Photo courtesy of Jules Barron
There are so many really good photographers out there to pick from that it can seem like an impossible task knowing which photographer would be best for you, in fact, you might find that more than one photographer ticks all the boxes. So how do you choose? Well, we have pooled together our many years of working with various photographers to create a list of things to consider when picking your perfect wedding photographer.
Set A Budget
It is best to know what your budget is first, this way you avoid getting your heart set on a certain photographer only to find you can't afford them. Start out by finalising a spending figure for your photographer and then head over to some of their websites to see whether they come within your budget or not. If they don't have a starting price listed on their website drop them a quick email for a quote before you go any further! Remember though your wedding photos are one of the most important parts of the day, they capture each moment as a memory, so if you feel your budget is a bit thin maybe try to shave off some spending somewhere else, you tend to get what you pay for when it comes to wedding photography.
What's Your Style!
Your choice of style is an important factor to consider when picking your photographer. Do you want a whimsical, magical feel, or a more classy black and white style? Create a list of the styles you like and look for photographers who will be able to create this style for you on the day. Most photographers will have a preference for what camera and editing style they use, if you can't tell from their website, then it is always worth asking if they can do what you want.
Photo courtesy of Howarth Miller Weddings
When picking a photographer it is important to either listen to recommendations from people you know or look at the reviews they have received. If a family member or friend has been married fairly recently check out their photo's if they are good and match the style you are looking for then ask them for the photographer's details. Other places you can also ask for recommendations are; your venue, social media, or dedicated wedding guides/websites. If they are a reputable photographer they are likely to have quite a few testimonials they can show you or be happy to put you in touch with previous clients, as well as have some albums they can let you look at prior to making your decision.
The only way to see if they are a good photographer that can create the look you want is to look at examples of their work! They are likely to have some of their work on their website but if you need to see more don't be afraid to ask to see their portfolio or some previous couples albums (if allowed). By looking at a previous wedding album you will be able to see if the photographer is consistently good throughout the day and with varying shots.
Photo courtesy of Shutter Go Click
Are they familiar with your chosen venue?
If they don't know the venue this doesn't mean they won't be a cracking photographer on the day, it just helps if they are familiar with the venue because they will have experience of the venue layout, the different lighting conditions, and where the best shots can be taken. It is likely you will get a list of recommended suppliers given to you when you choose your venue, so why not start looking through their recommended photographers first before you look at others.
Meet The Photographer
You can only get a real feel for someone if you meet them face to face so arrange a meeting with the photographers you have at the top of your list. Whilst you are with them think about how you feel, do they make you feel relaxed and comfortable? This is important if you are to work well together on the day. This is also another opportunity to ask any questions you haven't already or to look at more examples/portfolios of their work. Here are some things to consider whilst looking at their work:
- Do they have a good mixture of shots? Plenty of group shots, family, shots and more intimate couple shots?
- Have they got plenty of storytelling/emotion shots? Such as dad seeing the bride for the first time. Have they captured these moments well? Are their photos focused and flattering without too much going on in the background?
- What's their favorite photo they ever took? This may give you an idea of their vision when it comes to wedding shots.
- Will it only be them taking photos on the day or do they have a partner also taking photos?
- Do they have a backup plan should anything go wrong on the day? Such as camera breaks, they are ill, or can't make it for other reasons
Photo courtesy of Matthew Hall Photography
Narrow down your list
It is best to meet with 2, 3, or 4 photographers off your list before making your final decision. So once you have had all your meetings sit down and think about how each one made you feel when you met them, think about the price of each one, what packages they offer, what they offer in their contract, their retouching options, and how long before you will get your proofs back. Once you have this all down either choose the one you definitely want to proceed with or at least try and narrow it down to just two.
Have a pre-shoot
Whether you have narrowed your list down to one photographer or two, a perfect way to be sure the photographer is right for you is to have a pre-shoot! This could either be engagement shots, family shots, or something else, but by having the pre-shoot you get a chance to see how good they really are and whether they can capture the style you are aiming for. This should also help you decide for sure which photographer to go with if you are still debating more than one!
Photo courtesy of David Charles Photography
We hope these few tips help, and if you are getting married soon we wish you all the best on your special day!
For more wedding tips and advice head to our wedding blog