Selecting the right wedding photographer is crucial. You’ve set the wedding date, booked your venue, and now you must locate the best wedding photographer you can, one that will record your big day along with all the other things that have you have planned and paid for such as that stunning wedding dress, those beautiful flowers, the classic car, the wow wedding cake, the fabulous entertainment etc. You can go straight to the internet and look at hundreds of photography firms to locate the perfect one, or you may look at one of the many wedding photographer directories, where you will be faced with hundreds of advertisements. Richard, owner of surreylaneweddingphotography.co.uk, lists the critical questions you must ask to make the right choice.
Do you know someone you can ask first?
So the first port of call is to utilise the work and expertise of others so you do not have to do all the work yourself. Ask anyone you know who has been married if they had a good wedding photographer, and then ask them about their experience. If they sound enthusiastic and tell you good things about how they got on, then get the photographer’s contact information and start from there.
If you’ve been to a wedding recently and liked the photographer’s work as well as the way they worked, contact them. If these routes don’t completely convince you that they’re the right choice for you, at the very least you’ll have a good starting point in determining whether others might be a better fit.
Do they have tons of great reviews?
Make sure the firm you choose has plenty of positive customer reviews; however, you should verify that they are genuine. In other words, check whether they have a lot of favourable Google reviews or have a social media presence such as on Facebook or Instagram.
Are their prices within your budget?
It is important that you get what you need at a price you can afford. So if they have a wide variety of choices and are flexible and helpful to your needs, the more at ease you’ll feel that they want to work with you. However, if someone is offering too much for too little, be cautious. It’s useful to remember that a full-time professional has to make a living wage, so their price should be indicative of what the job demands. Remember the old saying that if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is…
Would you be able to talk in person?
It’s always beneficial to meet in person or at least via a video chat. You’ll get a good sense of how they look and behave, as well as how they will fit in with your family and friends… Remember, they will be with you all day, for eight hours plus. You can also ask them any questions you may have at this time.
Do you like their style?
Is it reportage or classic photography you want? With the former, the style is more informal, natural and relaxed, with pictures often taken when people are unaware of the camera. The photographer will literally immerse themselves into the wedding so that they can capture all those funny, off the cuff moments. With the latter, the style is more formal where guests like to stop for more posed shots from the photographer so that they are looking their best. In addition many photographers use filters in their image processing software to establish a signature look for their work, so the post-production process will vary depending on whether you wish to preserve a traditional or contemporary appearance.
How experienced are they?
Be certain to make sure whether the photographer is a full-time professional or a part-time enthusiast who fits in wedding photography between his regular job. That’s a sure way to know if they are truly experienced or just starting out. If the latter, they might be fantastic and just beginning full-time, but be careful, since you may be putting your most crucial day in the hands of someone who doesn’t have the required experience, or will be fitting you in with other unrelated work. Professional wedding photographers should have covered many hundreds of weddings over the years, weddings in all venues and all conditions, so they understand what to do when anything that’s not planned occurs, since they’ve seen it all before. Also this being their only primary work means their main focus will always only be on you and nothing else.
Have they worked at your venue?
It’s not imperative that they’ve worked at your actual venue, but it definitely helps because they will know all the right spots to take you throughout the day. Having experience at your venue also means they will have worked with the wedding team which is always good to know. If they haven’t worked at your venue, then if they have worked at a comparable one then that’s an important factor. Someone who covers weddings at a certain class or type of venue may not be used to one that is completely different; for example, experience only of church marriage ceremonies is completely different to ones in bespoke wedding venues.
Can they provide you with real wedding examples?
Be sure to look at their work beyond a few basic pictures on their site, because you should be able to see real weddings on their pages or they should be able to post some for you. If you are meeting them in person, ask them to bring copies of prior client albums with them, so you can see how and what they captured throughout the day rather than just the best ones that they’ve carefully selected.
Keeping all of these points in mind, you should be able to ensure you have someone to document your unique occasion so you can be rewarded with countless heartfelt memories for a lifetime. I hope this article has helped you along the right path and that you end up picking a wonderful wedding photographer.