The first thing most people I’ve spoken to do, is ask their friends OR just book the photographer Cath & Jim had for their wedding. This can be a great way of finding a photographer but please keep in mind the saying “different strokes for different folks”. Ensure that you’ve had a good look at their work so you know what to expect. Photography is subjective, what one person may like style wise, another person might find a bit gross. The saddest and most common story I hear is one of regret… they hate their photos, wish they’d booked someone else. I’ve even had some stories where they’ve not even got their photos or one recently of a photographer who upped and left the wedding because guests had their cameras out! This makes me want to do a little ugly cry. Here are some tips on narrowing it down and making the right choice…
1. What sort of style floats your boat? There are so many photography lingo catch phrases out there but what gets you thinking
I want wedding photos like that!
For instance; Light and airy, editorial, directed and posed images you could imagine in a magazine or colour popping photojournalistic natural ones? You’ll see I post a lot of natural (documentary) style images, although my bride & groom portraits have some minimal direction I prefer to create something more laid back as do my couples. More “raw” than polished but still beautiful in it’s own crazy, joyful way.
2. Have a little stalky stalk! All professional wedding photographers will have their work out there for all to see. So have a look at their website, instagram, facebook pages, stuff like that. Google their business name and you’ll see wedding blog features, any associations they’re affiliated with.
Eyeball as much of their imagery that you can, this is the end result. Remember all weddings are different, seasons, styles, time of day so having a really good nosy will give you the full picture of how they work.
3. Don’t confine yourself to immediate local photographers if you haven’t found “the one” broaden the search. Gone are the days of having to use the only photographer in the village.
Most photographers I know shoot up and down the country, including myself. I lived in Northamptonshire all my life and photographed from Cornwall to Yorkshire, France and Italy. I moved to South Somerset in August 2017 and cover weddings across Dorset and Devon too. I still shoot all over and love returning to my home county of Northants to shoot there and of course I get to see my family.
4. You’ve narrowed down your search and got a compilation of kick ass wedding photographers, what now? Well my friend, you need to speak to these people. Whether it is by email or phone, start conversing. We love talking weddings, the more detail the better. Talk about the expectations you have of your wedding photographer, and vice versa the photographers will talk to you about how they work. Give them a call, email, meet with them face to face on video call or in person, because level-pegging with the quality of their work,
it is vital that you like your photographer. Spending 8hrs+ with someone outside of your family/friend unit on the best day of your life will be much easier and more relaxed if you think said person is an all round good egg.
5. Stay in touch! Communicate with your short-list or chosen photographer. Keep them in the loop about your intentions even if you’re still undecided or waiting for payday. They can in turn let you know if someone else enquires for your date. Photographers are ultimately a business and can only save a date that has been booked and paid for, but most will let you know if there has been other interest to give you chance if you enquired first.
Being open and honest could save you losing out on your first choice. If they are already booked ask them if they can refer you, we tend to know many talented photographers and have a fantastic network at our fingertips.
I’m not the only person talking about it. Check out these articles about choosing your wedding photographer too:
Huffington Post – How not to choose your wedding photographer
Offbeat Bride – 12 things wedding photographers want to tell you