How to choose your wedding photographer with confidence
It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s true – apart from your wedding rings, dress/suit and presents, your wedding photos are usually the one tangible thing left after your wedding. So to help you make the right choice, here are my 10 top tips on choosing a wedding photographer – the one who’ll preserve your wedding in photographs that you’ll cherish for years to come!
1. Start looking for your wedding photographer early
It’s a scary fact, but the top wedding photographers in the UK can be booked up not just months in advance, but years!
If you’ve set your wedding date and booked your venue, then now is the time to start looking for your wedding photographer and get them booked as quickly as possible to avoid disappointment.
2. Choose a photographer whose work you LOVE!
Look around as much as you can. There’s a wide range of styles out there and the more you look, the more you’ll get a feel for the sort of thing you’re after.
Do you love photos that are…
- bright and dreamy?
- dark and moody?
- artistic and creative?
- bold and modern?
- fun and humourous?
Ultimately, you want to choose a photographer who has pictures in their portfolio that capture the way you would like to remember your wedding day – the sorts of photos that you can’t wait to share with your friends and family and that you want to look at all the time!
3. Blow the budget and hire a professional
So, you’ve been looking around and you’re slightly horrified by how expensive wedding photography is. Your Uncle Bob has just got a fancy new camera and you’re wondering if he might be up to the job. Please be careful! You only get one go at capturing your wedding day, so do you really want to take the risk of leaving it to an amateur?
When it comes to wedding photography, it’s more than a camera and more than just taking photos. A professional wedding photographer will have done this before. They will know exactly where to position themselves. A wedding photographer’s sole purpose is to capture your day and tell your unique story, and they will not be distracted by talking to your guests or simply enjoying themselves.
Please don’t risk asking a friend or family member to photograph your wedding, and don’t regret not hiring a professional. Spend as much as you can reasonably afford because I promise you, you absolutely won’t regret it.
4. See a few full wedding albums
After you’ve found a few photographers whose portfolios look amazing, then it’s time to dig a bit deeper! Do they have any blog posts or galleries that show a complete wedding album?
You want to look for consistency –
- Does the style you love flow through the whole album?
- Do you love all the photos in their album?
- Is the quality of the images consistent?
- Or, are there just a few amazing shots and the rest are a bit mediocre?
Wedding photography isn’t just about a handful of stunning photos. It’s about a beautiful story you will treasure for life.
Arranging to meet in person and asking them to show you a sample wedding album is also a great idea.
5. Think about the wedding package you want
Most photographers offer a range of different packages to cater for different budgets and needs. Have a think about the following questions:
- Which parts of your day do you want covered?
- Everything from getting ready in the morning to dancing all night long?
- Or do you just want your ceremony and reception covered?
- Do you want a photo album as well as the digital files?
- Would you like albums for your parents? Grandparents?
Some photographers may be willing to adjust their packages to suit you. Be ready to ask lots of questions when you meet them!
6. Be sure you ‘click’ with your photographer
When you meet them – even if it’s just over Skype or Facetime – you want to feel at ease, relaxed and natural with your photographer. Why? It might sound surprising, but on your wedding day you’ll spend the most time with your photographer. They’ll be shadowing your every move, and the more comfortable you are with your photographer, the better your photos will be.
Some photographers (myself included) offer the opportunity to have a pre-wedding/engagement shoot. This is a great way to get to know your photographer, and for you to feel comfortable in front of their camera before your big day, especially if you’re a bit camera-shy. Plus you’ll get to see some images before your wedding which should make you even more confident that you’ve chosen the right photographer for the job.
7. Go with your gut
If you love your photographer’s work AND like them as a person, then you’ve hit the jackpot! This should leave you feeling relaxed, knowing you can trust them and leave them to do what they do best at your wedding.
After meeting your photographer, make sure you feel confident and happy with them. Ensure they have answered any questions you have – no matter how silly the questions might seem.
Go with your gut, and if something doesn’t feel quite right then perhaps go and meet another photographer so you can compare.
8. Should you choose a photographer who’s shot at your wedding venue before?
Not necessarily! With years of experience, a professional photographer has worked hard to hone their skills and adapt quickly to any new environment and find “good light” easily. So whether or not a photographer has actually shot at your venue before shouldn’t matter. They are trained to look for good light and they will find it!
Most wedding photographers I know jump at the chance to photograph somewhere new. With their fresh pair of eyes and creative flair, they will ensure that your photos don’t look like anyone else’s, which can only be a good thing, right?
In my humble opinion, it’s far more important to find a photographer whose style you love and who you like as a person (and of course who’s available on your wedding date and whose package fits into your price range) than whether or not they’ve shot at your wedding venue before.
9. Don’t be restricted – most photographer are happy to travel
No matter where you’re getting married, many photographers will travel (and often love to!) so there’s no need to feel your choice is limited. Most photographers will just ask you to pay for their extra travel expenses (and accommodation as necessary).
So if you find a photographer that you simply ADORE, then it’s a small cost for ensuring you hire the perfect wedding photographer to capture your special day just the way you want it, isn’t it?
10. Would you recommend them?
A great way to know if you have found your perfect wedding photographer is to ask yourself “would I recommend them to a friend?”
If the answer is YES then book them!
If you have any doubts then why would you hire them yourself?
In summary, here’s the list of tips (which you can also easily pin to Pinterest if you like, so you can easily come back to it later!)
Got a question?
Big or small, I’m here to help!
It’s important to me that you have all the information you need. So if there’s anything at all I can help with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Featured wedding venues in this post:
The Elephant Hotel, Berkshire
St Cross Hospital, Winchester
Fison Barn, Oxfordshire
Caswell House, The Costwolds
Eynsham Hall, Oxfordshire
The Barn at Avington, Hampshire
Barnett Hill Hotel, Surrey
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset