Okay, you’ve got the date, the ring and probably the venue, so now you’re looking for a wedding photographer to capture your day. Finding the perfect wedding photographer is probably one of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make in your wedding planning journey because there’s zillions of photographers to choose from. So where do you start and how do you choose the best photographer for your wedding day…?
1. Word of Mouth
The first place to start looking is to ask your recently married friends who they used for their wedding. You can hear the good things about them, the things they didn’t really like and you can hear just what it was like on the day to have them.
But, and here’s a big but, just because a friend may have loved their wedding photographer, doesn’t mean that that photographer is right for you or your wedding. Look at their wedding photos and see if you like them. Ask them if you can see their full gallery or wedding album and then decide for yourself if you like the work their photographer did.
Asking recently married friends is a great place to start, but if you didn’t really like what you saw then it’s best to search the traditional way using Google, Bing, wedding blogs, social media, wedding magazines etc – and hopefully you can find some photographers who’s work stands out to you.
2. Look at lots of Wedding Pictures
When visiting photographers websites, have a good look at their pictures and ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Do you like the pictures, and do the images have some impact..?
- Does the quality of the pictures look professional? Are they too light, too dark, are they crooked or even over-photoshopped? Could you take a better picture on your phone…?
- Is there variety of pictures on their website – showing different locations, different weddings, different people, with pictures taken both indoors and outdoors. And more importantly, are there lots of pictures of people instead of shoes, cakes and confetti…?
It’s really easy for a photographer to show one good picture from a wedding and hide away the rest. Also, don’t just rely upon looking at a photographers instagram page. Visit a photographers blog and look through their recent weddings as these should show a good selection of pictures from a wedding and give you a better idea about the photographers skill. But more importantly,
3. The Photographers Style
A photographer’s style is probably the most important factor when choosing a wedding photographer and the way the photographer works will influence your experience of the day itself. All photographers see things and shoot things differently. Some photographers are ‘alternative’ and use quirky angles for poses or funky colours to present their pictures, while some are traditional, relying on safe poses and even safer photography for their pictures. Some are completely documentary and will go to great lengths to remain anonymous during a wedding, and some are like me who use their experience to document the day in their own way.
If you love the look of candid photos then it’s important to choose a photographer who can shoot natural moments. If you prefer the more posed, high-end fashion style of photography then don’t choose a candid photographer, because you will be sorely disappointed. Most of all – choose the photographer who’s style of pictures you like.
4. Meeting Your Photographer
Make a list of the photographers you like. Contact them to see if they’re available and within your budget, and then make arangements to met or speak to the photographers you like the best. When you talk to them, make sure to ask lots of questions: are they insured, what would they do if their camera broke, what if they were sick on the day, what if it was raining, what if….? You get the idea. Don’t let it be a one-way conversation so make a list and ask them lots of questions – but once you’ve done that dont make any promises – go away and have a think about it.
5. Trust Your Photographer
When you do choose your photographer – trust them before the wedding and during the wedding. Get their advice for timings for the day and dont be shy to ask them other questions, as the wedding photographer is the one vendor who is at the wedding for most of the day. They see every part of the day and the experienced photographers have seen it all – warts an all….
On the wedding day itself, just let your wedding photographer do their thing. Enjoy yourself and dont be shy in taking their advice about when and where you should do things because all they want to do is capture the best images possible.