So, you have a dress, the suits, flowers, cake and a band….but what is the one thing that will remain an everlasting memory of your wedding day? Your photos should be a beautiful and timeless account of the most important day of your life and should help every bride and groom to re-live the romance and excitement allover again.
Choosing a wedding photographer can be a daunting process but hopefully my five top tips will give you something to consider when making your decision.
Image quality and style
The quality of a photographer’s portfolio should be the first thing that captures your attention. A good photographer should be able to offer clients a variety of styles, capturing the personalities of the bride and groom and showcasing the happiness and fun of the day. Be clear on what style you would like and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio.
If you are drawn to a particular photographer, make sure you ask to view all of their images (not just the favourites they pick for their websites!) so that you can check the image quality is consistent throughout.
Be aware that photographers have different editing techniques. If an image is heavily edited then chances are this will be a common theme within their photography portfolio and is usually an attempt to try to cover up poor quality.
Above all, the style of the images should say something about you both as a couple. Whether you are looking for relaxed and informal photography or you would like to go for a more adventurous and contemporary style, be sure to do your homework and shop around.
As a bride and groom, you put a lot of trust and faith in your wedding photographer. In order to get the best images and a true account of the most important day of your life, it is imperative that you feel comfortable and relaxed in their presence.
You can usually tell within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone, whether you feel a rapport or connection. First impressions are key and if you instantly strike a bond then you are on to a good thing. If you feel uncomfortable around your photographer for whatever reason then this will become very apparent in your wedding photos.
Also, think of your guests. If your wedding photographer is approachable, friendly and down to earth, your guests will be at ease allowing the photographer to blend in and capture the day as it naturally unfolds rather than a forced and posed account.
Remember, a true smile is impossible to fake so choose wisely and ensure you meet with your photographer a couple of times before confirming your booking.
Value for money
This can often be a deciding factor for a lot of brides and grooms and although it is a vital element, it should not be the basis for your decision. High-end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality but likewise, reasonable pricing does not always depict low quality.
A photographer should be open about their pricing structures and in turn, you should be clear on your budget. Neither one of you wants to waste any time so a clear dialogue right from the beginning will resolve this.
Your photographer should offer a variety of packages to suit all and should always be flexible with pricing and what is included within each package. Your photographer is providing a service and each couple will have different expectations and requirements so do make sure that your photographer can tailor make a package to suit your needs.
Always remember to ask about any hidden extras. Some photographers charge an additional fee for editing, VAT, creating artwork for an album or even travel and food expenses. You should always ensure that all costs are detailed in a quote before entering in to any contractual agreement.
The experience a photographer has will play a large part in the organisation and structure of the day. I am sure many photographers will agree that they have often played the role of coordinator, photographer, master of ceremonies and children’s entertainer. Taking the photos is just a small part of being a wedding photographer and without the necessary experience and the ability to perform under constant pressure important moments can be easily missed.
Always try to choose a wedding photographer who has already worked at your wedding venue. This isn’t a necessity but your photographer must show a willingness to meet at the venue regularly, exploring the best photo locations and opportunities as well as taking the time to run through the structure of the day. It is also a good idea for the photographer to meet with the venue proprietor/wedding coordinator to make sure everyone is clear on the days agenda from start to finish.
Ensure you ask how many weddings they have covered since they began trading and how long they have been in the business. This doesn’t mean that they are any less capable if they have only be trading for a short period of time but will give you a good idea of experience gained. Similarly, if a photographer has been in the business for years and has experience in abundance, you may want to check that their style has moved with the times and will meet the expectations of a modern day bride and groom.
A lot of my bookings have come through recommendations from previous clients and word of mouth. If your friends and family have been happy with the quality of the service and work of a particular photographer then chances are, you will be too. Again, this should not be the main reason for your choice but should be the final piece of the jigsaw.
Speak to your friends about their experiences with their wedding photographer and try to make use of tips and advice from those who have organised their own weddings. A good photographer will always be able to give you a testimonial from previous clients upon request or even provide you with contact details should you wish to hear from them directly.
In conclusion, these top 5 tips should not be considered to be in any order of importance. Each point is as important as the next and when choosing the right wedding photographer for you, a combination of all of these factors should be used as a basis for your decision. May I wish you all the best of luck in your wedding planning and a long and happy future together.