Choosing your wedding photographer
If you’re tempted to let your groom’s best mate photograph the wedding because he thinks he’s the next up and coming photographer, think again. Whilst you’ll save some money, gambling with your only tangible memories of the most important day of your life isn’t advisable. The effects of choosing the wrong photographer can be devastating and are a sure fire way of putting a damper on anyone’s big day, with high profile cases being picked up in the media.
Finding the right wedding photographer will take careful research and consideration. A professional wedding photographer with good a track record and reviews, and a great approach to photography and your big day isn’t always that easy to come by. You should look for an expert on lighting and composition, and for someone who will take the best pictures possible on this once in a lifetime day – so it’s something you need to think carefully about. And remember, if you’re not happy with your wedding pictures it will be hard to recreate them.
So what do I need to think about?
What’s your photography style? Think about the style of photos you want. Do you want traditional posed pictures or a fluid reportage style? Or would a contemporary style, which fuses classic wedding photography with more natural portraits and candid shots, be best?
If you’re wedded (excuse the pun!) to a reportage style, then make sure you find a photographer with creative flair and plenty of experience in this style as it’s not easy to shoot well. And, if you come from a big family and it’s important to have lots of traditional portraits to keep your parents happy, then you may want to choose someone whose portfolio is geared up to traditional posed photography and formal line-ups. Or why not choose a contemporary photographer who could give you the best of both worlds? Either way, you want to ensure the person you choose is professional, proficient and perfect for you.
How can I tell if they’re good?
Experience is a must – you don’t want a photographer using your wedding for practice. Look at the websites galleries and albums of different photographers as you narrow down your search. The sign of a skilled photographer is consistently good photos from one wedding. If they’re skilled at high-quality portraits and traditional wedding photography you should be looking at good lighting, impressive background settings and perhaps some soft focus effects for close-up shots. With reportage photographers it’s really important to look at complete albums from other people’s weddings. Anyone can get a couple of natural shots, but it takes real skill to capture the magic of the entire day this way.
What else should I look for?
Check your photographer is covered by professional indemnity insurance in case something goes wrong with the camera. This insurance doesn’t cover the style of the photographs so make sure you discuss this with your photographer before the wedding day. Make sure your photographer is experienced with weddings and can deal with highly charged emotions and lots of people with ease and charm. The best wedding photographers will treat your day as a special event rather than just another job and will aim capture the magic of your wedding day perfectly.
Other things to think about
Plan ahead… Good photographers can get booked up one or two years in advance, so make sure you start looking early if you’re planning a summer or Saturday wedding.
Set a realistic budget – A RockMyWedding showed that wedding that people spent between £350 and £3500 on wedding photography, with the majority spending between £800-1500. Photography can cost up to 10% of your wedding budget so it pays to compare prices, but this is one area you shouldn’t be prepared to scrimp on. Remember, it’s not a bargain if you hate your photos!
It’s not always best to keep it in the family! While it may seem like you’re saving money, there’s an awful lot at stake if it goes wrong. Weddings are tough, with a lots to deal with. Just because your brother loves Instagram and takes great photos of sleeping babies and landscapes, doesn’t mean he knows how to light a pitch-black reception venue. And what if you don’t like the photos? Or if your images get lost because your friend has a talent but no file backup system? Or your cousin’s camera or flash fails and there’s no back up equipment? Or your bestie heads to the bar for a quick drink with his brother — during your first dance? When you’re choosing a wedding photographer, it’s important to choose a professional wedding photographer.
Established in 2004, I’m one of Kent’s leading wedding photographers and have photographed hundreds of weddings in Kent, London and the South East. I provide a professional friendly and relaxed service; I pride myself in making you look stunning with a blend of natural stylish and elegant wedding photography.