How to choose your wedding photographer
What to look for when searching for wedding photography
When looking for a wedding photographer it can be difficult to know where to start. Type a search into Google and ‘wedding photographer’ will currently return 372000 results. Search the hashtag on Instagram and you get 20 million.
I wanted to put together my own little guide to try and make the process a little easier for you. Before you even begin your search, make a note of the following, as it will help you to create a shortlist.
– What style of photography are you generally drawn to? Light & Airy, Dark & Dramatic…
– Male or Female photographer – do you have a preference?
– Do you have a budget?
This will help you to discount certain photographers straight away and stop the search results becoming overwhelming.
Checklist for choosing your wedding photographer
My 5 top tips for finding a wedding photographer
1) Read all reviews & testimonials
2) How much experience do they have?
3) Do they show up on Social Media?
4) Word of mouth – Get recommendations from friends or ask if they have heard of those on your shortlist
5) Have they photographed your venue or one similar
Let’s go into the above in a bit more detail….
Reviews & Testimonials
All good photographers should have reviews and comments from their previous couples. Be it on their website, Google, Facebook. Have a read through and see if you like the way that they are described. Are they the kind of person you feel you would like to have at your wedding? I am so proud of all the kind words that my couples have written about me. You can read them on my website here or find them on Google here
I think this is such an important one. There’s a lot of pressure involved in photographing a wedding day and it takes an experienced photographer to know what’s coming up at every stage of the day, so that they don’t miss any of those important shots.
You have to delve a bit deeper when researching this as a website/social media can have tons of stunning images but they can have been shot at a workshop/styled shoot. While workshops are great for giving photographers stunning content, they will teach a photographer nothing about the logistics of a wedding day. As much as you want to have beautiful photos of the two of you, it’s the memorable moments that will never be repeated again that are so important too. Experience is SO valuable and really should be at the top of your list when making your decision.
Most photographers share their work on some form of social media, be it Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest. These platforms are usually a good place for a stalk! Have a look through all the posts, read their captions, comments, see what they share on their stories.
Word of Mouth
Even if you don’t discover your photographer in this way, it’s usually work asking around or putting a post out on social media to see if anyone knows them. It can be a small world and you will usually find someone knows someone who may have used them in the past.
I’ve included this in my list, however, I don’t think that it’s a deal breaker. If the photographer you like hasn’t photographed a wedding at your venue I really wouldn’t worry too much so long as they have the experience as I mentioned above. A good, experienced wedding photographer, will be able to turn up at the venue on the day and do as good a job as someone who photographs there regularly. Photographers who have been doing this for many years would most likely have photographed a venue very similar, so if you are would like to see some of their work in your setting, you can just ask to see a gallery and I’m sure they would be more than happy to send one onto you. In addition, I personally would make sure I arrived extra early to have a good scout around and find out where the sun sets and seek out all of the perfect spots too.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wedding Photography….
What is a reasonable price for a wedding photographer?
Prices really do vary and all photographers work differently. Some offer packages/collections and some work on an hourly rate. I am the latter. I feel that this works best, as not everyone’s wedding day is at the same time and that way you can choose how much coverage you would like. This works particularly well at the moment with intimate micro weddings, where you do need a photographer for a whole day.
How many photos do you get from a wedding photographer?
This depends on the amount of coverage you choose. Another factor is how much is going on in your day, how many guests you have, if you have any wedding entertainment. As a guide, my couples usually receive around 600 images form 8 hours coverage.
Is there a second photographer?
Some photographers always work with a ‘second shooter’ there may be a charge for this or it can be included in the price. This can be handy if you would like to have your partners preparations captured and they are taking place in a different location. I work alone and have never felt the need to have a second photographer with me. I can photograph partners preparations before coming to you or when they arrive at the venue (if they are getting ready at the same venue, that’s perfect!) Grooms preparation, for example, requires as little as 15 minutes, as they have a lot less going on than the girls. Even with large weddings of 120 people, I have been able to capture everything perfectly without the need for an assistant…..maybe I’m just a control freak 🙂
What’s included in the price?
Your photographer will usually list exactly what is included in the quotation they give you. Ask about optional extras such as Albums & Pre wedding shoots too. You can read all about what I include and offer here
Can our guests view the photos online?
Ask about the options on your gallery. Will your guests be able to view your photos? Can they download them for free or will they need to pay?
Ultimately, my biggest tip is to just chat!! ……ok, maybe stalk and chat!
Spend time going through all of their work, looking at their website, blog, socials, read as much as you can and get a feel for their work. I’d then recommend asking to schedule a phone call/zoom/FaceTime. Of all the suppliers you choose, your photographer is the one you will be spending the most time with. It’s so important that you like them and that you feel you are on the same wave length. There will be some who you just don’t have that connection with and that’s totally fine!