Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer for your wedding can be a bit daunting. Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s a massive decision. After all, when the cake has been demolished, your dress is in a box in the attic and the flowers have wilted, the only things that remain are your wedding photographs. I’m not saying that everything else is any less important, but we’ll get to that soon enough.
First things first, this isn’t just going to be a long blog where the punchline at the end of it is, “your perfect wedding photographer was me all along!” This blog is here to genuinely give you some things to think about when booking your wedding photographer so that you can make the best decision.
Although this blog is about finding the perfect wedding photographer, most of the advice can be used when choosing any wedding supplier. Now, let’s dive right in:
One of the best ways to get started in your search is to ask people for recommendations rather than blindly searching for a supplier. Newlyweds, your venue, social media and even other suppliers can point you in the right direction by referring awesome suppliers. When people recommend suppliers it is usually because they have personally had a great experience with them. And that is massively important.
Wedding expenses can get mega out of hand and I would never want anyone to bankrupt themselves to pay for their wedding. Budget doesn’t mean just finding the cheapest photographer and going with them. What I mean is, work out your overall wedding budget, write down everything that you want and allocate a percentage to each supplier according to how important they are to you. For example, if your priority is to have a kick-ass wedding band to keep your dance floor rocking all night, spend a little more on them and try to cut back elsewhere. As a general rule of thumb, you would probably be looking at spending around 10-15% of your wedding budget on your photographer. There are some great infographics that can help with budget allocation.
A wedding photographer isn’t just a wedding photographer anymore. There is a whole spectrum of different styles of wedding photography. From the super formal, traditional style with mainly posed photos and group shots to the purely documentary style where nothing is staged, and everything in between.
The terms describing the different styles can also be confusing. So if you’re after candid photographs, look for styles described as ‘documentary’, ‘reportage’, ‘natural’, ‘unposed’ and for a more traditional style look for ‘posed’, ‘classic’ or ‘timeless’.
So go have a look at the photographers portfolio and see how they work to see if they fit with what you want to get out of your wedding photography. Booking a traditional wedding photographer to get documentary images is like painting a fence with a toothbrush. Both would get the job done but it would be best to just use a paintbrush in the first place.
04. Meet Your Photographer
I always like to meet up with my couples before they book. That way they can be 100% sure that we will be a perfect fit for each other. You’re about to hand over a large chunk of money to a stranger, so whether it’s in person or over Skype/FaceTime, I’d definitely recommend meeting your photographer.
You really don’t want to book someone who you don’t realise until it’s too late, you don’t get along.
05. Ask Questions
What happens if it rains on the wedding day? Are there and hidden extras we should know about? Do you have backup equipment? Having a few fears about your wedding day is perfectly natural, so by asking your photographer questions you will feel a lot more comfortable that you have booked the right person to take care of you perfectly.
Photographers, along with other suppliers, can be fonts on knowledge when it comes to planning a wedding so make sure you make utilise them and ask questions and advice. Many photographers have shot hundreds of weddings so can recommend other suppliers and point you in the right direction with planning your wedding how you want it.
A portfolio is a showcase of a photographers work and a great way to get to know their style. If you ask, most photographers would be happy to also share a full wedding gallery so that you can really get a feel of how a full day flows. You can also see full wedding highlights on a photographers blog. These are usually the most recent weddings so that you can see their current style.