Top Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer
Top Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer
By Paul Jones
It can be one of the hardest yet most important decisions that any wedding couple must make when planning their wedding. Finding the right wedding photographer can be tricky yet this is the person that you are going to trust to document your wedding day, so you have to get it right, there are no second chances. Luckily Wedding Fairy is here with some top tips for you to find that perfect snapper!
1. Meet & Chat with your Top 3
Begin by drawing up a list of prospective photographers. You can either search the internet, ask friends or family that were recently married who they got, or attend some wedding fairs and see which photographers are exhibiting. There are lots of ways in which you could draw up a list of 15-20 potential wedding photographers. When you have that list email them and ask for quotes and a link to a gallery to see their work. After seeing their prices and quality of images you can then narrow your list down to a potential top three that you like the best. Now comes the important bit, you must meet with them face to face. You want to feel comfortable in front of the camera on the day so you will need to also feel comfortable with your photographer. Are they relaxed and easy going? Will they rush you on the day? Can you get on with them? You will only know this by actually meeting with them BEFORE booking them. One idea is to ask them can they do an engagement shoot for you. A thirty-minute photoshoot where you get to see them in action. Not only will you then know that they are the right choice but you’ll also have some beautiful images of you both before and after you marry each other.
2. Don’t Skimp on the Photography Budget
If you’ve followed on from Tip #1 above then you should already have received email quotes from ten or more wedding photographers. You may have found that there’s a variation in prices and at a first glance that might seem odd but not so. Beware of quotes that seem too good to be true as they usually are. A full-time professional wedding photographer will have invested in the very best of cameras and lenses, be insured, tax compliant, and reliable. Those that are professionals charge more but it’s their livelihood so there is minimal chance of them letting you down on the day. There have been numerous stories on the internet of the budget photographer not showing up on the day or showing up and using budget equipment which quite often is no better than the camera of your average smartphone. A really good wedding photographer will also supply the very best of wedding albums and extras which will stand the test of time. You will look back at your wedding photos for years to come so it’s well worth spending that little bit extra on your photography budget.
3. Decide on Your Package
By this stage, you’ve met with at least three photographers and seen the quality of their work and their prices you’re probably ready to pick the one that you like best and will get on with the most. Maybe they shoot in a style that you’re really after such as a candid style. Now it’s time to make that decision and pick your favourite but don’t just pay the deposit straight away. Instead, arrange to meet with them again for another chat. Talk about exactly what you want included on the day, the times you want the photographer(s) to start and finish at, what you want to be photographed (or anything you definitely do not want to be photographed), who you want to be photographed, and how all your images will be presented to you. Almost all professional photographers will talk you through this process but do make sure that you nail it down before the day itself. Ask about the quality of the albums, USB boxes, prints or frames if any, or any other extras they may offer. Signing frames, where each guest at your reception signs a framed photo taken earlier in the day is very popular and a lovely memento to have so ask your photographer can they provide that service. Don’t forget your parents either as it’s a proud day for them too. They love having framed photos to take home with them on the day and they also love receiving parent wedding albums so ask your photographer if they can also provide these and if they are included in the price.
4. The Nitty Gritty but Important Stuff
You don’t have to but it’s not a bad idea to ask your photographer for proof of insurance and also to provide a tax clearance certificate. If they can provide these then it just gives you that piece of mind that they legitimate and that they won’t let you down. In the same instance, it’s not unusual if your wedding photographer asks you to sign a contract of work or emails you with a link to their terms of service. This can include things such as delivery date of your albums and images and what happens if something goes wrong on the day such as equipment failure (this rarely happens as professionals usually have back up plans however they are also human). Ensure that you read through any contract before agreeing or signing it. This all might sound a bit tedious but remember that this is a full-time photographer’s livelihood and that they also need to protect themselves from professional indemnity.
5. Enjoy Your Wedding Day!
All weddings are unique and different however for almost every wedding that I’ve ever photographed one thing remains constant and that is that the day itself just goes by so quick. Especially as a bride, you need to enjoy this most special of days for you. I’ve heard so many brides saying that the day went by so fast. If you’ve followed the advice above then most probably you’ve chosen already the perfect wedding photographer for you so let them now get on with their job and don’t stress about the photos. An experienced wedding photographer will know which are the ‘must get’ shots and will also know the right times to approach you for posed shots and when not to. Leave it to them, they will come to you during the day at the times that are needed. Your wedding day is here, soak up the atmosphere and look forward to seeing all your stunning images presented to you in a beautiful album soon after.
About the author
Paul Jones is a full-time professional wedding photographer with meathphotos.ie. Before becoming a photographer Paul worked in the banqueting & conferencing sector and has years of experience in chatting and helping engaged couples in the planning of their weddings.