You may remember, as I’ve blogged about this before, that I was once a wedding photographer. It’s something I enjoyed immensely but, for many reason, I am no longer in that industry. However, I’d thought I’d share some advice for couples looking for a wedding photographer from my perspective.
The one thing Helen and I wish we had done differently at our wedding is the choice of photographer. He was a lovely chap, but we were a bit too naive and his offering was very basic. If I could go back and follow my advice here then I would.
1) Set a budget
Wedding photographers come in many price bands. You can spent as little as a few hundred pounds to thousands, and anywhere in between. My advice is to set a budget for your photography within the grand scheme of the whole wedding. But don’t be too stingy, because those photos will be a lasting memory.
2) Shop around
Use the power of the Internet. Join wedding planning forums. If you’ve chosen a venue then ask then for recommendations. Even wedding magazines will be a good resource.
Look at the different styles on offer and then choose 2 or 3 within your budget to take a closer look at.
Whatever you do, don’t do what we did and settle on the first one we talked to!
3) Meet them in person
Meet your shortlist in person. Yes, it could be time consuming but it will be worth it. Having a good rapor with your photographer is vital. Remember, they are going to be embedded in your wedding and sometimes intimate moments on the day. This is where your gut instinct will be important – trust it.
4) Check their credentials
I don’t mean their driving license here. Check their back catalog of weddings, even asked for references from previous clients. I always had a few that we were willing to act as referees for me.
Beyond that you need to make sure they have things like public liability insurance, just in case a stray camera bag trips up great auntie Maraget! If they say they are members of any professional organizations then it’s worthwhile checking them out on there too. Being a member of these organisations might not necessarily make them a better photographer, but lying about it sure makes them untrustworthy.
5) Keep in touch
Communication is key! Once you booked your photographer then stay in touch with them. In fact, any wedding photographer worth their salt will stay in touch with you. I used to email my couples every month to check in with them in the lead up to the big day.
This line of communication will ensure both you and your photographer are clear on what is happening.
6) Share your plans
Share the details of your wedding and ensure the photographer is aware. They will likely want these details anyway but there’s nothing wrong with sending them over.
A pre-wedding meeting is a must, maybe 2 weeks out from the big day. If you can, then meet at the venue too so the photographer can do a recce if they’ve never shot at there before.
7) Look for the extras
You won’t just have your official wedding photographer with you on your big day. Most of your guests will either have brought their own camera along or have a mobile phone with them. Back at our wedding we provided single-use cameras, the results were okay and we got some great shots. But, think about all the photos that will be taken on your wedding day that your official photographer simply won’t be able to capture.
Using a service for wedding photo sharing solves these problems. It allows all your guests to upload the images they capture into a central gallery. They will be able to upload directly from mobile phones or tablets using dedicated apps too and you can then cherry-pick the very best shots to use elsewhere.
Choosing a wedding photographer is a very personal thing. You are sharing the most important day of your life with them and I know when I was doing it I was always aware of that privilege. It’s a bit like choosing a prom dresses for your body type – it has to be a perfect fit.
Thanks for reading
This is a collaborative post