TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
I understand that the choice of potential wedding photographers available to couples is pretty daunting! I’ve produced these pointers so that any of you who are feeling overwhelmed by the process of choosing a photographer for your wedding are better placed to make an informed decision.
I’d really advise going with your gut instinct when booking your photographer. It’s a good idea to read through these tips for choosing your wedding photographer before you look at the bottom line price. Good quality photography will be the biggest investment you’re going to make for your wedding, the value of which will increase over time and cannot be underestimated.
Perhaps you’ve got a strong vision of the style of photography you’re looking for or it may be that you don’t know what you’re looking for until you come across a gallery of images which ‘sing to you’! In any event, the images should resonate with you and should give you a good sense of how it might have felt to have been there on the day.
There are many descriptions of styles of photography, including ‘photojournalist’, ‘reportage’, ‘contemporary’, ‘natural’, ‘quirky’ and ‘classic’ to mention a few. This might be confusing so try not to let these descriptions guide what your instincts are telling you.
It’s good idea to look at a photographer’s blog to get a really good feel for their style, consistency and regularity of work. Having said that, in the busy wedding season I’m guilty myself of not regularly updating my blog – but it is something to consider.
Most photographers will have a number of testimonials on their site from their wedding clients. There are also various online directories where you can see reviews, which require an email verification, an example being Free Index (a free online business directory). There is also a facility on Google Places/Google Plus where visitors to the site can leave feedback, again requiring an email verification. It’s really worth researching!
It’s a good idea to choose a professional wedding photographer who has a plenty of experience under their belt. It’s advisable to find out how many weddings a photographer has shot, independently. Not only are they able to ensure that they have the right equipment for the job, they are also able to plan for every contingency as they are aware of potential issues that might crop up during the wedding shoot. An experienced wedding photographer is also able to give you advice on wider aspects of your wedding, including the all-important timings and they can help to calm things down if you feel flustered.
Being a wedding photographer can be a bit of a juggling act. On the one hand, you need to ensure you can get everybody together for all the group shots without wasting too much time, but on the other hand you don’t want to be too overbearing. When choosing your photographer, you’re ideally looking for somebody who is able to manage people well without being too bossy. We’ve all been to weddings where the photographer seems to take control of the day and everyone feels like they are being herded around like naughty schoolchildren. On the other hand, you do need a photographer who can be tactfully assertive when necessary and who has enough personality to get the best out of everybody and to help them feel relaxed so they are at their best in the photographs. The photograph shoots should be fun and not an ordeal!
Ideally you want a photographer with good people skills, who your guests naturally warm to. When you meet with potential photographers, think carefully about the impression they leave with you. If you don’t feel completely comfortable with them, it’s likely your guests won’t either.
When you are thinking of the overall budget for your wedding, it is important to bear the following points in mind when adding in the costings for your wedding photographer. Be wary of just going for the cheapest photographer – make sure you are choosing somebody who is able to offer you the wedding package that you require, who has back up equipment and professional editing software to provide you with quality images. It’s worth bearing in mind that a good wedding photographer will have to invest significant amounts of money in quality cameras and equipment and then continue to re-invest with new technology. Other costs for them include editing software, computers and time, insurance, website & advertising costs, studio expenses, taxes, personal development and on-going training, etc…
Arrange a meeting
It’s important for you to put a face to a name and to ensure that you feel compatible with and comfortable around your potential photographer. After all, you’ll be spending much your wedding day with them. Meeting with your photographer(s) (even if it’s just over Skype) can really give you an indication of how they are with people and how they will work on the day, as well as allowing you to discuss your ideas and details in person. Some photography studios may have more than one photographer or a business manager, so do make sure you get to meet with the actual person who will be taking the photographs on your wedding day.
Questions to ask
You’ll find that often photographers will have a list of FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) on their website, which will give you some guidance. I’ve put together a list of of these questions, although it’s not an exhaustive list, which hopefully you’ll find useful and at least it will be a good starting point. Please click here to view.
With a bit of research, you should be able to find the right wedding photographer to suit you and provide images that resonate with you and ensure you have a beautiful record of this special day to keep for ever!