Tips when choosing your Wedding Photographer
A bit of a disclaimer here: my post here could be a bit biased considering I’m a wedding photographer myself :)
I’ll try my best to relay on some tips and advice. It will make it easier for you when making your choice. Hopefully it will save you any stress during your planning stages which can sometimes feel overwhelming.
I hope that this list of tips and advice will give some clarity while planning your wedding and choosing your wedding photographer.
Congratulations!! You’re engaged and starting on the road of planning your wedding. Where to begin?
You’ll probably start by looking at a venue and setting a date for the wedding day. This is usually the biggest marker to get and everything can begin building around that.
In most cases the big 3 are: Venue, Wedding Photographer and Band.
Once you set your date, start by contacting suppliers to see who is available. Wedding Photographers tend to be booked well in advance to secure your favourite, so I’d recommend contacting them first to and then the bands.
Once in a lifetime
It’s often said that you only take 3 things with you after the wedding day. Your significant other, your wedding rings and of course your wedding photographs to remind you of that special day.
Better safe than sorry
I’ve spoken to many brides who have had their weddings photographed by either an inexperience photographer friend or Uncle Bob the unprofessional camera fanatic.
I’m often asked “Can you salvage my photos, either by editing it or doing a shoot after the day to recreate some photos”.
I can tell you with certainty: Prevention is better than the cure! Taking such a risk to save a few quid can end up costing you more in the end. Trying to save photos that are photographed badly is almost impossible.
A true professional can give you advice on getting the best from your day. As well as keeping calm they have the know how and experience to get the best photos given any situation on the day.
I can only sympathize knowing how easy and beautiful it could have been.
From the many photographers to choose from, who will you choose to be your wedding photographer?
Lets start with style
Each photographer has his or her own style of shooting, editing and styling photos to make them look a certain way.
Some take a traditional approach and choose to pose their couples and control the wedding every step of the way. Others take a photo journalistic approach to capture the moments as they happen. This style is reportage wedding photography. Simply allowing the day to go ahead while capturing photos form their point of view. I choose a path between these 2 styles. Allowing things to happen, but able to guide the family photos and group photos with a little guidance.
To see what style best suits your own personality and vision for your own wedding, look at their portfolios and the full day weddings. This should help in seeing consistency in their work.
Is all their work serious or do they also have a playful element to their photography? Do they ask you to say cheese for each photo or do they give you a reason to laugh and smile? Personally I prefer if my clients ignore me. I prefer to keep the banter going and keeping a report to keep them smiling for a reason keeping it natural and authentic.
Have a look at my portfolio to see the variety I photograph: Portfolio
And my blog filled with love stories of many of the couples I have photographed: Love stories Blog
I also have a YouTube channel with samples of full weddings from couples: Holst Photography Youtube
Many photographers have a particular look to their photos, whether it be in colour or black & white. Personally I deliver both colour and black & white photos as I’ve always loved black & white from my days of working in the dark room.
Colour plays a massive part in wedding photography since quite often the summer weddings have beautiful colour and hues.
Professionalism & Experience
There are many photographers out there today who come with a wide range of experience in the field. Usually you can tell either by their sparse portfolio, cheap pricing or lack of reviews just how long they have been in the profession. Trusting someone who lacks experience can be a risk. How will they handle the situation if for example the weather is terrible.
Can they photograph using flash indoors? What about dealing with pressure?
Another important element to being professional is insurance. What if something happened either to property at the venue and you are responsible if they break something. Insurance will usually cover this if they have insurance.
Part of professionalism is having a plan for keeping clients images backed up, at least for a while to ensure clients images stay safe. I would always recommend making your own copy of the disc and storing somewhere safe once you do have those.
You’re going to be spending the day with your wedding photographer. Are they fun to be around? Do you and your guests get on with them? Will dealing with them before and after the day regarding your photos and album be effortless?
What are others saying about them
What better way to find out what it is like to work with them? Reviews and testimonials are a great way to find out what other brides and grooms have experienced working with them. I’d also recommend looking to see if the photographer has reviews on google.
Talk to your Wedding Photographer
Most photographers have a set list of photos they will shoot on the day and will adjust to the happenings of your day. However, in many cases there are personal things that a photographer cannot predict. I usually recommend clients send me anything unique that are specific to their wedding.
Maybe they have photos with friends or family I must get, or they have a special event planned. If I have these details on hand I can plan ahead to be sure I am ready for this on the day.
Delivering your photos
After the day, the excitement to see your wedding photos, will almost be unbearable. Will your photographer be quick to deliver your photos or will they take forever. I’ve heard of many photographers taking months to return clients photos to them. In this day and age, delivery shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. Granted the summer months can be a busy time for photographers, but within reason.
I usually aim for around 2-3 weeks as my workflow of editing allows for a quicker turn around time. Once my edits are done, the photo gallery goes up online and my clients are emailed the secure login details. They can view their photos and start sharing them with loved ones. At this time I usually have the couples USB disc ready with all their photos and post that out to them.
Since it is a life long investment, is the wedding album that your photographer offers of good quality, beautiful and above all else affordable. Selecting photos should be easy and allow you to make any adjustments to the design if you weren’t 100% happy with it.
I have tried and tested many album companies and found the perfect balance between style, quality and price. The online gallery I present to my clients has a feature to be able to easily chose your photos for the album. My clients get to view the album design in a virtual flip book and make any changes before it goes to print.
There is also no need to purchase an album at the time of booking your photography package. My tiered pricing allows for leaving the album to a later date when there is a budget for it again.
More information on my Wedding Albums
Price: What are your photos worth to you?
It may seem like a big spend to pay for a photographer and yes it can be, but in most cases its worth it.
Imagine spending a fortune on your venue and getting all those details just right, only to save by getting a budget photographer. Can you be 100% certain that they will do a proper job of capturing the day as it should be?
If you like the style of the photographer and there is good chemistry then it’s a good sign the results will speak for itself.
Go with your instincts
Above all else find what works best for you. After all the research you do, at some point you’ll need to make a decision. Many times I have been advised by others do to such and such, but didn’t feel right to me. When I go with my gut instinct, I’m rarely disappointed. What works for some won’t always work for you. Do as much research as you can and compile a list and narrow down from there. In the end it has to be perfect for you.
I hope that my experiences offers some clarity in this stage of your wedding planning. If I can be of any help, please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll be happy to offer help or advice.