Choosing a Wedding Photographer

So your wedding photographer is one of the most important elements of your wedding day.

Finding a photographer to suit you, your style, your budget and your personality can be tricky. But don’t fret i am here to assist.

My opinions on a wedding photographer were, that hey only work one day and get paid ££££?? Well i was wrong. Talented and skilled professional photographers work possibly more hours than in a 9–5 job, what with running a business, editing your images and designing the album.

Image by Katherine Ashdown Photography, see this feature here.

If there is one aspect of your wedding I would advise not to skimp on it would be your photography budget. Simply because the images you have from your day are your one lasting memory.  A brilliant photographer will make even the simplest of weddings look incredible, and of course you too :-)

When G and I eventually make it down the aisle I have no idea who we would choose to capture our day, there is a LOT of amazing, talented photographer’s out there in the UK with very different styles, persona’s and pricing options. It quite frankly can be a minefield. Day in day out i see amazing weddings and photography, and this blog wouldn’t be here without such creative talent.

Click here to download the wedding photographer check list organiser, to print or use on your pc, i hope it’s useful :-) …..

 

PDF: Wedding Photographer Checklist

EXCEL: Wedding Photographer Checklist

 

Here are some top tips in selecting your wedding photographer…

Image by Lee Allen Photography, see this wedding here.

♥ Research, Research, Research

 

When looking for perspective photographers, you must research, like a lot! It can be all too easy to go to google and type ‘wedding photographer (location inserted here). Don’t get me wrong, it can be a great way to find a photographer, but it may be limited in it’s search results.

Head to wedding fair’s, search through magazines (and not just the advertisements), get on blogs – looking at photography features and site sponsors, use wedding directories, do use search engines too, just don’t rely on them solely, ask for recommendations from friends and family, or your work colleagues.

Image by Gemma Williams Photography, see this feature here.

♥ Location

 

It’s quite common to think that a wedding photographer must be based locally to you, but this isn’t the case at all. Most reputable wedding photographers will travel to you, from all over the UK and of course overseas, just be prepared to cover travel expenses and sometimes accommodation.

So please don’t limit yourself if you find an amazing photographer but they seem to far away, enquire away and see what happens :-)

Image by PhotoTOM, see this feature here.

♥ Style

 

In the wedding industry, especially within the wedding blog evolution it can be easy to get bogged down in wedding aesthetics and buzz words.

When it comes to the crunch, forget if the style of the weddings the photographer shoots is what you like or not, but look at the images themselves. Many photographers have different styles and image processing that gives a different feel to the overall image.

Do you like the vintage processing, or natural light photographs, do you like the arty shots or unusual angles, do you like spot colour or vignette finishing. Question your tastes, and imagine the moment your album is delivered to you, you do not want to be disappointed by the photographer’s style. Photography is a creative art form so it’s crucial to remember tastes vary hugely, just make sure you are loving the photographer’s true feel to their images.

Do look at a photographer’s blog for a full viewing of a wedding rather than a couple of their favourite shots for a real feel of their work.

Image by Candysnaps Photography, see this feature here.

♥ Budget

 

Whether your budget is £500 or £5000 you want a brilliant photographer. Don’t forget that there are amazing and not so great wedding photographers in every budget bracket. Photographers that charge a large amount are not necessarily amazing, like wise photographers at the lower end of the budget could be amateur lacking in experience or an amazing photographer who is starting out.

When it comes down to it, set your budget and look for photographers. When you see one you love, then check out the prices. But if you can spend as much as you can, these images will be your lasting memory of your day.

Image by Daffodil Waves Photography, see this feature here.

♥ Meet your photographers

 

When you have found some photographers you like, whittle it down to a manageable list and go visit them. Form a relationship with them on a personal level, your wedding photographers will be the people you spend the most time with on your wedding day. You will want to feel at ease with them and be able to have a giggle together.

A great way to really get to know your photographers is to have an engagement shoot, WWW has featured hundreds of engagement shoots, which show you ideas to make yours perfect. But aside from being great fun, it’s a perfect way to trial run having your photograph taken, and get to know your photographers. It will mean you are a lot calmer in front of the camera on your wedding day leaving you with one thing less to worry about.

Image by Sam Clayton Photography, see this feature here.

