The key is finding the person that’s right for you. Having an alternative wedding in your local pub? There’s a photographer out there who will capture it perfectly. Want a cinematic Wedding? Not a problem, just remember they will be with you all day so make sure you definitely like them before committing.
So what’s the best advice I can give to any couple getting married?
It’s an obvious one, but enjoy the day! A stressed or unhappy couple don’t make for good photos. Weddings can be stressful, but remember that the only important thing on the day is that you’re there to marry each other.
How important is the background?
Great people make great photographs, and a great background isn’t essential but its well worth thinking about what you’re giving your photographer to work with and how you want your photos to look.
Don’t think its essential for your photographer to know your chosen venue, I love to go to new venues but its worth taking the time to have a look around and think “Where would be a nice spot for our wedding photos to be taken?”. A lovely big hall or garden is nice, but if its got a big fire door in the centre or scaffolding outside it makes it harder to create the scene for your shots.
What’s the most important thing a couple should think about when choosing a wedding photographer?
Normally, the first step in choosing a wedding photographer will be down to style. Do you like contemporary, Documentary or a slight hint of fashion? In my years photographing weddings I find the Documentary style to be the most pleasing. Your wedding day will be a very busy one for you and you wont have time to take in all that’s going on.
After your big day is over, and boy does it go quick! My customers have a full record of all the nice moments that have been going on around them, that as a bride and groom you’ll most likely have missed. Once you have found the photographers you like, meet with them for consultations, as they will be spending a lot of time with you and that time is very personal, so you need to get on with them.
My top tips for booking the right photographer for you
1. Book your venue first
It’s a smart idea to hire your photographer after you’ve secured your wedding venue. Aim to book his or her services about nine months before the wedding (or a year, if your photographer is in high demand).
2. Figure out the style of photography you like
Do your homework and spend some time online browsing a variety of wedding blogs to get a sense of the style of photography you like. Maybe it’s bright and pop-y, with lots of saturated colour. Or perhaps you prefer a more vintage look, with more washed-out tones and a dreamy, nostalgic feel.
Once you’ve found a handful of photographers whose aesthetic jives with yours, email each person and inquire 1) if they’re available on your wedding date and 2) about their photography rates. If the ones you’re interested in are available on your date and if their fees are within your budget, then you can schedule initial meetings.
3. Interview the photographers
Most photographers will email you a link to their portfolio of images before your first meeting. Be sure the collection includes recent weddings he or she has shot from start to finish, not just a “best of” highlight reel from dozens of different weddings. This is a more accurate way to gauge the photographer’s work.
Also, ask if the photographer has shot at your venue and if so, request to see those photos. During the meeting, find out who exactly will shoot on your wedding day. Some larger studios employ several photographers, and even with single-person operations it’s not unusual for the photographer to have an assistant handle shots of the groom getting ready while he focuses on the bride and bridesmaids. In all cases, request to see the work of the photographer (or photographers) who will be handling your wedding.
4. Discuss your budget
Some photographers’ fees include everything including albums, prints, and high-resolution images (saved on a disc or thumb drive); others have a flat or hourly rate, then charge you à la carte for any pictures or albums you want. Many photographers offer a price list that details several different packages they offer at different price points. Make sure that you understand what’s included. Ask how long the photographer will spend with you (seven to nine hours is ideal).
Lastly, also inquire about when you can expect to receive everything, from a sneak peek of images (some photographers can give you a handful within a few days) to prints (usually up to three months) to your album (up to a year).
5. Go with your gut
Once you’ve evaluated each photographer’s work and fees, and narrowed down the options, it’s time to make your decision. Don’t forget that you’ll be spending the entire wedding day with this person, so you want to make sure you feel completely comfortable with the photographer. Do you and your fiancé genuinely like this person? Do you feel like the three of you click?
6. Schedule a test run
An engagement photo shoot is always a good idea — it’s a great opportunity to get to know your photographer and begin to feel comfortable having your photo taken, especially if you or your groom are camera shy. This comes as nice free gift when you make a consultation with me