Here are my top tips on how to choose the right wedding photographer. This will help you to work out what you both want from your wedding photographer and how to choose the right one. I can't recommend enough that you do this together so why not grab a coffee and take note of the tips below.
How to choose the right wedding photographer
Choose the style of wedding photography that suits you.
Do you want a more relaxed approach to your wedding photography? Or do you want a more classic, formal look?
A relaxed approach, known as 'documentary' focuses on telling the story of your day as it naturally unfolds. There is often some formal photography too, but a great photographer will work hard to minimise how this effects your day.
The classic and formal approach tends to focus on the more posed side of photography with a big focus on the couple portraits. If you love posing this is perfect for you, a great photographer will be able to capture those natural candid shots throughout the day too.
Both approaches can produce really amazing photographs, however they will both result in a drastically different experience for how your day turns out.
It's important to know which approach you want because one of them will more than likely be wrong for you. Photographers tend to classify themselves as either or, but most of us can, and are happy to do both.
What's important is that you get the style you want and the photographs you want.
Meet the photographers you like.
When you've narrowed down potential photographers, it's a great idea to meet them in person.
The right photographer will get you and they will be excited by your day.
Great photographers will add to your wedding day, telling the story in the best way for you.
Choose the parts of the day you want to be captured.
When it comes to your wedding day, what's important to you? Does this affect how long your photographer is present?
My most popular package is 10 hours long. For most weddings, this will cover everything from getting ready to the dancing later on.
Is your wedding more intimate or shorter? Are you having a festival wedding and need coverage over two days?
Have a rough timeline of what you want covering when you meet with photographers.
Decide if you want more than one photographer.
Most professional photographers will offer a second photographer in their packages.
They are a great way of getting a different view throughout the day, and also being able to capture more of you and guests, making sure the story of your day is documented.
They are perfect for those who want those 'getting ready' shots from both parties.
Who and what is key to your day?
This is a bit of a grey area, it doesn't really apply to you if you are leaning to a more documentary style for your day.
It can be a great to have an idea of what is key to you both. Is your great uncle, who you haven't seen in years, coming to your wedding?
Will your grandad, who brought you up, give you away?
Did you inherit earrings that you are wearing? Are these things too important to leave to chance?
Ask the photographers you meet how they'd approach these things. Their answers could be crucial to you. Some photographers may not like a long list of shots that are essential to you.
As I am a relaxed, documentary wedding photographer, I always ask for considered essential shots. These are above and beyond the normal obvious shots that I always take. I’ll talk more about this in an upcoming blog post, but let's just say for now that a big list of desired shots is more of a hindrance to how I work.
For me, extra essential shots are important enough that you want a photographic record but aren't the standard things that you'd expect a photographer to take (i.e. walking up the aisle).
I always look at capturing everything in a natural way, without interfering.
Do you want any extras?
What extras would you like from your wedding? Many photographers will either have a Photobooth or know a great company they've worked with who they recommend.
Albums are great to look back at with fond memories. USB drives are really easy to take round to your family and friends and re-live the whole day.
While large professional prints look amazing on a feature wall in your home.
Extras don't often come cheap, but if they are worth it to you then make sure you ask about available options.
Finally, shop around with the above in mind.
You generally do get what you pay for and great wedding photography is no exception.
Once you've worked out what you want, you'll be on the right path to finding the right photographer for you.
If you have any questions then I'd love to hear from you 🙂 x
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