Having been in the wedding photography business for long time now I thought I’d share some of the most important tips on choosing a photographer based on my own experience.
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, there are no second chances and everything has to be just right. Your choice of wedding photographer is crucial to this as they provide the pictorial reference for your special day that you’ll want to refer to over the years and share with friends and family.
Really the most important thing (actually to my mind really the first 2 points below are equally key but I’ve put this one first) is experience. You need to check that any prospective photographer has a proven track record and has references you can check, unless you are really trying to save money you don’t want to go with someone who does not have experience.
Make sure that you like the photographer’s style of photography, and make sure you’re honest about your own style and sensibilities; this is certainly the most important as far as the photographs themselves are concerned. You must be happy with the style of wedding photographs or you’ll really regret it down the line when you’re flicking through the album thinking ‘they’re really nice photos but….’
If you think you’ve found a photographer with loads of experience and you really like their style of photography ? it’s worth making sure that it will actually be that photographer that will be taking the photographs at your wedding. It has been known for studios to send along any one of their photographers for the job,
Look through prospective photographer’s portfolios and make sure they have a good range of photographs in there ? not just the bride and groom, the families, group shots and see if they have used the locations to their best advantages.
You should also choose a photographer that you can get along with on a personal level, after all they are going to be at your wedding too and have an integral role organising the photographs and your guests. Do you like them, are they personable and discreet, and are they well-groomed and presentable?
If you can you should find a wedding photographer who has experience of taking wedding photos at the particular venue you are using, failing that ensure that any prospective photographer has experience shooting in similar locations.
Always ask the photographer about your contract. Before you pay any deposit to the photographer there should be a contract drawn up which clearly explains all of the deliverables and the timescales for delivery etc.
That leads to price ? check that the photographer you really want is within your budget before going too far into things. You might find that you need to be flexible on budget when you’ve checked out a few photographers and decided on one that you really like. A prospective photographer might be a little flexible on price but you might not get the best out of them if you keep constantly trying to drive the price down.