is a fear that’s been instilled in couples that if they don’t book now, then they will miss out and not find anyone. Of course if you have a particular photographer in mind it’s probably wise to book them sooner rather than later, but not everyone plans a wedding that far in advance. Don’t feel pushed into booking, and dont panic if you’re arranging a last minute wedding because there is not a shortage of great wedding photographers.
Search Engine – Type in ‘Wedding photographer ( and location)’ and you’ll find tons of photographers. You will also see their reviews within google which is a great way to see what other couples experinces have been. Their website should also have plenty testimonials for you to read over.
Social Media – you can almost always find wedding groups local to your area that you can join. Local brides sharing experinces and vendors posting for your attention.
Word of Mouth – Obviously having friends and family personal recommendations is very handy so ask about
Venue and vendors – The venue and other vendors you use may have their favourite photographers and the same can be said for the photographer… ask them if they have a preferred vendors list too
Online Wedding Planner – Hitched is a great exampe of where to find local photographers and other vendors in your area.