First things first… Congratulations on your engagement! Planning a wedding can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful. So I’ve put together a list to help with choosing the right wedding photographer for you and your big day.
Choosing the right wedding photographer for you is not only about finding someone to take great photos, it’s about much more than that. Your photographer needs to be someone who you get on well with, who can make you comfortable in front of the camera and who you can trust to capture your big day. How important are your amazing memories to you?
1. Understanding the Lingo
A good place to start when choosing the right wedding photographer for you is to get an idea of the style you are looking for. There are a few different styles of wedding photography out there. If you have read How to Avoid a Wedding Disaster you can skip to number 2.
With this style you will hear the words, “candid’ and ‘no posing’ a lot. Documentary style basically means the photographer will focuses on capturing moments rather than poses. Essentially taking a more fly on the wall approach.
You will recognise this by seeing stylised images throughout their website. Every image has the potential to be a piece of art. This can mean more posing and being directed by the photographer.
The aim of the photographer is to capture professional portraits of you and your beloved ones. Though these portraits a lovely, the downside of this approach is that it is less spontaneous than a more photojournalistic approach.
Adventurous is more of a personality trait rather than a look. If you love to travel and explore and are looking for someone who will follow you on whatever adventure you are on, then you are best to find a photographer with that same sprit!
I have a mix of a few different approaches when it comes to a wedding day. Above it all I would definitely say I fall into the adventurous category. You want to climb a mountain?! Count me in! When it comes to style I would be mostly documentary. This helps me to capture more genuine moments while everyones comfortable and having fun. It’s important for me to make sure you get to enjoy the party and share your day with friend and family while also getting those all important shots. My ultimate goal is to be able to tell the story of the wedding day, allowing you to be able to make real memories, not fake them by posing! If you want more info on what one of my usual wedding days looks like check out My Style and Approach to Weddings.
2. What do you want to get out of the day
Once you have narrowed down your style, the next step in choosing the right wedding photographer for you is to define what you want them to capture. Most photographers will have a number of different collections based on different hour requirements etc. So it’s best to find out what you need and what you don’t.
When I first meet a couple before they book anything we mock up a quick timeline. This means they can then go and look at the full day – knowing how long things actually take – and see which of my collections might work for them. Here is an example of what an average day might include:
- Bride and bridal party getting ready
- Groom and groomsmen getting ready
- First look
- Wedding ceremony
- Hugs and kisses
- Family portraits
- Bridal party photos
- Creative couples photos
- Pre-dinner drinks
These can vary but it’s a good base line.
Other things a photographer my offer is a second photographer and albums. I often get asked what’s the point of having a second photographer? A good example of what a second photographer brings is it allows the photographer to be in two places at once. If you want those last moments with your Dad before you walk down the aisle, along with a photo of your partner’s face when they see you for the first time – it can be tricky for one photographer to be in both places simultaneously. A second photographer also allow things like family formal photos and the creative part of the day to go faster, meaning you can get back to the party sooner!
Most photographers offer some sort of album option with their collects. These things can be added after the wedding if you like. However its important to note, don’t let your wedding photos sit on a USB for the rest of your life whatever you do!
3. Check out Testimonials
Testimonials and reviews are a great tool when choosing the right wedding photographer for you. Most photographers will have a testimonial page on their website. Here you will get a real feel of what it is like to have them at your wedding. Another great place to see genuine reviews from past clients is Google reviews. Reviews are the best way to get a sense from another bride about what the wedding photographer was like to work with on their day.
You can see my testimonials here: Kind Words
4. Email your Favourites
Once you have narrowed it down to some of your favourites the next step in choosing the right wedding photographer for you is to drop them an email and ask some questions. Get to know them, their work, and what you love most about their business. You can real see which ones suits your requirements best.
With this first email, you’ll want to be sure to ask the following questions:
- Is your date is available?
- What are their latest pricing and packages?
You might want to set up a quick call. You will get a much better feel for what they are like over the phone. You can ask about their approach to their work, and find out what you can expect from them on your wedding day and any other little questions you might have. Photographers know this is a big decision, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need – nothing is too small!
5. Set up a Meeting
I try to have a meeting with all my couples before they book. I understand how difficult choosing the right wedding photographer for you can be. So in this meeting I mock up their timeline and to give them a good opportunity to really get know me and ask any questions before deciding whether or not book. I would highly recommend this no matter who your photographer is.
In this meeting you will get to their price guide explained to you, along with what you can expect from them. You will also get a real feel for what they are like and know if they are right for you and your wedding. This person will be with you for a lot of your wedding day so its important you like them.
My couples leave the meeting knowing everything about my price guide and with a personalised timeline to see which collection would work best for their plans. Also they’ll have got to see my sample albums and all the other things they get with each collection. I’ll have explained every step from booking all the way to when they have their album so they are clear with what they are investing in. Choosing the right photographer for you can be quite daunting and I want to make sure any couple that inquires with me has had all their questions answered before they decide to book. That way they ca feel confident that we are all on the same page from start to finish.
One last thing…
Trust your gut! If you have followed these steps, you will know everything you need to know about choosing the right photographer for you. So trust yourself and get booked in. Photographers book out fast (specially in peak months), so once you have found the right one for you, make it official! You can tick wedding photography off your to do list with the confidence that your big day is in safe hands!
So there you go! I hope these little tips to help with choosing the right photographer for you. If you have any questions (remember, nothing is too small) please drop me a line, I will be happy to help. Think of me as your personal wedding guide.