Aside from your partner (and the dress of course!) choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most paramount decisions you will make on your wedding day. After all it is what creates the lasting impression of your day and is not a decision to be made lightly. Whilst anyone can take a photo, a photographer is an artist who can tell a story with a single image, shot in the perfect light and with the most simple of compositions which creates the most value in what they do. When choosing a photographer for you there are few things to take into account and each couples priorities are different. By establishing expectations and values, you will ensure you are getting exactly what you want in a photographer and not left disappointed. Here are some top tips from the Wendy Makin team:
What photographic style and aesthetic is to your taste?
You’ve spent weeks (or months) scrolling Pinterest and Instagram. Is there a common theme amongst the style of photography? Do you prefer natural light or flash photography? Do you prefer traditional posed photos or off guard moments? It is important to be true to yourself here as every photographers design aesthetic and signature style is different. If you prefer the opposite to what the do, they aren’t for you. Also take into account where you are getting married and ensuring the style of photography fits into the context of the location of your wedding.
Is your wedding date available?
Once you have worked out the style of photography you want, you may have a shortlist. The next step is to ensure the date is available! There is not point going any further into a developing a relationship with the photographer if they can’t do the wedding!
What is the photographers background?
It is okay to ask a photographer what experience they have in weddings! You may appreciate how a photographer captures the natural landscape but it may not always translate into wedding photography. It is a skill set on its own! By contrast a lack of experience doesn’t mean they aren’t an incredible untapped talent but you want to know exactly what you are investing in with a photographer. Ask to see a portfolio if you need extra help!
Establish a Connection
Having a working relationship with your photographer is one of the biggest factors when choosing one for you. You have to like them! Have a meeting with the photographer and build a relationship. This allows them to see your character and theirs too. It may mean they are more open to doing specific shots you would like or that they get a feel for you and know how to capture your character and emotions together as a couple. You want to feel comfortable and be able to talk to your photographer as you will be with them ALL DAY! Another way to establish the connection is to have an engagement shoot with them so you are less nervous and more natural in front of the lens on the wedding day.
Price and What They Offer
Not all photographers are created equally but you need to know what they offer, what you are paying for and the value in it for you. You may just want the cheapest rate or the no expenses spared version – as long as you know what is exactly included and what is extra, your expectations will be met. You need to decide what is most important to you whether it is sticking to a budget, the images themselves or the added extras. One way to ensure you don’t miss out on this is to make sure things are itemised in your quote so you know exactly what’s included. This could be making sure there is a second shooter, the photographer is capturing the wedding til the end of the evening, albums, travel expenses etc. The fact is no one likes a surprise after the fact that they are up for more money.
How long it will take to receive your photos.
Every photographer is different in how they process their images which comes back to our first point of aesthetics. Take into account that to achieve a certain style and feel of an image, extra time might be spent post-processing which means a longer wait time til they are in your hot little hands! Photographers can take anywhere between a couple of weeks to 6 months which can be a real patience tester! You may get sneak peeks and teasers along the way for social media but again there are no right or wrongs to length of time on delivery but some things are worth the wait!
*It is also important to remember that ownership of the photos whilst yours to keep still belong to your photographer. Keep this in mind when posting to socials and be sure to credit them. They will thank you later!*
If you are needing some inspiration, here are some links to our favourite photographers: