How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Photographer in 6 Easy Steps
Of everything that you put into your wedding day; from the venue to the dress, the flowers to the favours, the cars to the cake, there is one thing that will stay with you for decades to come, and that is your memories. And there is only one way to preserve those memories. Of course, it has to be your wedding photos. Which is why it’s so important that you think very carefully about how to choose the best wedding photographer.
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding will be who to choose as your wedding photographer. When you think about it, once the day has passed, all you’ll have left will be each other, your memories, and your wedding photos.
So those photos really need to have captured the essence and emotion of the day. All those special moments that may fade as the years go by, recorded in time so that you can rekindle all those wonderful feelings every now and again as you browse through your cherished wedding album.
So, how to choose the right wedding photographer for your special day? It can be difficult to compare wedding photographers and work out what makes a particular photographer the best choice. But there are a few things you can take into consideration when making your decision. Let’s take a look.
1. Decide on your preferred style of wedding photography
There is more than one style of wedding photography. So it’s important that you familiarise yourself with what’s on offer, and what your preference is likely to be.
Formal wedding photography is your posed, traditional shots. Whilst there is a place for those in pretty much every wedding album, these days many brides and grooms are looking to capture more of the natural emotion of the day. Which is why they are actively seeking out the likes of documentary wedding photography, reportage photography, candid photography, wedding photojournalism and street style wedding photography.
So, take some time to view galleries of the different wedding photography styles, and see which ones you instantly relate to. Trust us, you’ll know straight away when that happens.
2. Set a wedding photography budget
One of the mistakes to avoid when choosing a wedding photographer has to be failing to set a budget from the outset.
There is little point ploughing time and love into choosing a wedding photographer, only to find they are beyond what you planned to spend.
So, start by being clear on what you are able to realistically spend, and always keep that in mind as you pursue your search. When you land on a wedding photographer’s website that you like the look of, head straight for the packages and prices page, or send a quick enquiry to request starting prices.
If you find a wedding photographer you love, but they are a little over your budget, you could perhaps take a look elsewhere in your wedding plans to see if there is anywhere you could make savings.
Always remember that with wedding photography, you get what you pay for.
3. Seek out testimonials
Recommendations always help massively when it comes to how to pick a good wedding photographer. If anyone you know got married recently and you adored their album, ask them to put you in touch with who they used.
You can also ask for recommendations from your venue, or look at social media or check online reviews.
Reputable, trusted photographers will always have plenty of positive reviews and testimonials. Some will be nominated as one of the venue’s preferred partners.
A good wedding photographer will proudly share their testimonials publically, and will always be happy to provide you with the details of couples they’ve photographed for you to contact privately and ask questions of.
4. Browse portfolios
The best way to choose the right wedding photographer for your big day is to take time to browse their work. If it instantly sparks emotion in you and your spouse to be, then this photographer has to be a strong contender.
Do make sure that it’s recent work, and if it’s set in the venue you’ve chosen for your own wedding day, then all the better, because you’ll be able to get a more detailed idea of how your shots will turn out.
Your wedding photography is meant to tell the story of your day, rather than simply capture formal snippets here and there. So look for storytelling, and for flow. For captured moments of emotion. For a balance of shots between bride and groom, bridal party, and guests.
See if the wedding photographer has captured the key moments, such as the exchange of vows, the confetti exit following the ceremony, the speeches, first dance and cutting of the cake. But also look for more.
How have they captured finer details and special moments? On your wedding day, there is so much to take in, that when you finally come to look through your photos, you will notice things you didn’t even realise were going on.
A good wedding photographer specialises in capturing such moments. All that finer detail that you poured your heart and soul into arranging, such as favours, buttonholes, seating plans, as well as shots of the entire room. It’s all so important in setting the scene and sparking precious memories.
5. Check if they know your venue
Whilst it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, it’s always helpful if your wedding photographer is familiar with your venue. If they are, they’ll know the lighting conditions, the best locations and how to get the most out of the backdrops.
If it’s really important to you that your photographer knows your venue, ask them for recommendations, or check the wedding photographer’s blog to see what they’ve done previously.
6. See if you click
Because you’ll be spending the whole of the most important day of your life with your wedding photographer, it’s important that you click.
Be sure therefore to meet in person to make sure you feel at ease with them and that they fully understand what you want from your wedding album.
Make sure that it’s actually them who will be taking the photos on the day. Do they have a backup in case there’s a problem on the day?
Also ensure you are clear on precisely what you’ll be getting. Will they cover every aspect of the wedding that you want them to? How long will they spend at the wedding? How many photos will they provide?
Do you feel they have asked you enough questions? Spent sufficient time preparing to make sure they are clear on what you envision for your perfect wedding album?
If your budget can stretch to it, organise an engagement photo shoot so that you can test the water and make sure you all get on. It will also help you feel comfortable taking direction, especially if you are camera shy.
Looking for the right wedding photographer for your special day?
It can be challenging knowing how to choose the best wedding photographer for your special day. But it’s such an important element of your wedding planning to-do list.
If you are looking to create a natural style wedding storybook as a cherished memory of your special day, please take a look at what I can offer. My goal is to capture the true essence of this most wonderful day, and to provide a wedding photo album that reveals how every moment unfolded in real time, so that you can keep on recalling them for many years to come.
My portfolio shows my expertise in documentary wedding photography at numerous venues throughout the North East, and you are welcome to get in touch to find out how I can tailor a wedding photography package to suit your individual needs and wishes.