A while ago (before I had my very own blog!) I was asked to write a guest blog for Bride2Bride on how to choose a wedding photographer. Having been a bride (5 years this September!) and also being a photographer, I hope this will provide some useful tips!
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So how do you choose a wedding photographer…?
Now that’s a question worth pondering… its your big day, one you’ve been planning and dreaming of for weeks, months, even years. It’s just one day in your life but probably the biggest one and there is one chance only to ensure that you have a set of photographs that capture those magical moments for you forever.
So how on earth do you start narrowing down that list? Your perfect wedding photographer is out there somewhere; you might just have to search hard for them! There are lots to choose from but remember that a photographer can only photograph one wedding at a time and with upwards of quarter of a million weddings a year in the UK there are only approx. 20,000 wedding photographers! Each one is different so it’s well worth spending that extra time on finding one who will compliment you and your big day.
So what’s your unique style…?
Every couple and every wedding are unique so your photographs should reflect that. Some couples will go for a retro look, some for vintage, some for ‘out there’ themes, some for full on glamour, and others more low key; but whatever your personal style your photographs need to have your personality injected into them by your photographer. And remember the details… you spend a lot of money on your wedding and if it’s important to you that the details are captured do make this clear to your photographer. Some photographers will capture these as standard but some do not. And although your day is more likely to be about you and your guests, do you really want to erase all memory of your hard work in the weeks and months leading up to your wedding…?
Do you like and feel comfortable with your photographer…?
You will be spending a huge amount of time with your photographer on your big day and for some of the most intimate and special moments they will be there with you. Unless you feel at ease in their company there is no way you are going to be relaxed enough on your big day to enable them to get the shots you want. Having a great rapport with your photographer means that they can bring out the best of you on your big day without intrusion.
Trust your instinct! If you don’t feel comfortable or if there is something ‘just not quite right’ and you don’t feel its something you can work around, look elsewhere. And spend time with your photographer before your big day – I always have a pre-shoot with all of my couples before their big day, usually at their venue. It’s an opportunity for us to explore the venue together and also for them to get used to being in front of the camera. We also use this time to iron out any worries over smiling, posing, etc, and work out what works for them.
The third key point is cost, so let’s tackle that one head on…!
Photographers’ fees tend to fall into two categories:
On average couples pay around the £1,500 for wedding photography with the average cost of a wedding coming in at £ 15,500* so a general rule of thumb is 10% of your wedding budget.
This might be a ‘gulp’ moment but don’t underestimate the value of your wedding photography and the expertise and experience of your photographer. Perhaps the key thought to mull over is:
Q: When your wedding day is over what will you have to ensure that your memories of your day are visually captured forever?
A: Your wedding photography!
Above all else make sure you meet your photographer before you book them! Take time to go through their portfolio and ask all the questions you want to that will enable you to feel comfortable with your choice.
And finally a quick check list of some of the most important things to keep an eye out
And above all, can they ‘keep calm and sparkle’?!