This is something a lot of couples tell me they worried about (until they met me! 😀) - choosing the right photographer. This time, you get my perspective.
Now, I may be biased, but I honestly believe that, apart from your venue, your photographer is the most important aspect of your wedding day. But choosing the right one for YOU is the clincher.
With so many photographers and different styles out there it can be hard to choose! This is why it's important to research your photographer before making your final choice. There's traditional, documentary style, fine art style, illustrative, portrait, fashion - and this is just wedding photography! As for me? I'm typically a mix of reportage/documentary style with a little tradition thrown in for good measure.
I love to take 'in the moment' candid photos. Although I am happy to photograph any group/staged shots you would like, my photographs will primarily be unexpected 'sneaky' shots which you may not even know i'm taking. For some couples this is an ideal, non intrusive way to document your special day. For others, this may be disappointing.
So... to avoid disappointment and get the most out of your photos, here are some tips:
1. Set a Budget. No point finding a photographer you love and then discovering they’re well beyond your budget. Your first step is to discuss how much you can legitimately spend and always keep that in mind as you continue your search. Lots of photographers have starting prices on their website or you could ask a few in your area for a quick quote to see what the going rate is. While it may be a big chunk of your budget, your photos are one of the most important things to invest in. See if you can shave your budget somewhere else to give yourself as much money as possible for this. You get what you pay for.
2. Check out their style. Now for the fun part of starting your search! Your preferred photography style really is one of the most important things to consider. Every photographer should have a portfolio which should be readily available to you on their website. Their portfolio will reflect their style and should give you an idea of the kinds of photos you can expect if you choose them.
3. Check out their reviews. A great photographer will have lots of previous clients who are willing to say how great he/she was for their wedding. If in any doubt you could always ask to speak to some previous clients, but please bear in mind that the photographer will have to ok this with the clients.
4. Talk to them! They can't give you what they don't know you want. If you're after 'point n shoot' stand and smile posed shots as opposed to 'caught in the moment' candid shots, you need to tell them. Especially if their portfolio reflects otherwise. If there are shots that are super important to you, by all means, give us a list! We want to do our best for you and we're always happy to listen.
5. Meet with them. Finding the right photographer for your wedding is about more than picking someone who has a style you like or who fits into your budget. You’ll be spending most of your wedding day with this person, so he/she should really be someone you actually like and get along with. Otherwise, you’ll be going through one of the most emotional (and possibly stressful) days of your life being followed around by someone who annoys you. I like to meet couples at their venue so we can discuss their big day 'on site'.
6. Book a Pre-Wedding Shoot. This isn't an essential, but you’ll be so much more comfortable on the day if you’ve had some experience of being directed and posing beforehand. A Pre-Wedding shoot is a great way to all to get to know each other and see if your personalities mesh. I'm happy to include a short shoot as part of the meet at the venue.
7. Ask for their T's & C's and ask questions. Contracts can be scary - but they are there to protect you and the photographer, so get to know them! Read them thoroughly and ask every silly question you can think of! Your photographer will be happy to explain any of that boring legal jargon.
8. Book them! I hate having to disappoint couples who were interested in booking me but eventually lost out because someone else came along and booked me for their date. Simply pay the Booking Fee, sign the contract......and relax!