Top tips on choosing a Wedding Photographer
In my post ‘7 things you need to do 12 months before your wedding’ I spoke about choosing your wedding suppliers and trying to do it as early as you can as most good suppliers are booked up to 2 years or more in advance. This is particularly the case for good Wedding Photographers. It’s all a bit of a minefield when it comes to what to look for, but I hope this blog post will give you a bit of a guide. The one thing I would say is that the photography should be one of the things you are willing to spend more money on as it’s so important that it’s done right and you have photos to look back on that you’re happy with and will cherish, so spend as much as you can possibly afford.
I myself spent a lot of time finding a good photographer for our own wedding. We didn’t have a huge budget so I was looking at spending around £600 and eventually, after much searching on the internet, I found a good one with lots of examples to look at of weddings they’d already done and I liked their style. I was very happy with them on the day itself and the photos were lovely. We opted to have every photo they’d taken put onto a disc as I wanted to make my own wedding album. The same company did our wedding video and were the DJ’S too! Overall I was very happy and can’t fault the photos and the service I received. Looking back though, all I would say is that I wish we had a few ‘fun’ or ‘silly’ photos in there too as well as the ‘reportage’ style. I’ve seen a lot of this style recently and love it. So if I were to have my time again this is something I would definitely request to mix things up a bit and have more of a fun element. The company I used were http://www.squashedapple.co.uk and I would highly recommend them 🙂
Anyway, there’s many other things to bear in mind. You’ll find that prices vary dramatically for one. The more experienced & established photographers tend to be in the higher price bracket of say £900+, whereas those just starting out tend to charge a lot less, usually £400 or substantially less in order to gain the experience and add to their portfolio. So the question you should be asking yourself is whether you are happy to use somebody that’s just starting out or whether you want somebody with lots of experience. I myself wouldn’t recommend a complete beginner for something as important as your wedding. Unfortunately though, some people do and enlist the help of a family member, friend or somebody who likes taking photos as a hobby (an amateur or student) to capture their special day either for free or for next to nothing, only to then regret it afterwards when they don’t have the images they wanted! In my opinion it’s just false economy and not worth it. You need a professional for the job in hand as once your wedding day is over there’s no going back and no second chance! Wedding photography is completely different and very fast paced compared to taking photos of wildlife in the local park or such like that people may do as a hobby, so don’t take the gamble just to save money!
Besides price there’s also different styles of wedding photography, formal or informal, traditional or modern, or have a mixture. You need to look at different styles and decide what you like and would be comfortable with. Check for client testimonials and reviews too as a good photographer should have plenty. Once you’ve narrowed the choice down, you should arrange to meet with 2 or even 3 different wedding photographers. It’s really important to meet them and chat with them to make sure you like them and would feel comfortable with them on your special day. They may claim to be the best photographer in the world, but if you can’t connect with or feel relaxed with them on the most important day of your life then this may reflect in your photos which you don’t obviously want!
Once you meet with a photographer there are a whole host of different questions that you should be asking them:-
- Ask to see some of their previous work, preferably one wedding and not photos taken from different weddings. You may have already been on their website and seen a gallery of images, but always ask to see some albums too which they should have to take to wedding fayres etc.
- Ask about their pricing and packages and if there’s things you don’t want or need then ask if they can tailor a package for you. Make sure you know what is included eg editing of images, travel to venue, high resolution disk, postage etc.
- Ask about what style(s) of photography they offer (as I mentioned above).
- Ask if they have insurance – all professional photographers will be fully insured.
- Ask if they take photos in RAW or JPEG format. Photos taken in RAW format take up more camera space/memory but the results are better.
- Ask how long they will spend taking the photos on the day. Most photographers now will spend all day with you right up until the 1st dance, some may spend longer, so always check.
- Ask if you could speak to a previous client/couple. This shouldn’t pose a problem for any good photographer as they should have lots of happy customers who would be willing to speak with you and recommend their service.
- Ask if they intend to visit your venue before the wedding. Any good photographer will want to see the venue beforehand to have a look at the layout and plan ahead incase you get a rainy day for which they will need to make provision for by taking photos inside.
- If you are having a wedding rehearsal, ask if they will attend that. This is a great opportunity for the photographer to meet everyone, get to know you and to establish where they can and can’t go on the day.
- Ask about payment plans/options. Most photographers like many other wedding suppliers will ask for a deposit upfront. Some will then want the rest of the payment on the day of the wedding whereas others will let you split the payments into 3 and make your final payment on receipt of your photos.
- Ask when you should expect to receive your photos. It should normally take around 2-3 weeks to get them edited and processed, perhaps a little longer in busy periods eg summer, but your photographer should indicate the timescale when you meet them so that you know in advance.
So there you have it, some honest advice when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer. I know a few really good ones that work across the Northwest, so i’m always happy to recommend people if you ever need to find a good one xx 🙂
Did you find these top tips on choosing a wedding photographer useful? Then feel free to leave a comment below to let us know or share with your friends on social media using the social share links. You can also sign up to our newsletter here where you will receive our weekly blog posts that are just bursting with wedding planning hints and tips straight to your inbox! Or if you’d like to get in touch for a FREE quote for your Wedding venue dressing, flowers or wedding stationery or even to arrange a FREE consultation with me to discuss your wedding plans then click here or feel free to contact me by phone or email. Contact details are in the sidebar to the right of this page. I look forward to hearing from you xx