Picking the right photographer to capture your wedding can be daunting and you might be feeling overwhelmed about making such a big decision – after all, your photographs will be a lifetime reminder of your special day!
Here are my top 5 tips to help make that decision a bit less stressful.
Know exactly what you want
You need to have a very clear vision of how you want your wedding photographs to look.For instance, my style is very informal and relaxed, I like to mingle and capture those special candid moments. Some photographers might do a highly stylized shoot with lots of formal pictures or a fine art approach where the photographer’s style is very much evident, and they have free rein in the creative process?
Looking through magazines and on the internet can help you decide the kind of feel you want for your wedding pictures. Keep a Pinterest board of your ideas, or even a good old-fashioned scrapbook!
Have a budget in mind
Paying for a professional photographer is possibly one of the biggest investments you will make in a lifetime. There are photographers out there to suit all budgets, but this is not a time to scrimp! A good guide is that around 10% of your wedding budget should go towards your photographs. The flowers will fade, the cake will get eaten and champagne will all be gone, but your photographs are forever.
Make a date
Once you’ve narrowed down your style and budget, get in touch with photographers that fit the bill and arrange to meet up. I always like to meet my clients in person, for me, it’s the best way to get to know you (although some photographers do offer a Skype call, I believe you can’t beat the personal touch).
Finding a photographer that you click with (pardon the pun) is as important as finding the one whose style you like. It’s no good if you love their work but find out they are a miserable so and so who nobody likes hanging out with. I can’t stress how important this bit is.
Getting to know your photographer a little before the big day will make a huge difference, you’ll feel more relaxed and your photographer is more emotionally invested – you might need to lend them a hankie though in case they get teary-eyed during the ceremony.
A good idea is to meet at your venue, so the photographer can get a real feel for you and your wishes for the day. Engagement shoots are also a great opportunity to get to know your photographer a bit more and you get to practice posing for the camera!
What to ask
When you meet your photographer it’s good to go prepared with a list of questions. For instance, what time they start and finish on the day, do you need to provide food for them, how long after the wedding will you get your photographs?
Ask to see a completed wedding album. You want to make sure their work is consistent and that their business web page isn’t filled with ‘lucky shots’ from lots of different weddings! You might have certain photographs that are very important to you that you really want to make sure the photographer gets on the day – one of you with a special friend or relative, the groom getting ready, the father of the bride seeing his daughter for the first time in her dress– whatever it is, make sure your photographer knows.
All professional photographers should have insurance, but it’s always good to check, and it might be a good idea to check they have a Plan B should anything go wrong with any of their kit on the day.
Wedding photographers are usually booked a year or two in advance. If you’ve found your dream person, book them as soon as you can. Make sure you look over their contract carefully before you sign – but you don’t want some else to swoop in and pinch your day!
I hope you find this blog useful, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to have a chat about your big day.