Your wedding photographs are likely to be the biggest documentary of your wedding. You want photographs that you’ll be happy to look at in fifty years time. Photos of special moments that show the emotion of all those in attendance. You’ll want a record of all the important times on the wedding day, the grooms face when first seeing his bride, the first kiss, the father-bride dance and so much more.
For all this, you need a great wedding photographer, so here is how to find one:
Choose your style
Before you begin researching photographers, first decide what style of photography you want for the big day that will suit your style and venue. If you want a photo-journalistic style with spontaneous pictures of you and your guests where people are rarely staring at a camera then a photographer specializing in portraiture is not for you. Classic portraits are posed shots where you and your guests look directly into the camera lens. You may want black-and-white photography, sepia, bold, edgy or a mix of styles. If there’s a special style you love, focus on photographers who specialize in it.
Reviews and feedback
Ask for recommendations from friends and family and look online. Having created a list of potential photographers’ review their websites and blogs to see if their photos suit your style. The website may also give you clues about the photographer’s personality. Check there is positive feedback from clients and how the photographer responds. Check their social media pages too.
Meet and interview
You cannot make a decision as to the right photographer until you have met in person. If you like what you see on their sites and their fees are in within budget, call to see if they’re available for your wedding date. Meet with at least three potential photographers to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh and they understand your wishes, style and venue choice.
View full wedding albums
Photographers will always highlight their best photographs from all different weddings. For a clearer idea of what your complete set of photos might look like, ask to see two or three full galleries from real weddings, similar in the style that you wish for, that the photographer has personally taken. They should be as good as the highlights.
Bonding with your photographer
Be certain that you both genuinely like the photographer’s personality. Are they enthusiastic about your ideas and coming up with helpful suggestions in a clear and respectful way? They will be shadowing you most of your wedding day, so you don’t want someone who’s going to annoy or offend.
Confirmation and contract
If your photographer is part of a larger studio, be sure to specify in your contract the photographer you want on your day. Clarify in the contract who will cover for the photographer should they be unable to work. If you have room in your budget, consider hiring a second photographer. One photographer can capture the formal photos, while the second can shoot behind-the-scenes photos.
Ask your photographer what is included in their standard package fee. If you wish to add extras to this, request additional costings. Some standard packages include an album, some do not. A standard day for one photographer may be 6 hours, but you want someone for 9. By asking for costings for what you think you may want, it’s much easier to compare budgets given by each photographer.