♥ Shot lists

 

It’s still popular and traditional to want a set list of shots of your wedding party. Communicate this to your photographer in advance, check with them that they do formal shots or if you don’t want formal shots that they will do relaxed non posed shots of the wedding party.

Your shot list can also include the details you have spent so long planning, a close up shot of your bouquet for example or those favours you spent hours making.

Make a list of your important shots, but don’t bombard your photographer, you won’t want to spend most of your day posing for images, you want to be enjoying your reception.

Image by Victoria Phipps Photography, see this feature here.

♥ After the wedding

 

You may have to wait a few weeks for your images, do check with your photographer prior to your day for a time scale. Remember that it may take a little while in high season, it can take painstaking hours and hours editing every image.

If you want a wedding album or it is included in your package your wedding photographer should design this for you, go for a selection of images, including the wedding details, after all you want a well rounded feel of your day and you spent long enough planning it.

And of course… now you can enjoy them and for many years to come :-)

Image by Kinver Miles Photography, see this feature here.

One quick last note, please treat your photographer well by watering and feeding them as best you can :-) Thanks so much, i hope you found this guide useful, don’t forget to check out the Vendor Love page for some brilliant photographers XOXO Lou

9 thoughts on “Choosing a Wedding Photographer

I have to say I followed this link from Twitter and am glad I did~so many try to write this type of advice without fully understanding the industry.You have clearly an excellent perspective from both the photographers point of view and the brides. We go to wedding shows and are ALWAYS asked why our prices are so reasonable when others charge double or more~we try to explain that as we run a photo shop too and do all our own editing,printing etc{except for GraphiStudio books}we can afford to have lower prices but not all photographers are so lucky.
It also helps I guess that we are both passionate about giving the couple what they want and are very relaxed because then we enjoy the day too. Thanks again for a great blog xxxx

Lou, if I had a pound for every person that assumed the photography is ‘just one days work’, I wouldn’t actually need to charge for it, I would be very rich anyway. Thankyou for this fabulous post, I think many people find it hard to believe when we photographers try to explain the amount of time and effort required and the benefits of using our services, so it is great to hear someone else say it. The same applies across the wedding industry, often the bulk of a service being paid for goes on behind the scenes and many of us do it out of love and passion for the job first and foremost. However we do have to eat and pay bills too.
I would definitely recommend couples follow your tips on finding their perfect photographic match, a good relationship with him/her will help make your day run so much more smoothly and make sure the memories of it last for a very long time.

Yxx

Speaking as someone who is just coming to the end of a 50 hour week and it’s only Friday I Appreciate the comments about not being a 9-5 job!

I’d also like to add that it’s important to actually get on with you photographer – of all the professionals involved in your day it’s likely you will be in the company of the photographer longer than any of them, you don’t want to be around someone you don’t gel with on the most important day of your life!

Matt

Your photos clearly show that what you say in the article is totally correct. A great photographer is a MUST. Thanks for sharing:)

Hi Lou – Good article :-) couldn’t agree more with making sure you get along with your photographer and will be happy to have them around you for the whole day. It’s vital.

It’s definitely key to check an example of a whole, recent wedding. Plenty of people can get a few good shots during a whole day, but if your photographer can show you a consistency of style and quality across a particular wedding then you can be more confident that they will be able to deliver the same for your wedding day.

Another (boring!) thing that might be worth mentioning is to ask if your photographer is insured. It sounds very dull, but it’s worth checking before you book. Professional photographers will have public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance. I won’t go into the boring details but if you check that they’re covered it shows a certain level of professionalism.

Cheers, sam

Great post Lou! It’s so important for brides and grooms to understand what they’re actually getting for their money and you’ve explained it all brilliantly… it’s definitely not just a days work!

I’d also like to echo what Matt said, in that it’s important to get on well with your photographer and vice versa. We’re all different – sometimes both parties (client and photographer) will walk away from an initial consultation agreeing it’s not a good match and that’s totally OK!

You need to trust your photographer and have fun with them on the day… not feel nervous or awkward around them. The bride from the wedding I photographed on Saturday said the hour she spent hanging out with just her new hubbo and me was perhaps her favourite time of the day and that’s when you know you’ve found a good working relationship.

Keep up the good work! xx

Thanks so so so much for all of your amaazing, thoughtful and constructive comments. I am pleased you like the article and i wholey agree, you need to get on with your photographer ;-) <3 xoxo

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