What to do to find the best wedding photographer for you
I know one of the things most people struggle with when planning their day is how to choose the best wedding photographer.
The photographer who is best for your friend may not suit you. There are so many styles of photography and approaches that it can seem daunting. But don’t worry, I’ve broken it down into simple steps to help you choose the best wedding photographer.
Remember the best wedding photographer for you doesn’t mean the best in the world. It’s about choosing the photographer who takes photographs you love and who suits your personality and budget. It’s about feeling comfortable with the photographer and loving their images.
I’m here to show you how to choose the best wedding photographer for you to make sure you get the wedding photographs you want!
Take time to check out a few photographers as you are investing in your memories and the wedding photographs you’ll be looking at for the rest of your lives together. So do your research by checking out photographer websites, search for real weddings and reviews. Check out the real weddings and blogposts as you’ll see images from morning until evening and so get a better feel for the type of photographs they capture.
Do I like the Photos and Style of Photographs?
When looking at sites just ask yourself do I like the type of photographs they take and do I want those style of photographs? If you like posed, fine art style photographs then search for that, if you want relaxed and candid style photographs then look for that type of photography.
So if you’re comfortable in front of the camera, choose a photographer who can capture your confidence. On the other hand, if you don’t like posing for a camera then find a photographer who makes you feel comfortable on the day.
I offer a mix of relaxed reportage style photographs of the day with some stunning couple photographs and some fun group and family shots.
When you’ve done your research and like what you see, then check if the best wedding photographer is available for your wedding date. You don’t want to waste your time talking to a photographer if they are not free on your day.
Ask what packages the photographer offers and see if that matches with your budget. Also check if there are travel costs or additional costs and also what extras are on offer. Get the photographer to send you on the prices before you commit to meet as there is no point in viewing stunning albums you can’t afford.
It’s important to remember that the photographs are the one thing you’ll have to remember your big day and those special moments. So don’t judge on budget, instead focus on quality and what the photographer can offer you. Just be sure to allow enough in your budget for the best wedding photographer.
Talk to or Meet the Photographer
On your day the photographer will be there with you through it all so it’s a good idea to call or ideally meet the photographer to see you like them and can imagine them adding to your day. You need to trust the photographer you choose and be confident they can capture the images you want. At the meeting (or on the phone) don’t be afraid to ask the photographer questions. The photographer should listen to what you want and incorporate the photographs you want taken. It can help if the photographer does a draft shoot list for your wedding.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Most photographers will have the experience to advise you on best locations and how to capture the best light and mood for your photographs. I’d normally chat with you to find out what you would like photographed and if there are any locations that mean a lot to you as a couple, that means on the day it’s more relaxed and we all know what to expect. Get a feel for what the photographer is like and approach and if he seems to fit with your plan for the day.
Qualified, Experienced and Insured?
Choosing a friend, family member or part-time photographer may help your budget but not your stress levels as you can’t be sure of results. Imagine if you had no photographs from your wedding day.
When you get a professional, qualified and experience photographer you can rest assured of the quality of the photographs they will give you. Also, some venues or photography locations (gardens etc.) like OPW sites insist on the photographer filling out details of their Public Liability Insurance.
I am professional, insured and qualified and have over 12 years of experience as a wedding photographer. I am also a Licentiate of the I.P.P.V.A. and a multi award-winning wedding photographer. So when you book me you can be confident I’ll capture stunning photographs for you.
If you are organising your wedding from abroad or do a lot of your planning online then you may need to communicate through email. In this case you can check reviews and testimonials for piece of mind. The photographer should be able to provide you with comments from satisfied clients, galleries of sample photographs and reviews from previous couples. This will helpt you find out about their wedding day experience, the quality of the albums and the level of service provided.
Google reviews are a good way of checking what other couple’s said about their photographer as they are from the couple’s own accounts.
Ask about Contract, Booking & Payment
How do you book and when do you pay? Will the photographer give you a contract? It’s a good idea to have a contract with the photographer as this ensures the terms are set out in advance and all eventualities are covered.
Ask about what booking deposit is required and payment terms. Most photographers can send you the contract to give you a chance to read through the terms and will offer staged payments for the photography.
You don’t have to choose a photographer based on whether they shot at your venue before. A good photographer will take great photographs in any venue. If they haven’t photographed there before most photographers should be happy to visit a venue. They can make notes of possible locations for outdoor and indoor photographs and make a plan in case of rain.
I always like to know a venue inside out so I always can come up with new locations or ideas for couple’s photographs.
All about Albums
If you decide to get a wedding album ask if they choose the photographs or do you get to pick your favourite images. Can you choose the cover, style of the album? Do they send you a proof of the album for you to approve? When you meet the photographer ask to see sample albums so you can check the quality of the printing and the quality of paper the album is printed on.
You want an album that will showcase your beautiful photographs to their best. I love to meet a couple to show them the award-winning albums so they can see the choices they have. Also when ordering you get to pick the images and the cover and you get a digital proof of your album to approve.
How do you get your photos?
If you decide against an album and choose to get digital files only then you need to ask how you will receive the images. Check the size of the files you will be getting will be large enough for reprints. Make sure the files won’t be branded.
If you opt to get a USB with digital files then make sure you back up your digital files to a harddrive once you get them. It’s also a good idea to back them up online (eg.Onedrive or Dropbox). This is important as you don’t want to lose your memories and it’s always good to have a backup in case the USB stops working.
When do you get your photos?
Ask when you get your photographs and how you receive them? Don’t be afraid to ask the photographs if you’ll be waiting weeks or months to see your images. Also will the images you receive just be colour or will you also get black and white versions. After the wedding day you will be dying to see your photographs.
I’d normally do a sneak peek of 3 or 4 images and send them to you within 72 hours of your wedding day. Then I do up a wedding preview book with all your images. You also get a USB with high res colour and black and white image which are all ready to print.
Enjoy and Relax
So in summary you need to feel comfortable and confident in the photographer you choose. Make sure you love the photographs, like the vibe of the website and reviews, feel sure they are qualified and experienced. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the better the photographs.
This may seem like a lot to remember but when you get the right photographs of your wedding day you’ll be glad spent time thinking of all these things.
I hope this blog post and short checklist below helps to choose the best wedding photographer for you!
Short Checklist – how to choose the best wedding photographer for you
- Right style /type of photography for you
- Research – do I like the type of photographs they take?
- Does it suit us as a couple- is it relaxed, posed etc?
- Check out real weddings
- Do you want to spend time on a perfectly lit shot or more want fun moments?
- Are they available on your wedding date?
- What do they offer? Pricing and budget is a consideration?
- Will they shoot family photos/groups?
- Can you do up a list of photographs you would like?
- Meet in person if possible or chat with them to get a feel for their personality
- What do they do on the day? Is it about you or do they have an agenda?
- Can they keep it fun on the day and not a chore?
- Are they ready for anything?
- Professional full-time, qualified and insured?
- How soon do you get to see your photos?
- Make sure you like them!
Like what you See then Get in Touch
If you’re only starting to organise your wedding then check out my best wedding photographer 10 Top Wedding Tips
So if you want stunning photographs, great service, stunning albums and a relaxed and low-key photography on your day then get in touch. If you prefer give me a call on 0879887557 for a chat.
I can’t wait to hear all your wedding day plans and would love to captureyour wedding day fun and moments.