One of the most important decisions you will make while planning your wedding, is who is going to capture your wedding memories? After all, once your day is over all you will be left with are beautiful images and memories so it is not a decision to take lightly. These are my 5 top tips to help you pick your ideal wedding photographer.
1. Pick your Style of Wedding Photography
There are a few different photography styles which you could pick from for your wedding. Probably one of the most common is Reportage, this is photography that captures your day as it unfolds. It is a natural style, where the photographer steps back and watches events, recording things as they happen. It isn’t about formulating shots or setting-up masses and masses of group shots.
Other key words you may hear in relation to reportage wedding photography are ‘documentary,’ ‘candid-style,’ ‘journalistic,’ or ‘unposed,’ Other photographers may specialise in a more Fine Art style, which is very much focused on composition and highly detailed, romantic weddings. Contemporary style photographers will stage images and use modern editing styles and photography techniques, looking for interesting angles and have a slightly more editorial style quality. Traditional photographers would describe themselves as taking portrait shots, formatted group shots
Another key option when it comes to style is whether your photographer is a film photographer or a digital photographer. Most are digital because on a wedding day it gives the option for editing and making the most of the shots whereas film is instant and unchangeable. Film photography is less forgiving, requires good lighting and takes a considerable amount of time to then edit and process the finished photos.
2. Editing Style of your Wedding Photographer
Each photographer will have their own style of editing the raw images and it is most likely that this is one of the things that will make you fall in love with your chosen photographer. Once photographers have taken their images, they will return to their computer and edit your images. In most cases Photographers have what is called a ‘preset’ which they apply to each image. This then creates their unique style, whether it’s a light and airy finish to their images, a fine art style or a dark and moody preset. These can completely change the final look of an image. Consider the style of your wedding photographer carefully because some presets can really date images which may not be your thing, if you are looking for something classic.
Some photographers famous all black and white, while other will do a mixture or just all colour, again think about your preference and then shortlist your photographers accordingly.
3. Do they work on their own?
You may have heard the term ‘second-shooter,’ this is a secondary photographer who works alongside your booked photographer. This has various advantages:
- your photographer doesn’t need to worry about being in two places at the same time, particularly useful if you want getting ready shots of the groom as well as the bride, if you are in two different locations
- no small detail or glance is missed
- if you have large guest numbers this can be really helpful
- it can make your timings more efficient
- you get more details of your day included in your end images
Always ask your photographer if this is an option and if they think a second shooter is a necessity for your wedding.Some photographers will only operate as a duo so you will automatically get two anyway.
4. Is the price right?
Always make sure you are completely clear on what your photographer is including in their fee. Some offer fully digital packages, ie you need to pay extra for an album. A lot of couples are quite happy with this as it means they can then go ahead and produce their own album from their digital images to suit their budget.
Hours of coverage is another element which can have a bearing on the price you pay. Will they cover the ceremony as well if it is at a different location?
Do they include an engagement shoot in their price? Is this something you would like?
A photographers fee will be reflective of their skill and experience so definitely something to be conscious of, you definitely do get what you pay for.
5. The What If’s
Other questions you should be asking are:
- what will they do if they are ill on your wedding day?
- what back ups do they have in the event their equipment fails?
- are they fully insured?
- do they have an example album you can look at? It’s important to see how they cover a whole wedding day and tell the story from start to finish in images.
- have they photographed any weddings at your venue before?
- how long will you need to wait for them to return your completed images?