So, you’re planning your wedding and you’ve agreed that you want a professional photographer to capture the unique magic and emotions of the big day. Just as couples put a lot of thought into the venue, wedding dress and people to invite, they should also place emphasis on finding the right wedding photographer. But with so many factors to think about, where do you start? Below are some of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing the perfect wedding photographer for you.
The term ‘photography’ covers many disciplines – portraiture, landscape, family and sports to name but a few. Similarly, the discipline of wedding photography covers several different styles. To help you begin your search for a suitable photographer, your first step should be to decide on a preferred style – it’s highly unlikely you’ll find a photographer who is consistently adept at more than one style. Below is a breakdown of the three main styles of wedding photography:
· Traditional - This classic style consists mainly of portraiture shots where the married couple, friends and family pose for the camera in a variety of settings, most commonly at the altar or outside the chapel. If this is your preferred style but would prefer something a little more modern, there are many creative photographers out there who use the same posing principles but use unusual backdrops
· Reportage – Currently very popular, this involves more of a hands-off documentary style, and there is little to no posing involved. In fact, you’ll hardly notice the photographer is even there!
· Artistic – Perhaps considered a little risky by some people due to the highly individualised look of the pictures, the artistic style allows the photographer to put their unique stamp on your wedding photos. If this is your preferred style, make sure you check out all of your photographer’s previous work beforehand, to make sure you definitely like their take on things.
Look through a selection of photographers’ previous work. Going through full albums from several weddings will give you a good indication of how consistent their quality is. If a photographer’s website only displays one or two shots from many weddings, this may suggest they aren’t up to it in terms of consistent quality.
Choosing a wedding photographer based on their previous work is an obvious piece of advice. But have you thought about their personality? Actually liking the photographer on a personal level is really important because they’re going to be around you throughout your big day. You don’t want an irritating, abrasive or unenthusiastic person capturing one of your happiest moments in life! We recommend you meet your potential photographers face-to-face so you can talk in-depth about your wedding, venue, and generally what you’d like to see in your photos.
Do you have a specific set of photos you’d like to be taken on your wedding? If so, ensure that your photographer is open to accommodating your requests. Generally speaking, most will be happy to be flexible in this regard, though many don’t want to stray from their regular plan.
If you would like your wedding photographs to be altered to remove small imperfections, blemishes or wrinkles, then make sure you ask your potential photographers if they offer this facility, because some don’t. Also, find out whether or not they charge extra for the service.
Booking the photographer
Once your heart is set on a certain photographer, it’s time to book him or her for your wedding. Here are a few extra tips to take into consideration:
· Exceptional photographers are very busy – many will have to be booked one or even two years in advance, so bear this in mind if you want to hire someone on your wedding date
· Similar to the previous point, you need to book especially early if you plan to have your wedding on a Saturday or in the summer
· If wedding photos are a truly important part of your big day, set aside a suitable budget. We all want the best deal, but expect to pay more for a top quality photographer who’ll create photos you’ll cherish forever.
This guest post was by Brett Harkness, a professional photographer based in the UK who specialises in wedding photography.