Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer is difficult. Get it wrong it’s a nightmare.
Do your research.
Once you have found a few photographers whose style you like check out their reviews on Facebook. If they are all positive you know you’re going down the right lines.
These reviews should not only mention how good a photographer they are but also give you some indication as to how they interact with your guests and their general personality and demeanor.
Check out their website as this may give you clues to their personality and overall style of photography. Does their website or blog show all of the images that are important to you.
This is the first stage of getting to know the person who will spend most of your wedding day with you. Imagine getting it wrong and spending 10 hours with a boring, arrogant and bossy photographer !! This is why you need to do your research and carefully peruse social media reviews. During this meeting:
See a number of complete wedding albums.
Websites and social media platforms tend to show the cherry-picked images from a photographer’s portfolio.
You need to see several complete albums which show the whole day as chosen by a bride and groom. This will give a much better understanding of the quality and style of photography. Try to see images that are created at a similar time of year to when you are getting married. If it’s a winter wedding you need to see many images that are created in low light or indoors. If it’s a summer wedding, how did your photographer cope with the harsh bright light sometimes associated with our summers.
Make sure you get on.
You need to gel with your photographer. You need to get on with them. You need to like them. When you meet it it should take less than a few minutes to know it will work or not.
They should be excited about what they do and that passion should show through when they talk to you. All this is so important because if you feel comfortable in their presence your images will reflect this. To get the very best photographs from everybody at your wedding, not only you but your family and friends, the photographer will need to be assertive enough to seek out the great moments and cajoling enough to win everybody over.
Having found the photographers whose style you love and get on with it’s time to compare what you get for your investment. It’s impossible to compare like for like as no two photographers will be the same or offer the same. Be careful to check out the following:
Do you get a pre-wedding shoot?
You wouldn’t buy an expensive car without test driving it so why invest in a photographer who you haven’t met or experienced a shoot with. A pre-wedding shoot is an essential part of any photographers package and should be included.
How many years have they been photographing weddings. It’s a general rule of thumb the more experience somebody has the better they will be at their craft. The more experienced photographer will be 15 minutes ahead of the game to ensure your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible. Be in the right places at all the right times.
Post production experience is also very important. You want to be choosing a photographer who has all the skills to manipulate images after the event into something really quite special.
A lot of wedding photographers now use a second shooter. This is a bonus so you should be looking for a company who provide two or even three photographers. That said, check out the experience of the second shooter. Is it the photographer’s partner, who is not really a photographer at all, but someone carrying a camera. The second shooter should be a qualified experienced professional. You do not want people practising their skills at your wedding.
How long are your photographers with you ?
Make sure it’s clear when your photography will start and finish. You do not want to be in the position where they either turn up too late or leave too early.
Ask, do we get a wedding album?
If you do you are quids in. If you don’t be prepared to spend money after the event to get one.
Ask about your other rights.
Photographers own the rights to all the photos taken at your wedding, even the ones of you. Therefore, the photographer can use them promotionally on their websites and social media platforms. Most photographers will give you printing rights for the images they create, but some don’t so check this out. Make sure you choose a photographer that does not watermark any of your images.
Do they provide an online gallery of Images?
Hosting images on websites cost money, therefore some photographers will avoid doing this. You should be looking for a photographer who not only hosts a gallery of your images but allows free downloads as well. Without the watermarks too. This gives your family and friends access to all the photography for free.
How much does a wedding photographer cost ?
This is the million dollar question. Comparing prices is something that proves exceptionally difficult. It’s like asking how much to pay for a car, or a steak at a restaurant, or a house. Photography varies a lot by skill, talent, experience, popularity, demand, and items included in the package. There is no right or wrong answer. There will be some that are cheaper and some that are more expensive, just like buying any of the above, only you can decide what you like and what it’s worth to you.
I suppose the old adage of you get what you pay for is true. In the case wedding photography I believe this to be correct.
John at Studio 900 has been photographing weddings for over 20 years ……..