Get the low down…
I have written this blog post to help bride & grooms in one of the most essential parts of planning a wedding – choosing a wedding photographer. Your wedding photographs will last a life time, they will be pulled out at family occasions, they will hang on your walls, sit on your mantelpiece and be treasured forever. Therefore getting the right wedding photographer to capture your day is one of the most significant choices you will make. It’s tough out there when you don’t know where to start so I have compiled a simple guide to help you find your perfect match!
Note: everything written below is non-biased and is genuine advice passed on from a professional wedding photographer who has shot countless weddings over the past 6 years in the industry.
This article is packed full of top tips & advice so sit back, make yourself a brew, and enjoy!
Style of photography
When you get started the main question to ask yourself is “What do I want?!” Each photographer has a different style and it’s important to understand the aesthetic you are looking to achieve. Have a look at wedding blogs for a bit of inspiration. A great site to get started on is WeddingGawker. Once you have figured out your vibe look for photographers who have the same style as you.
So you have trawled the internet, gathered a number of recommendations and have a shortlist ready. Now is the time to give them a call! The best fit will be with someone you feel comfortable with and get along with. Have a chat and book in a meeting so you can really get a good feel for them. Make sure you meet them before making a booking. This is usual practice and your photographer will be happy to meet in person so they can get more of an understanding of you as well!
The Important Bit
You turn up to your meeting, partner in tow, bright eyed, bushy tailed and full of enthusiasm but what on earth to ask them? Your wedding photographs are so important. Make sure your photographer has the important stuff covered, an experienced and professional photographer will not be offended by asking if they have the following covered.
Insurance – All wedding photographers should have Public Liability & Professional Indemnity insurance.
Equipment – Ask what equipment the photographer uses. Make notes and then Google search the equipment after the meeting to ensure that all of the equipment is of a professional quality. Photographers should have 2-3 professional cameras with a variety or lenses and lighting equipment to produce the very best results.
Photo storage/backups – After the wedding your photographer should give you a copy of the High Resolution images on a USB/DVD. You can then copy these photos onto your computer – but what happens if your computer breaks or you lose the photos!? Ask your photographer if they will keep a copy of the photos as a backup for you and also ask how long they will keep them for. Wedding photographers should really keep all of their wedding photos – including the RAW files – for a minimum of 1 year to provide reassurance for their wedding clients.
Once you are happy that you have picked a someone amazing always double check. You are hiring this person so treat it as you would with a new employee, get references! A fantastic wedding photographer will have an arsenal of testimonials from happy couples, so take a couple of numbers/emails and find out for yourself. Take a look at our reviews page for an example of what you are looking for.
Focus on your day! Give them plenty of information of your wedding and talk through your ideas. This will give them a great picture of what you are after so they can deliver great results. Ask questions specific to your day, for example if the wedding is outdoors, “What would you do if it rained?”. Finding out how your photographer would deal with different challenges will give you an idea of their level of experience and how they would cope under pressure.
Ask to see their work from a couple of whole weddings, start to finish. A photographers portfolio comprises of their best work, this could be 20 images from many years in the industry. You want to make sure their work is consistently brilliant and in keeping with your style. We choose to include featured weddings which showcase a capsule of images from a recent wedding so that couples can easily see a whole range of Shane’s work.
Find their standing in the industry, if they have won any awards. A good one to look out for is Fearless Photographers; a collection of the world’s best wedding photographers. Also keep a look out for where their work has been published.
Signing the dotted line…
Everything is perfect and you could not be happier! Now all you have to grapple with is which of the packages on offer do you wish to take! Really think about what you need, there are a lot of options out there.
Coverage – Are you having a big wedding with a lot going on? If so consider coverage from a 2nd photographer, two cameras are definitely better than one!
Images with reproduction rights – This is the most important, make sure you know if you have to upgrade from your chosen package as sometimes you can incur an extra charge
Wedding albums – Ask to see examples of their products and talk through the prices
Make sure you are happy
My last piece of advice is to make sure both you and your partner are 100% happy with your choice and that you feel comfortable with your photographer. If you are looking for a Manchester wedding photographer and you like my creative and contemporary style it would be great to hear from you! Take a look around my website, check out my portfolio and real weddings section and if you like what you see get in touch!