10 TOP TIPS ON CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Just recently I was asked to write an article for dine.co.uk an online event planning company. Dine asked me if I could give a selection of tips to couples planning their wedding and in particular how to select a wedding photographer for their big day. What came out of this was my 10 top tips which I have shared with you below, I hope you may find it of interest; especially if you are planning a wedding!
Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will have to make for your wedding day. Couples are always remarking on how fast their wedding day went and how hard it is to remember everything. Once the wedding car has driven away, food eaten, table decorations have been cleared away and suites returned to the hire shop all that remains are the photographs. Photographs will be your only real tangible memories from one of the most special days of your life this is why it is so important to choose an experienced professional and not simply a friend or relative. Let’s face it; if a friend or relative were to make a disastrous job of the photography would they still be your friend????
1. How many weddings have they done?
This is important as one sign of a good photographer is popularity and success, and doing a certain amount of weddings ensures the photographer has experience. But be careful, because if they are shooting weddings left, right and centre they probably won’t be able to give you the time and attention you need. Ideally, you want a talented photographer who will really take the time to get to know you and your fiancé and put 100% effort into photographing your special day. Another thing to take into consideration is that photographers who shoot a lot of weddings often outsource their post-production..
2. How long have they been established & are they qualified?
Coupled with how many weddings the photographer has done, will give you a good idea of how much experience they will have. Another question to ask is; are they a member or recommended by a professional body like The British Institute of Professional Photography? Not essential but it all helps to build up a picture (pardon the pun) of how professional and competent they are.
3. Do they have testimonials?
When searching for your perfect wedding photographer it is important to ask if they have any testimonials from previous clients. The feedback in these testimonials can give you an insight on what the photographer will be like to work with as well as how happy the clients have been with the photographs. It is also a good idea to speak to some recent brides that the photographer has worked with, if you can.
4. Have they worked with your venue or a similar venue?
While it is not a necessity that your photographer has worked at your venue, it can often be an added bonus as it ensures that they have had previous experience there and will know the best places to take certain shots. Check if the photographer will be visiting the venue beforehand if they have not been before.
5. Sample Albums & Online Galleries help determine Photographers style
Have a look through their sample albums and see if their photography style is what you are interested in for your wedding. Sample albums will often have a wider range of photographs from each wedding then the galleries on their website and can give you a better feel of what the photographer’s work is like. When looking at a sample album, make sure they can show you a complete wedding, not just the few best shots they have ever taken as these could be done on training courses and not really reflect what you will get when they are going solo all day at your wedding.
Even if your knowledge of photography equipment is limited it is important to ask at least one question and that is; do they have a backup camera if one should suffer a fault? Or heaven forbid even dropped! It’s also worth asking if the photographer’s equipment can cope with both outdoor and indoor shots. Particularly important these days with the growing number of photographers that work by natural light only.
Your photographer is going to be almost everywhere you are on your wedding day and it is so important that you get along and enjoy working together. A photographer that can make you feel relaxed and happy will get the best out of you, and will be the one to get the best photographs of you too. Having a photographer who is a real pleasure to work with, and who you will enjoy having at your wedding, really will make such a difference. Booking a pre-wedding or engagement shoot with the photographer also helps with this process.
8. Are they calm and confident?
Are they going to stay calm through the pressure of capturing your big day? If something goes wrong will they have the coping mechanisms to deal with it, the backup plan? Will they have the flexibility to change and not panic? Will they be assertive enough to get the attention of your 200 guests and get them in position without taking forever or annoying them? Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and definitely don’t want to waste time worrying about your photographer.
9. What if the photographer is taken ill?
This is one question that is very rarely asked but certainly it must be one of the most important. If the photographer is unwell prior to the day or at the very worst even on the morning of your wedding day what happens?? Is there a reserve or backup photographer that can step in at the last moment?
10. Following the wedding
How long will it be before I see my photographs? I have heard several horror stories from Bride & Grooms that have waited almost a year before seeing their wedding images, check if the photographer has any guarantees relating to turn around time. Where will they be? Will the photographs be displayed in a Proof Book or Online Gallery? Will the images be sharable via Social Media? This could determine whether or not your photographer is moving with the times or still in the dark ages.