We have put together our advice for couples embarking on choosing their wedding photographer. Your wedding photographs will last a lifetime, they will be pulled out at family occasions, they will hang on your walls, sit on your mantelpiece and be treasured forever. As well as being a really important choice it’s also quite daunting to start with. There are so many different photographers, price points and style of images. We have compiled 8 easy steps to help you through the process of choosing your wedding photographer.
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 10 years in the industry.
Style of photography
The first thing you have to get your head around is the different styles of photography. We have put together a wedding photography style guide which goes into lots of detail on each individual style. A great place to see examples of each style is wedding blogs. You can also pick up lots of styling and decor ideas along the way. Instagram is also a useful place to find lots of wedding photographers showcasing their work. Make sure that you choose a style of photography which is compatible with you. For instance, if you don’t want to spend a lot of time of the day taking photos that with rule out traditional wedding photographers. On the other hand if you want lots of family group photos then a documentary photographer won’t work for you. Don’t be afraid to ask potential photographers how they work on the day and what their style of photography is.
See examples of our bright and natural photography!
Allocate Your Budget
One of the most important considerations for most couples is their budget. Couples just starting their wedding journey often don’t know what to expect when it comes to photography prices. Photography is an expensive service, it’s extremely skilled work and requires a lot of time to perfect after the wedding too. To hire one of the best wedding photographers in Manchester and Cheshire you should expect to set aside a fair amount of money from your budget. The budget for your photography should be thought of as an investment, your wedding photos are the only thing left to remember your day by. If you are on a really tight budget but still want the best then ditch the extras and just focus on booking full day coverage with your favourite photographer. Items like albums can be bought later.
When choosing a wedding photographer we advise you check with them or on their FAQ’s pages that they are a fully professional service. An experienced and professional photographer will have all the important things covered. They will be able to present this information if asked. Below are all the essential elements a professional photographer should have:
• 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 professional quality. Photographers should have 2-3 professional cameras with a variety of 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 this can be via an online gallery or a USB. You can then copy these photos onto your computer. 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 chosen an amazing photographer always do your due diligence. 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. You can also search our business on Google and find loads of 5* reviews. Make sure your photographer has a visible online presence with positive reviews and comments.
“We love when couples have clearly done a lot of research when choosing a wedding photographer. It’s great to work with people who share our vision for their photography. But we are also there to help guide couples who aren’t so sure.”
Shane Webber Photography
Ask To See Galleries
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 our work. It’s also really helpful to ask to see galleries from the same time of year as your wedding. A summer wedding is a lot easier to photograph than a winter wedding. Make sure that your chosen photographer is fantastic year-round.
If you have specific ideas in mind regarding your wedding photography make sure to let your suppliers know! We have a full time studio manager on hand to discuss your wedding photos in detail and make a note of any requests. These could be a particular location, an important family member you want pictures of or a wedding detail that’s very important to you. Letting your photography team know about any specifics will ensure you get the best photo gallery.
Deciding On A Package
Once you have chosen your wedding photographer the last thing to navigate is which package to select. The first consideration is coverage. Some photographers offer different packages based on how many hours they will be at the wedding. Don’t get tripped up by this and end up missing important moments. Unless working to a very tight budget, having a short day or a very small wedding, we would never advise choosing anything but full day coverage. We only offer a full day service as we believe it’s essential to get the best photos. Once coverage has been determined then you can look at upgrades. Most photographers will offer extra options like a second photographer, albums and more. A full list of our upgrade options can be found on our pricing page.
Signing A Contract
Take time to make sure you understand everything before signing your contract. Your photographer will be happy to answer any questions or explain any language you don’t understand. Make sure you know what will happen if you cancel your wedding (we always advise getting comprehensive wedding insurance too!). Check all the dates are correct, what the payment terms are and all your package details are outlined. Also make sure you have full printing rights of you images 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
Make sure you are happy
Our 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 our contemporary style it would be great to hear from you! Take a look around our website, check out our portfolio and if you like what you see get in touch!