Choosing a wedding photographer isn’t always an easy job. There are tonnes of them out there, all offering different packages at different prices and with varying skills and styles. But it’s quite a big decision to make, as your wedding photos are sort of the one big reminder from your day, the things you can look back on in years to come. So choosing the right photographer and getting those perfect images is crucial!
Steps to take when choosing your wedding photographer
With the above in mind, how do you choose your wedding photographer? Use my handy hints and tips below to help you make the decision and get them booked in.
Choose a budget
Yes it’s a boring first step, and you’re probably fed up of looking at your wedding spreadsheet to work out how much things cost. But the budget is really important. You could fall in love with a wedding photographer‘s work only to realise that they’re way out of budget. Every photographer you look at after that could pale in comparison, so know your budget.
If you’re finding that lots of photographers are out of your price range, it could be worth doing some budget shift arounds. Is there anything you can get for cheaper, or do yourself? I always say that photographs are one of the few things that you get to keep from your wedding day. Once the food has been eaten, the flowers have died and the party is over, there is very little left to look back on so it’s worth asking yourself, ‘What value do you put on the experience of your photographer to perfectly capture those memories from your big day?”
Good photographers don’t come cheap and sometimes it isn’t worth paying less for half-decent photographs. It’s better to pay more for someone who will do an outstanding job with lots of experience who can perfectly capture your big day.
The average cost of a photographer is between £1,500 and £2,000 so do keep this in mind during your search.
Know your personal style
No two couples are the same and this means that what you love somebody else could hate. As I’ve mentioned, wedding photographers can have very different styles – different ways of shooting, different cameras and even different ways of editing photos.
You should spend some time getting to know your personal style. Pinterest is a good place to start, as is Instagram. Use these platforms to look at photographs of other weddings and think about what you like, what you don’t like and what you would love to have for your day. Do you love moody black and white photographs or are you after something more bright and colourful? Don’t feel the need though to send those Pinterest boards to your photographer. Their style will be all over their website so use your research to find your match.
Once you’ve narrowed down your style, finding a wedding photographer could be a lot easier.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your budget and personal style, it’s time to start looking for your photographer. But, where do you start?
If you know any friends who have recently got married, you could ask to look at their photos and contact their photographer.
Google is also a good place to start, particularly as you can search by region and find someone local to you, otherwise you may have to pay extra to cover their travel. It even provides a map so you can see exactly where they are located in relation to you or your wedding venue.
Some wedding directories such as Hitched may also have photographers listed.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a select few, you should ask for a portfolio or examples of their work. It’s always good to get recommendations and check out testimonials too. You may even want to arrange a meeting to ask all the questions you need to and get to know them a bit. I offer all my enquiries the chance to have a FaceTime meeting to discuss their wedding and the packages I offer. It’s a great way to find out more the photographer you are speaking to and get a feel for their personality and their passion for what they do.
You might even be offered an engagement shoot or a pre-wedding photoshoot. This is something that I offer as part of my main package. The pre-wedding shoot allows you as the couple to be comfortable around me, but it also lets me get to know you as well.
Go with your gut instinct
Once you’ve followed all of the steps above, you’ll be well on the way to making your decision. In fact, you may already have made it. But if you haven’t, sometimes it’s best to go with your gut instinct. Who are you naturally drawn to, or who can you imagine at your venue on the day? Generally, this is the person you will be most comfortable with. If you find that person you will easily be able to relax on your wedding day and, by simply being relaxed and being yourselves, you will be playing your own part in helping to create incredible photographs from your own wedding day.