Choosing your Wedding Photographer
– Julie Oswin

CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

One of the most important and lasting reminders of your wedding day is your wedding photographs. Through your pictures, you will remember the atmosphere of your wedding, your dress, members of your family, your closest friends and your wedding guests. You will display photographs in your home; it will be a day of your life that together you will look back on forever. How to find the right photographer It is vital to find an experienced photographer, someone that you can get on with and that he/she is aware of your requirements for your special day. You need to feel entirely confident that the photographer you choose will take photographs that capture your wedding day, and the photographer can make you, and your guests feel not only comfortable but also look great.

There are now, with the age of digital, hundreds of photographers available to you. Photographers are a varied breed, some specialise only in photographing weddings, or they shoot weddings only as a sideline to their day job. An excellent place to start is to make enquiries with a search for photographers in your local area. Ideally, talk to your wedding venue, friends and family for any recommendations. The Guild of Wedding Photographers in the UK has members that publish a list of its members via their website www.photoguild.co.uk/search. Although it is not a full list of wedding photographers, it can prove a useful reference point to start finding a suitable photographer for your wedding.

Make contact with photographers and your wedding suppliers: 

Once you have booked the date of your wedding with your venue and place of ceremony, you can then begin searching via the internet for various suppliers in the local area as well as photographers. Once you have made a short list, ideally 5, make contact to see who is available for your date. It is essential that you speak with the suppliers on the telephone, get a feel for how they are with you, how they talk to you and then if you are happy to make an appointment to meet up. Don’t be pushed into a booking, listen to your gut instincts, if it doesn’t feel right, it usually means it isn’t right. 

Wedding Photography: 

What style of wedding photography are you searching for, is it traditional or journalistic style? Classical photography doesn’t mean static, boring, taking a long time and standing around for ages. A traditional or classical style of wedding photography is directed by the photographer, i.e. photographs of the two of you with your family, friends and bridal party. Journalistic style has no input/direction from the photographer, and he/she will work quietly in the background with no interaction with the wedding party and their guests.   Do you want family photographs, photographs of the bridal party and pictures of the two of you together? If your answer is yes, then a photographer with a real journalistic style is not an ideal choice for you. Do you want your photographer to capture the preparations in the morning before the ceremony? Do you want colour, black and white or toned images, or a mixture of them all?

Talk together about what you both will want from your wedding photographer; then you will both know what to discuss when you meet your prospective photographers. There are several things to look for when you view the work of a photographer. Ask to see a complete set of images from at least two weddings and when considering the collection of images, do you feel that the story of the whole day has been captured? Are the groups photographed together cleanly, not messy, and can you see all the people in the group? Do the guests look comfortable and happy? Can you see the detail of the bride’s dress, what about the cake? Are the flowers a burnt out blob stuck at the front of the bride without detail or are they full of colour? Ask yourselves, if this was your wedding day photographs would you be pleased or disappointed? What would you want photographing differently?”

Discuss all of your requirements: 

Discuss your photography requirements with your photographer so that they have an idea of what photographs you specifically wish them to capture for you.

Make a list, preferably with the photographer so that your wishes can be catered for within the time limits that will be available. Let the photographer also know of any particular part of the wedding he or she must capture and a list of ‘must have’ wedding photographs to take during the day.

Important Questions to ask: 

Confirm the photographer who will be photographing your wedding day. Ask how long they have been shooting weddings? How long they have been a photographer. Always remember that a photographer with a good depth of knowledge and experience photographing weddings is a powerful asset to you and your wedding day.  Make sure your photographer has got Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.

Wedding pictures are a big part of your day.  Make sure you are choosing the right person for the job.  There is no second chance if they don’t turn out how you expected them to.  A good, experienced wedding photographer is a very valuable complement to your special day.