HOW DO I CHOOSE A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
How do you choose a photographer for your wedding? For one, I’m glad that I’m happily married and do not need to make this decision, especially in these modern times, as new photography businesses are popping up like daffodils in Springtime (I’ve just watched the Wales rugby team reach the World Cup semi finals, and have no idea where that analogy came from).
So the purpose of this blog is to give my viewpoint on what you should look for in choosing a wedding photographer, cross referencing with my own experiences and observations along the way, and me showing you the style of my own wedding photojournalism.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE
This is key, your whole wedding in my opinion must be built around this direction, and there’s a great choice out there with some seriously talented photographers who specialise in certain areas, but with this pool of greatness, becomes a gulf in the quality, for me I’m in the documentary wedding photography style of things, natural and unobtrusive, but this doesn’t mean i’m unable or unwilling to shoot traditional, as in group pictures you wish for, cake cutting and the signing of the register, this comes under the traditional wedding photography bracket, I’m nowhere near this, but more than happy to get these shots of friends and family, for friends and family, and this is why it’s pretty confusing out there with choice, as styles can sometime overlap, to create the ideal wedding photographer. Check out a wedding photographer’s portfolio to get an idea of their style.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER EXPERIENCE
Now for me this is a tricky one, it’s not the best way of looking at this through a blinkered vision of the more weddings under your belt the better, styles change but sometimes photographers don’t. I personally don’t think you can teach photography, it’s a flare and a passion built in, especially within wedding photojournalism. You have to see images before they happen, yes experience is really helpful with this and I personally have over 20 years in the industry, as a press photographer for the first twelve of them, but all photographers have to start somewhere, like I did, and with this I’m a great believer in offering work experience to up and coming wedding photographers. I have done many times over the years, trying to give something back where I was once offered such opportunities. See full edited galleries of their most recent weddings, and it will soon become clear if they know the right way of holding a camera, just don’t go down the “Uncle Bob” road, and get a family member or a keen friend with a camera to sort out the stills for the biggest day of your life. If they haven’t shot at your particular wedding venue, it’s really not a stress, don’t let it be a deal breaker by any means, think of it as a fresh set of eyes and lenses on your day. Many times I’m asked this question, “have I shot here before?”, to me personally it’s not important, but obviously can help.
MEETING WITH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Meet up over a coffee or a beer, have a Skype chat, a FaceTime these days is as easy as anything to reach out and have a natter, there is no hiding place when speaking face to face, you will know either way between yourselves if you are all compatible. From my own experience these times are invaluable, whenever I meet clients face to face, I bring a few of my wedding albums, with my style, so we get to meet and you see some of my work, along with my website you would have seen already online, it gives you a great chance to ask any wedding photography questions. Follow their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, consume yourselves with them. I love using social media, and think in this day and age it’s a priority to stalk your potential snappers!
Make sure you choose a fully insured wedding photographer, available for your date, keen to meet your expectations, that they send through a contract and most importantly choose somebody that will slide into your wedding day and plans seamlessly, check out testimonials on their website from previous wedding couples.
There is no right or wrong wedding photography style out there or photographer. If it suits the pair of you, and you get on with the photographer, go for it! The price honestly for me should not be the priority, if you like the photography, the editing style, then take a look at the pricing, obvousily everyone has a budget. See what offers the photographer may have, out of season and midweek weddings are all the rage at the minute, and you can get some pretty decent deals. Photography is important, it’s all you have when waking up the next morning, apart from the memories, a long happy life together and potentially a hangover.
I have added a selection of pictures below, showing my own style of wedding photography, not for everyone for sure, but this is what makes this industry so fabulous, with so many incredible photographers.
Thanks for looking 🙂