Author: David Lakins
Top tips for choosing a wedding photographer and ensuring you have beautiful lasting photographic memories of your wedding day. If you’re reading this, then chances are you’ve had the proposal, you said yes (congratulations!) and you’ve set the date. Maybe even booked your wedding venue.
One of your next wedding planning priorities to consider really is the top vendors - and the wedding photographer is probably going to be somewhere near the top of your list.
So – why spend your budget on your photography? Photographs are THE lasting reminder of your wedding day. If they’re good, they not only record your dress, colours, venues and guests, but they will also convey the very atmosphere of the day. A good wedding album should stir emotion – making even a stranger (or future generations) feel part of the wedding they are looking at.
But how to find a photographer who will do all that? First and foremost your photographer needs experience – a wedding day is a living animal all of its own, and absolutely nothing replaces pure experience in recording them. You need to feel absolutely confident and comfortable with them, trusting them completely to simply do their job.
Of course, once you start looking, you will soon be swamped – there are so many of us out there! But a few simple tips can make the search far less painful for you.
1 – Use the Web If you’re reading this, you‘re off to a good start. Use the Internet! Any contemporary photographer taking his business seriously will have a good web site. Search for photographers in your chosen county, neighbouring county, under nearby town names – or simply under your venue name. Browse as many as possible – you will rapidly gain an instinctive feel; not just for the style that stands out for you, and the photographer behind the site but also the style and personality of those who do not fit the bill. Please do not even look at price at this stage; that is the very worst way to choose your photographer. Another good source is referrals – ask like-minded friends (not your aunt’s Bridge Club pal, she’ll have different priorities to you), and also your venue who they would recommend.
2 – Choose your favourites Go back over your shortlisted favourites, and contact them for availability – there’s no point in going any further till you know they are available! Also ask for pricing info if it’s not available on their site. Once you have these two bits of information you are in a position to start seriously considering who to meet.
This is the point to look at your budget – majority of brides pluck a figure from the air or from a bridal magazine/forum before they even start to look. Once you get figures from your chosen photographers in, you’ll find out whether your figure is realistic or not. If your taste matches your budget, then fab, move on to step 3. If not, then it’s crunch time. How important is your photography to you? Are you happy to curb your tastes and settle for something less than ideal? Or would you rather be less demanding on your flowers/cars/table favours in order to have the photographer you want?
3 – Set up some meetings. From your shortlist, book in meetings to visit your 3 top photographers who are in/close to your budget. Three is enough to give you a variety without overwhelming you with choice. Don’t book to see photographers well outside your budget – our charges are not simply ‘we’re-so-worth-it’ figures, we work very hard to provide outstanding value and service, and we have bills to pay too ;) Like all things in life these days, the maxim ‘you get what you pay for’ is true of wedding photography. And it’s not just about the images either – the service, the experience and the entire package should all be considered.
4 - Making Contact It is important that you chat to your photographer, arrange to meet, view their work and simply get to know them a little before you make your choice. Not only do you need to establish that you like their work and their price, and that what you see on the website is what you will actually receive – you also need to be sure that you are not going to spend your entire wedding day gritting your teeth and angrily clutching at your flowers any time your photographer comes near you!