Choosing the right wedding photographer can be one of the toughest decisions when planning your wedding day.
The endless scrolling through instagram, posting in Facebook groups and googling ‘wedding photographers’ for the 73rd time in a week can be tiring.
When the wedding day is over and you’ve jetted back from your honeymoon what you’ll have left are your wedding photos. Your wedding photos matter.
I’ve put together 9 secrets to finding a wedding photographer that you’ll love.
It’s not rocket science but if you follow these steps I can assure you, you won’t regret your decision.
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1. LOVE their previous work
Now this is a big one.
I cannot stress this enough, it’s important that you love what they’ve done already.
Do you LOVE their style?
Do you LOVE how the couples are posed/naturally captured?
This is important as this gives you a glimpse into how the photographer works on the day and how they edit your final images.
You may have a style in your head so it’s important to match that to your photographer.
If you try and push a photographer into a different style than they have displayed on their website/instagram feed then you may end up feeling disappointed with the end result.
2. Wedding Venue
It can be really helpful to find a wedding photographer that has already shot at your chosen wedding venue.
If they’ve shot at your venue before then it’s likely that they’ll know the best places to take images and at the best times.
That being said I don’t think this a make or break situation.
Your photographer might be able to meet you guys at your wedding venue before your big day to get a feel for the space and get some ideas for your photographs.
Again this isn’t crucial. I have shot tons of weddings with fresh eyes having never been in the space before and if your wedding photographer is experienced then this won’t be an issue.
Some wedding venues will have recommended photographers on their suppliers list.
I think it’s always a good idea to look at these as they are people that your venue trust but don’t feel limited to using only your venues recommendations.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
It’s important your wedding photographer knows what they’re doing.
You’re hiring them to do a technical task (operating a camera) but that skill, that knowledge should be second nature to them.
Low budget photographers may just be starting out in weddings. This can be a dangerous grey area with lots of risk involved.
It’s worth paying for someone that knows their craft inside out.
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But how much should I spend on my wedding photography?
I know every wedding has a budget and with the average price of weddings being £31,974 it’s worth putting at least 8-12% of that budget to capturing your wedding day.
That means £2560 – £3840 of a £32k budget! That’s a lot of money but it’s relative to the total budget of the wedding.
If you value your wedding photography and videography it’s worth every penny.
This is the most important day of your life so you want to make sure it’s captured by the best.
4. SPEAK to your wedding photographer
This really is very simple.
I think it’s ok to email your photographer.
I even think it’s ok to Instagram DM your photographer.
But I think it’s BEST to actually talk them. On the phone, FaceTime call, or perhaps even face to face!
This person is going to be with you on the most memorable day of your life. It’s so important that you speak to them and get to know them before your big day.
Set up a meeting. If you can’t get together in person then get on Skype, Facetime, Zoom anything!
If you take one thing from this blog post then please take this:
“Talk to your wedding photographer, with actual real spoken words… from your mouth.”
– Profound quote from Noah Werth
5. Create a ‘Plan of Action’
That may sound very organised, you might not want very organised but having a plan for your wedding day photography is key.
Make time and space for your wedding photography.
– Do you have lots of family?
If you do then it’s important to factor in all those aunties, uncles and cousins that may all want an image with you.
More pictures = More time
– What about Couple Shots?
You’ll need to make time and space in your schedule where you can go and get some stunning images of just the two of you.
Having a plan to visit special locations around or near your venue will need to be planned and timed in advance.
Light is crucial to photography.
Harsh bright sunlight isn’t good for photographs.
This could affect where and when you organise any group/couple shots in your wedding day timeline.
When in the year you get married will also affect how much light you have.
– Summer sunset = 9:30pm*
– Winter Sunset = 4:30pm*
*Your actual sunset time will help shape your timings so be sure to find out when it’s going to be gone.
6. Ask about the Legal Stuff
This is something you should do with all of your wedding suppliers but it’s important to ask the questions.
– What about the copyright of my wedding photos?
95% of the time your wedding photographer will retain the copyright to your wedding photos.
This may not be true of every photographer so it’s important to ask the question.
Your photographer should have clear and concise legal terms outlining this so be sure to ask to see them.
7. Pre-Wedding Shoot
Arranging a pre-wedding shoot or an engagement shoot is a great idea.
You get to meet and speak to the photographer (point number 4 done!)
You also get hands on experience of how they work PLUS you get some amazing images you can share on Facebook or Insta.
Is a pre wedding shoot included in my package?
Often wedding photographers will include a pre-wedding shoot in their packages but not always.
Sometimes there can be an additional cost for this but I think this is money well spent.
Another bonus is that you might want to use these images during your actual wedding day. It could be printed polaroids to hang on a line or to use in your wedding guest book.
8. Book them in early
The last thing you want is to find your perfect wedding photographer only to find out that they’re already booked on your big day.
When do I need book my wedding photographer?
It’s crucial to book your wedding photographer early in order to avoid disappointment.
Some photographers are booked up 2 sometimes even 3 years in advance and if you’ve got a Saturday wedding planned for the Summer then those dates go quickly and ahead of time.
You may find it easier to book your photographer if your wedding is the quieter months of the year October – February.
Either way book ahead of time and get them in the diary quick.
9. Choose Someone You Trust.
This is super, duper, super super duper important.
Trust is crucial to any relationship, but you are literally trusting someone to capture memories that will last for generations.
Have you ever seen old wedding pictures of your grandparents?
How did they make you feel?
One day someone is going to see your wedding day images. Ok so they may not be printed , they might be uploaded straight to your great grandchild’s brain pouch but they’re still going to see them and think: woah.
It’s important that the photographer you choose is trust worthy.
I think a persons character and values are just as important as their capability.
So there you are, 9 top tips to consider when choosing your photographer;
- Love their style.
- Speak to your venue, have they shot there before?
- Price – Pay for the best.
- SPEAK to your photographer, are you a good match?
- Create a ‘Plan of Action’
- Remember the legal stuff.
- Pre wedding shoot? Yes please!
- Book them early.
- Choose someone you trust.