Weddings

8 Tips on How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer for You

Unlike other wedding vendors and services like the caterers, cake makers, venue, and dress suppliers, you can’t see what you’re going to get with wedding photography before the big day. Therefore, it’s vitally important to do some research before you choose who’s going to capture those precious moments during your wedding.

Rebecca Prigmore has been photographing weddings for eight years and, over that time, has come up with some great tips for brides- and grooms-to-be to help them in their journey to find the perfect photographer. Here is her advice on what to think about and look out for before booking…

1. Style

One of the first things to consider is what sort of photographs do you envisage when you think about your wedding? Do you see them as being romantic images? Strongly styled bold pictures? Or maybe relaxed and quirky photos? As a first step, try and visualise your perfect wedding album. You want it to be an album that you’d like to pick up in 10 years’ time, look at and reminisce.

If you can choose a type of photography that you’d like for your day, you can then start to narrow down your searches. Photographers tend to have certain styles that come naturally to them, so if you’re after natural and relaxed photographs, or maybe romantic and whimsical, then using those words in your searches will help you find a photographer with a similar vibe.

2. Research

When you find photographers whose style you like the look of, and who you feel will capture your day in the way you want it captured, the next step is to research them. Do they capture the moments you want photographed on your day? Do the images you find show the details of the day you’d want to be seen, and portray the emotion you envisage?

Look at their website, Facebook, Instagram and any blogs you can. Google them to see what comes up and where else they have been mentioned. This will enable you to see as many photos of theirs as possible, plus you’ll find reviews on them and hopefully get an idea of how they’ll work for you.

3. Contact

Once you’ve found the photographers you like and researched them online, now’s the time to contact them and see if they’re the right person for you. First, find out if they are available on your date, and if they are able to travel to your venue. This first point of contact is really important, and not just from an organisational perspective.

This is a good chance for you to get an idea whether this is someone you could work with on your day. Are they friendly and approachable? Does the communication seem tailored to you? What information do they offer and how helpful are they?  Also, ask if you can see some full weddings they have photographed to get an idea of what you could expect from your day.

4. Budget

You will, of course, have a budget you need to stick to and that’s very important, but try not to just follow the pound signs. Find the photographers with images that rock your world, and then go from there. You’ll soon see that photography can vary hugely in price, but there is a reason.  Wedding photography is a massively important part of your day, and photographers work very hard to cover this to the best of their abilities. It’s a long day, often with lots of travel involved. There is lots of work before the big day, and afterwards in the editing and processing, and a good, reliable and competent photographer will often not come cheap.

Experience is a huge thing, on such an important day you don’t get a second chance. So here is where your research comes in again, to make sure the person you are paying is experienced.  As long as you find someone you trust and whose photos you love, you’ll have made the right choice.  Just remember, the photographs will be with you for generations to come, so if you can invest in this you’ll have them forever.

5. Meet and Talk

If possible, arrange to meet with photographers, or chat on the phone if they are too far away and an in-person meeting is just not possible. Meeting face-to-face is the best way to get an idea of the person behind the camera and to see if you’ll click and they will be someone you’d like to have with you on your day.

If you do manage to arrange a meeting, ask if they can bring an album example to show you too. When you chat, they’ll likely be able to answer questions you hadn’t even thought to ask, and any good, experienced photographer will have lots of advice on all sorts of elements of the day, so don’t be scared to put the question forward.

6. Book

Good photographers can get booked up very far in advance, so if you are certain about who you want, you can’t contact them too soon! When starting the booking process, make sure you find out all the finer details, such as what you receive, what’s included, if they are insured and what might happen if there is a problem on the day.

A good photographer will have a contract which covers all of this, so do read through it all thoroughly and chat things through with them if you have any concerns. They’ll be happy to talk you through everything and make sure you are comfortable with the terms of your agreement.

7. Keep in Touch

Your photographer will be there throughout the planning process if you need them to be. They’ll have tons of experience of weddings, of course, so if you are worried about any element, just ask for their input and advice.

If you are looking for other suppliers, make sure to ask if they have suggestions. Experienced wedding photographers will have met a lot of people during their career and have built up a good contact list of people and businesses that they would recommend. They are bound to have some great suggestions of people they’ve worked with in the past.

8. Relax!

Enjoy your day! Give the photographer all the information they need to enable them to capture the day for you. Some photographers will ask for a checklist or survey to be filled in around eight weeks before the wedding to make sure they have the details they need, and this gives them the opportunity to chat things through beforehand. It doesn’t just put you at ease, but also the photographer, who will be confident about when everything is happening and thoroughly organised and ensure they have everything covered for you.

And with this, you can enjoy the day, knowing your trusted photographer has got it all in hand!

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