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This post is for couples that want to have awesome wedding photos that honestly reflect how kick-ass amazing their wedding day was. It should set you off on the right foot to find your perfect wedding photographer.
There are some common mistakes that couples make when booking their wedding photographer & this blog will go some way to avoiding those pitfalls and get you on the right path to booking someone who gets you and will take amazing photos of the most important day of your life.
This blog post is not a way to sell my photography, I will of course use my experience as a starting point but at no point am I telling you that I am the only photographer you should consider. My approach might not suit you.
For example, I’m not a photographer who does vogue style magazine shots, if that’s your thing then that’s cool but I am not your guy.
However, by following these tips you will find the photographer that gets you and end up with wedding photos that truly tell the story of your day and show you at your best.
This brings me to my first tip.
Do you like them? do they sound like someone you would invite to your wedding as a guest? You need the person that you book to feel like a friend rather than “the help”.
This is the most important thing to consider, they will be there for some of the most precious moments in your life, the more at ease you feel with your photographer, the more natural and relaxed your wedding photographs will look.
If you don’t like them as a person or you don’t seem to gel with them, no matter how amazing your wedding photos are they will always be associated with the bad experience you had.
The best thing to do when you think you have found a photographer that shoots in the style you like is head on over to their “about me” page on their website.
This page should give you an insight into them as a person, not as a wedding photographer.
If it’s full of stories of how they have been photographing people since they could walk and grew up with a camera in their hand then they really aren’t telling you anything about themselves.
Statements like this don’t give you any idea what they might be like to hang out with. Yes, they can take amazing photos and they know their equipment like the back of their hand but the question you should be able to answer from this page is “Do I like this guy or is he a dick”?
If their prices seem too good to be true it is probably because they are, seems obvious this one but you would be surprised at the number of times people buy on price alone.
If someone is offering a £200 discount on a package that is already in the lower end of the bracket ask yourself why. In my opinion, if they think so little of their own work will they give a shit about the work they deliver to you.
(There can be some exceptions to this rule and you might get lucky however do you really want to rely on luck for something that will be a lasting reminder of your wedding day)?
Be wary of wedding photographers that do a “selection of styles” or “tailor their style to suit you”
This can mean that they haven’t nailed down their own style yet and your wedding photos may well end up looking inconsistent or worse.
The old adage “jack of all trades master of none” normally rings true in these cases..
how to choose your wedding photographer
Wedding photographers can get booked up very quickly. Most will be taking bookings two years in advance – more popular weekends in peak season will be quickly booked up too.
Chances are from the moment you got engaged you started searching for wedding ideas and suppliers even before you set the date. You started following that one photographer that seems to get you and you can see yourselves in their images. You’ve liked their photos and shared their stories.
So once you have booked your venue and your wedding date is set and no longer just pencilled in your diary as a possibility then nows the time to contact that perfect photographer.
As an extra tip and this goes for every wedding supplier you like the sound of If you like them book them straight away your gut instinct is rarely ever wrong.
To quote 80’s rom-com When Harry Met Sally “I knew the way you know about a good melon”.
Photographers will always post, share and generally show off their best work. Chances are the first place you will see their work is social media, if they seem to be posting the wedding photos you would want then pop over to their website and check out their blog page if they have one.
These blog posts generally show a full day’s wedding, you might even get lucky and find a post showing a wedding at your chosen venue. You are looking for consistency in the photos, the showcase shot is great and would look stunning in a frame or as the centre pages of your album but if the rest of the photos around this are mediocre or don’t follow the same style be wary. A handful of stunning photos do not lifelong memories make.
Extra tip – Don’t worry if your photographer has not photographed a wedding at your venue before, good photographers will always do a recce before the big day and check out the best spots for photos it’s rare they go in blind. Also, wedding photographers are highly adaptable (it comes with years of working weddings where things like light and weather can change fast especially if you get married in Wales)
how to choose your wedding photographer
Reviews from real brides.
Most photographers will have a review section on their website (I do), this is a great starting point but remember they are not going to post bad reviews.
Check Google reviews, FB reviews if they have them. One good idea to check is if the reviews they have on various platforms match up to a wedding they have blogged about so you can see first hand the work that received such a rave review. Also, look for reviews that tell you more than just “She/he provided us with great photos”.
If their reviews constantly comment on their ability to be part of the day or help you relax and those are the things you are looking for beyond stunning images you will be onto a winner.
Ask your married friends too they will be honest with you, but make sure their photographer is also someone who fits what you are looking for, just because your best mate who loves vogue style photos raves about their photographer that doesn’t mean they will be able to provide the more relaxed fun shots you are after.
Speak to them, In the crazy times we are living in it may not be possible to actually meet up with your photographer before you book them. However, a phone call or zoom call can help you get to know your photographer a little better and if nothing else confirm they are a real person.
Zoom calls can be a little weird to start with but a lot of us have got used to them over the last year, when you chat to them do they put you at ease or make you laugh, do they ask you about your day and not just give you the big sell on their wedding prices before being asked about them.
Some of the best meetings I have had we hardly talked about weddings at all we just chatted and got on. I once spent the first 10 minutes of a meeting chatting about comics and computer games with the groom at that point I kinda knew these guys were going to be perfect for me. (They booked me too).
Most people know if they like a person within the first few moments of talking with them so just because their photos are amazing if you don’t like them then they might not be for you.
This is by no mean an extensive list of dos and don’ts but by following these seven tips you will be well on your way to answering the question how to choose your wedding photographer.
Everyone’s criteria will differ slightly in what they want from a photographer but just remember trust your gut.
If you feel comfortable with them and you seem to get on then book them before someone else does.
how to choose your wedding photographer