CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

Make sure your photographer is a professional and has experience

 It may seem tempting to let your friend, who takes wonderful photographs after all, do your wedding photos. So why use a professional? Your wedding photos are your only lasting, permanent record and should capture the memories of the most important day of your life. All the time and effort you have spent on your flowers, venue, dress etc. needs to be captured by an expert in composition and lighting who will treat your wedding as the special day it is to you. While an amateur would help with your budget, you are taking a big risk. They often have other fulltime jobs and only do weddings as a side line for extra money. If you get an average job, and you’re not happy with the results, it will be hard to recreate your day, ever.

Make sure you get on well with your photographer

This may seem obvious, but you need to like your photographer and feel comfortable with them and feel they have a good attitude. You will get better results if you feel relaxed! It is important that they are experienced with weddings and can deal with you and your family and guests of all ages in an organised, confident, charming and friendly manner. A personal recommendation is always good, and perhaps someone who has photographed your venue before. The right photographer should not be a hindrance but help things run smoothly and make your day enjoyable. Be sure to discuss your needs and preferences.

Do you like their style?

A good photographer should be proficient in both Reportage and Traditional photography, and this depends on the type of images you want. Reportage photography is very popular. It is a relaxed, un-posed style and captures the day as it happens. Your photographer will have to be artistic, creative and experienced with this style of photography as there is more skill involved than just taking random, candid shots which will not have the same effect. If you have a large wedding with many friends and family who are travelling some distance and you don’t see often, then you may want a more traditional style with some portraits and organized groups to capture everyone. You may decide that you would like a mixture of both!

Ask to see the photographs from an entire wedding

Although it is helpful to view a range of settings and styles from a range of weddings, also ask to see a complete and recent wedding. Anyone can manage to get some good photographs and of course can put together a few best shots from several weddings, but a skilled photographer will take consistently good photographs throughout an entire wedding. The good choice of lighting and backgrounds will give you that “wow factor”.

Check that your photographer is a member of a recognised professional photographic body and has insurance

Professional photographers will be a member of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, BPPA or the MPA etc. You should also check that your photographer has professional indemnity insurance. It is worth bearing in mind that amateurs are very unlikely to be insured.

Do they have professional equipment and What are the costs?

Professional equipment is expensive and can cost thousands of pounds. There is a reason for this, professional equipment has a much higher resolution and your photographs will be of a very superior quality. Part-time photographers are unlikely to have a full range of lenses and lighting and will be limited in the shots they can capture. Photography usually accounts for about 8% to 10% of your wedding budget, so you should get some comparisons. Saying that, this is the one thing you should not be prepared to cut costs on as your photographs are the one permanent record left after your wedding day.