Wedding photos are one of the things you actually keep from your big day – and keep forever (well maybe not all of them!). After the cake has been eaten, the flowers have wilted and the favours 100% of the time get chucked away! So you want to make sure they capture YOU as a couple. Don’t get scared by the huge price range, averaging around £800 and going into thousands! There is something for everyone, you just need to work out what you’re looking for – so here are our guidelines.
1) RecommendationsThe majority of the time, you want to use someone who someone else may have used to get a good idea of how that specific photographer worked and what kind of work they produced.
Ask your family or friends! If a member of family or your friend got married recently, look at their wedding album (you can steal some of their ideas too), or ask them for some guidance (they will LOVE spreading their post-wedding knowledge). Facebook is full of THOUSANDS #noexaggeration of Wedding groups these days with lots of brides asking for recommendations across the UK and also giving friendly advice on lots of stuff, definitely worth a check! Also, if you have a venue in mind, ask them about wedding fairs or if they have recommendations for photographers that have worked there – they will have seen a lot of photographers so can give you some options. Have a look at the photographer’s website, online reviews and social media to get a bit more of an idea.
When choosing your wedding photographer, you will find a lot of them charging different amounts and of course your budget is very important! Don't settle for less when you can have the best! Ask suppliers if they offer payment plans, especially if you are booking in advance. It can help spread the cost and then you can do a little excited dance! Don't be disheartened if they don't accept this as not all offer it. As a photographer myself I take bookings up to 3 years in advance and clients make the move to pay off their balance, at their own discretion so they can have exactly what they want in the time given. After all its your day, do it the way you want to!
3)Contracts, Insurance, Invoices & Payment options
This bit might seem kind of boring, but extremely important when booking not only your photographer but all of your suppliers for the big day! Ask businesses if they have all these things to make sure they are professional and of course have your best interests at heart.
Always keep your wedding venue in mind. Is it indoors, outdoors, is there a lot of light, or little light! If you are celebrating your nuptials in the evening, at a candle-lit venue, then a photographer who has had experience in this would be perfect, although most photographers love something new to try!. Look at their portfolio and their ability to create light, even in a dimmer setting. (Tip: ask to see some ceremony photographs, as those often take place in a dim church).
Now for the fun bit! Start looking deeper into different portfolios and have a look at their style. Sometimes, even if you love a photographer’s work, you and the photographer still might not be the perfect fit – it’s like finding another person to marry! You need to be able to see yourself in the photographs, as they will represent you as a couple for years and years to come.
Also, consider how much time their style might require; elaborate fashion shoots can take hours. If you don’t want to spend your entire wedding posing for photos then bear this in mind. Check out first look photography tips if you want it to take up as little time as possible. You can work out details with the photographer once you’ve chosen them.
Windle your search down to your favourite 3 if its easier once you have scoured through, asked for recommendations and got a clear idea of what it is you are looking for. Making sure of course that these suppliers have your date available. Most of the time photographers are unable to hold dates due to high demand but do ask to make sure you aren't wasting your time in conversation.
Once you’ve looked through the portfolios and picked your favourites, its time to meet the professionals themselves – it’s a bit like a blind date! Your photographer will spend the majority of your wedding day with you, so it’s important your personalities mesh. A helpful tip from us: ask them about their favourite photograph! You will learn a lot about their vision and personality from the way they answer your question.
Vision aside, a wedding photographer should be polite and unobtrusive, yet able to direct group images, which can require a lot of organising. A good way to figure this out is to look at the group images and see whether the participants look relaxed and comfortable.
Lastly, check with the photographer whether it will be definitely them shooting your wedding, as larger agencies may often have alternatives. Most photographers are family run businesses like myself, I have my lovely hubby join in on the fun! Similarly, ask if they have an assistant and what kind of equipment they are going to use, especially if you prefer basic edits or if you have a strong opinion about how the images should be edited.
Don’t be afraid to ask every question until you’re happy. Going back to the beginning, your photography is something that is going to be there forever and your moments matter immensely to your chosen photographer. However, you don't need to worry too much, the camera will barely have to do anything, as you’re both going to look amazing!