Find your perfect wedding photographer. Poor wedding photography ranks as one of the biggest regrets for couples after their big day. Wedding photos are a visual memento of your nuptials that stay with you forever. Get them wrong and you’re left with photos of your wedding that you’ll never want to see again, let alone exhibit in a frame.
Here are our 7 steps to finding your perfect wedding photographer:
1. Resist the friend idea
First things first, keep your friends and wedding suppliers entirely separate. There is one very important thing you can keep from your wedding – your photographs. They capture moments that will never be recreated. Wedding photographs are a lasting chronicle of relationships and are often handed down through the generations. Ask an amateur to capture the magic of your wedding day and it’s inviting trouble. You’ll be running the risk of receiving a substandard collection of photos that will leave your memories ruined plus your friendship in tatters. There are no short cuts with wedding photography; attempt to take them and you’ll get exactly what you paid for.
2. Book early
If a wedding photographer is good, they’ll also have a diary that’s crammed with jobs, often up to several years in advance. After confirming your wedding date and venue, booking your photographer is the next wedding planning port of call.
3. What to pick?
Decide on style. Are you looking at elegant, formal, ‘set piece’ photography that captures your wedding day? Would you like your photos taken by someone so discreet you hardly know they’re present as they capture beautifully shot reportage images of your wedding? Are you after documentary style photos that are shot using traditional film reel rather than a digital camera? The choices are endless. It’s important that you choose a wedding photographer that blends in with you as a couple. If you’re really happy posing you may enjoy set piece photography involving a great deal of creative planning. Alternatively, you may consider photography quite intrusive and want to remain blissfully unaware of a camera lens throughout your wedding day. Perhaps you’d like the services of a photographer that can combine the two styles effectively to provide a beautifully shot wedding album that documents every aspect of your big day to perfection.
4. Who to pick?
Recommendations from friends, venue suggestions, websites, wedding blogs, they’re all great avenues for investigating ideal candidates for the job of your wedding photographer. Wedding blogs are a great showcase of real photography on the front line; take a trawl through them to get a sense of different options for style and finish.
5. View their work
When you initially meet with a photographer, request to see albums of at least three complete weddings. Be aware of being shown best-shot selections, they don’t tell the whole story, just part of one. Every wedding album that you view should be completely different; you should get a real sense of what each couple and the wedding party are like from their photos. Watch out for albums that seem to feature similar shots; it lacks creativity and shows that the photographer isn’t committed to telling the story of each couple in an original way.
6. Ask about wedding packages
Do they include expenses and VAT? How long will your photographer attend your wedding day for? Will they bring a second shooter who will help capture the whole of your wedding story? Find out how many photos will be taken, what your options are for editing and how you can access your images after your wedding. Discover how your weddings will be presented (online, in an album, all proofs, or just a selection?) and how long it will take to get an initial look at them after your wedding day.
7. Do you gel with them personally?
It doesn’t matter if you’ve hired a cake maker that’s miserable to the core; as long as they deliver top-notch goods on your wedding day their demeanor can be overlooked. No so with a photographer. This is the front line supplier; the one that everyone at your wedding will be exposed to. It’s important you feel at ease with your wedding photographer and completely confident that they will deliver a service that makes you feel comfortable. Wedding photographers need to be good with people. They need confidence to interact with your guests without exhibiting pushy behavior. It’s essential that you don’t hire someone who will wind you up and/or annoy your guests throughout your day.
Your wedding photographs are the only visual mementos of your wedding day that you can have on display constantly in your home (unless you’ve got a looped video on the go, which would be pretty weird). The message is clear when it comes to wedding photography; part with as much of your budget as you can afford. You won’t regret it.