Finding The Perfect Wedding Photographer
The search for the perfect wedding photographer can be a daunting task. At first it all seems relatively easy but a couple of google searches later and you’re down the rabbit hole with 10,000 different styles and photographers that you like, but how do you find the best one for you? Below I’ve put together a few things to look out for in a sort of unofficial guide to finding a photographer that’s perfect for you!
1. Knowing What You Want.
I think one of the first questions you need to ask is how important is photography to you. This may seem daft but there are some people who just aren’t that bothered and others who want every moment of the day captured in glorious detail. Once you’ve got this figured out, you’ll have a better idea of how much you’re willing to spend. If you just want someone to turn up, snap a few shots of the “important moments”, then you’re likely not to need to spend as much as hiring a wedding photographer whose there to tell your story as the day unfolds and see the job from more of a narrative point of view.
2. Find A Style You Love.
Once you’ve figured out how important photography is to you then you can move onto finding a style you like. Every photographer is different and we all have our own styles and ways of shooting. It can be terrifying trying to wade through a sea of photographers who all use certain phrases to describe their work. Here’s a few examples.
Traditional photographers are often more focused on posed images and the formal shots. Documentary style photographers push more towards the informality of the day and telling the story in a more realistic style.
There’s a great deal of styles to choose from and to look into, even as far as editing, going from “dark and moody” to “light and airy”. I personally think it’s really important to find a photographer that doesn’t just follow trends, I’ve spoken to a lot of people who regret hiring someone that just followed the latest trend, as a few years down the line their photos look incredibly dated. Find someone whose style stands the test of time!
I personally class my style as a mix of documentary and creative, spending most of the day shooting genuine moments and telling your story whilst still making time for some kickass portraits of you both. So you need to find a style you love and once you have, you move onto stage 3.
3. Research Is Key.
I cannot stress this enough, do your research. Go to wedding fairs, spend hours on the web and follow multiple photographers on social media. Don’t just stick with the first person you find! Make sure you take a good look around their website and social channels, get to know the person behind the camera. Worcestershire Wedding Photographer, Alex Ward believes that the bio or the ‘about me’ section of a photographers website is crucial; “first impressions are important, the bio lets potential clients get to know more about you and your style as well as your approach to your work as shooting a wedding is an extremely personal thing to do!”
There’s no point trying to ask us to emulate another photographer or to shoot in a way we clearly don’t. If you find a photographer that mainly focuses on staged formals then asking them to shoot in a more fine art style isn’t going to be as effective as finding a photographer whose style is fine art to begin with. We spend countless hours tailoring our social media and websites to show off our best work and to showcase how we shoot, so if you can’t find any colour splash images on our site, then it’s probably because we don’t shoot them. By researching you’ll find the person for you.
Nobody likes talking about money, but we’re going to. Wedding photography covers every end of the spectrum as far as cost goes. You’ll find people who will offer full day coverage for a couple of hundred pounds and others that can charge upwards of £5,000. It’s all about what you can afford. However what I’d always say is that if you’ve found your perfect photographer and they are above your budget, then have a rethink, I’m sure you can find a way to afford them. These images will often be passed down generation to generation so you want them to stand the test of time, it’s not worth scrimping on it if you can avoid it.
5. Get In Touch.
So you’ve found your perfect wedding photographer, you’ve done the research and put the time in. Now it’s time to get in touch. What I cannot stress enough is detail and enthusiasm. Tell us about your big day and tell us in detail. Show us how excited you are because that level of enthusiasm gets us excited! You have no idea how much of a gut punch it is to get an enquiry, open it up and just see “how much do you charge”. I work with couples that want me to be a part of their day and fill me with glee when talking about what they have planned. I want them to tell me details and to ask as many questions as they can because then I know they care and are interested, not just trying to find out if I’m cheap or not. Ask about insurance, equipment, how they work and anything else you can think of.
I asked a couple of wedding photographer friends what their advice for couples would be and they both pretty much agreed that meeting your photographer if you can is vital. Liverpool Wedding Photographer, Jessica Lang says “being comfortable with each other is so important for both couple and photographer as having your photo taken can be nerve wracking for some! If you have already got to know each other a little before the wedding then not only will you enjoy your photo session but the pictures will be so natural and authentic as a result”
If you can’t make face to face then Skype/FaceTime is always a great option. You’ll likely be spending a big part of your day with the photographer so it’s important to make sure you all get on. I make sure that with every couple I shoot with we’ve either met or spent some time talking casually, I want my clients to feel more like friends than employers.
6. Get Them Booked.
Wedding photographers can book up to 2 or 3 years ahead so it’s important that once you are confident they are the one for you that you get booked in. Putting them off for a month or two can cost you and then it’s back to the drawing board.
And that’s about it, remember the key is finding someone whose style you love and who you can get on with. Talk to them, show your enthusiasm and they’ll be as excited for the big day as you are. I wish you all the best in your search for the perfect wedding photographer for you.