How to choose a Wedding Photographer

This next step allows you to be able to re-live the experience for the rest of your life through imagery. I know for me this is one of the most important factors when planning a wedding...

When choosing a wedding photographer, it can be so difficult to decide which one. There are so many talented photographers out there, where do you start? What are the most important factors? And how much do we expect to pay?

I’m at the next stage in our wedding planning process and I feel now is the right time to book a photographer. Just like choosing a venue, Mark and I decided on a budget for the photographer to help us choose. Photographers range from £150 to a few thousands which they normally base on experience, style and time. I know this may seem a lot of money, but I definitely think it’s worth the cost. I’ve read so many times when couples have skimped on budget for a photographer or even not had one at all and then regretted it afterwards. I certainly don’t need to tell you that this is one of the best days of your life and the photographs will help you re-live those magical memories in the future.

The next thing we pondered about was style. There are many different styles such as whimsical, light and airy, dark, atmospheric, or artificial light. A good way to choose, is to think of the venue and what style it would suit. For example, a light and airy style would probably suit a venue with lots of natural light and outdoor spaces and a warm atmospheric style may suit a smaller intimate venue. However, photographers can adapt to their surroundings so if you already have someone in mind then maybe have a chat with them about your personal style and taste. Another good idea to check your venue’s recommended supplier list, they will definitely include photographers and mostly likely they have already worked there. The good thing about choosing a photographer is you get to see their previous work on their website, Facebook, etc so ‘google’ wedding photographers and make a list of a few you like, then email them to check for availability.

Once availability is confirmed, ask to meet them. This way you can get a real feel for if you connect with them. Ask questions about previous work and explain what you expect from them too. Photographers usually ask about the bridal party, who’s important, what photos would you like from the day. Do you want group photos, natural ones or both? Is there anything you would like to try? A good idea would be to think about these before your meeting. Also, this may sound a bit judgemental but take note of their appearance, this person is going to be at your wedding and will need to blend in to take the natural photographs.

I’m very lucky that my maid of honour, Ell is a professional wedding photographer, so I’ve naturally picked up useful tips over the years which has definitely helped us choose. As we’re both in the wedding industry we’ve had many conversations and enjoyed styled shoots together, mostly of me (lol)! So, I don’t mind being in front of the camera. Mark on-the-other-hand, does not like having his photograph taken. We have many holiday snaps with just me in the photo, so I know how uncomfortable this makes him which, brings me to my next point. Most photographers offer an engagement shoot so you can get used to being in front of the camera which is also good for them as they get to know you too. For even the most-shy person this is such a good idea and can-not recommended it enough. Ell kindly offered to take our engagement photos at the confetti fields in Pershore which I think helped Mark relax. I don’t he will be Britain’s next top model (lol) but he definitely will be ok for our wedding day.

The photos for this blog are courtesy of Ella Parkinson Photography and is highly recommended.

Useful tips;

  • First of all, decide on a budget. When paying for photography, the price reflects quality and experience. If you do want a photographer on a lower budget, then a good idea is to ask a local college or university to see if a photography student would be interested to take the photos. Some will, as long as they can use the photos for their portfolio/website.
  • Do you want one or two photographers for different angles? Some photographers include a second photographer in the price.
  • Decide on what style you like? “Google’ wedding photographers and have a look on their websites and Facebook. Make a list of the ones of the styles you like.
  • Once you’ve narrowed it down, email them to check availability and then arrange meetings.
  • Ask the photographer questions and have a look at their portfolio. Did you connect with the photographer?
  • What’s included in the price? Find out how the photos will be presented to you, USB or album with a license? Check they’re aren’t additional charges for the photos as some photographers give you some photos and then you have to pay for more. (Sneaky!)
  • When you’re happy and booked the photographer, write a list of photos you want. Group, natural or both? The photographer works alongside the wedding co-ordinator and normally helps run the day, so this list is really helpful.
  • Ask your photographer if an engagement shoot is included. This can help you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera ready for your big day.
  • Don’t forget to ask for a contract.
  • Finally, enjoy your photographs from this magical day for years to come.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post. Laura xxx
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