So, you are getting married and there's a tonne of planning and organising to do. Including "which wedding photographer do we choose?" Well, the honest answer is it depends on what you would like from them. It may be natural candid moments, posed photographs, traditional classic shots or more modern. As photographers, we all have a unique, individual style, from the approach at the time of the photo being taken to afterwards when we edit the images.
So, I would like to spend the next few minutes giving my personal top 5 tips on choosing your wedding photographer. I am a North East wedding photographer, that travels the UK and further, and these are a few of my tips.
1. Meet The Photographer
I understand it's not all ways easy to meet the photographer as they may not be local to you but there are other ways thanks to modern technology! For example video call. If that isn't possible at least speak to them over a phone call.
I believe that it's important to have some sort of communication that goes beyond your computer screen. See if you are happy with their personality. See if you gel. Do they make you feel relaxed and at ease? This will all help you come together to achieve your perfect wedding picture. I'm always happy to meet all my enquires and clients where possible.
2. Check their Portfolio
This may seem like an obvious point but the devil is in the detail! All photographers will have a portfolio, one way or another, whether it be on a social media platform or a website. It's so important that you like their work, style and editing.
3.Reviews And Recommendations
I think reading reviews are important however, do not dismiss straight away if you see 1 or 2 negative reviews. Delve a little further and don't be afraid to discuss this with the photographer. The clients who don't research their photographer and choose on just the price may be surprised afterwards that the style wasn't what they wanted or expected. This can be avoided by tip 1 and 2. Word of mouth is always a good way to receive a review, so talk to your friends and family and find out who and what worked for them
I am always open and encourage people to research me and my reviews.
No one wants anything to go wrong. However, things are sometimes out of wedding photographers control. Make sure they have insurance and that you understand their responsibilities and limitations to avoid any confusion and disappointment. Peace of mind is key in planning your wedding!
This is a difficult topic to talk about, but very important never the less. Having a budget can help but this can be relative to you and how a photographer rates on your list of priorities. Talk this through when speaking with photographers. Find out if they can realistically deliver what you expect for your budget. For example, if you have a low budget but expect photos that out of this world (that requires a wedding photographer to carry more equipment and will need another photographer/assistance) then you may end up being left disappointed, resulting in a poor review which may be unfair to the photographer.
I always inform my clients that my packages are a guide and can be tailored to your need. So, let's meet and talk and understand what I can do for you.
When a photographer like myself is pricing up your wedding they break it down into:
Travel, the further we travel the more time it takes to reach you and your destination and the cost of the travel ie train, fuel or flights.
Accommodation: if you expect your wedding photographer to start early and they have a long distance to travel then you don't want to risk them being late and stuck in traffic. So overnight accommodation may be needed.
Products: it will cost a wedding photographer to purchase your album and also time on putting one together which is a skill in itself. Plus there may be optional extras that contribute to pricing including bespoke engraving, presentation boxes etc
Editing, This takes time... but good things come to those who wait! Yes, we have professional software to help us which again comes with a cost, but they still need us photographers to know how they work and to look for the details in each picture to edit to the height and finest possible way. Some photographers may limit their time to save you money or do batch editing which means editing lots of the pictures the same. This is not ideal as you can't see the detail to change that would be needed on individual pictures.