3rd November 2016
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the biggest decisions you and your other half will have to make in the run-up to your wedding day, and it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. You will want the photographs taken to really capture the atmosphere of the occasion and still bring it to life even many decades down the line. Like your grandparents’ black and white albums, these photographs may well be passed down the line as part of the family inheritance, so you need to know you’re going to be happy with them.
When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer there are certain things you should bear in mind, but heed this advice and you should have no problem finding someone who will do justice to your big day.
Decide on a Style
The first thing you need to do is choose a style. Some photographers will simply point and click rather than asking you to pose, capturing the event in a documentary style which can be a much more laid-back way of telling the story of the day. While that will suit some, others may want the much more artistic, formal or staged shots or portraits, which are guaranteed to show all involved in a flattering light.
Some photographers are better suited to taking those quirky, slightly bolder pictures involving unusual angles and contemporary filter or development techniques. Once you’ve settled on the style which best suits how you want to capture your own wedding, it becomes easier to research wedding photographers who will tick the box.
Do Your Homework
Style sorted, it’s time to start researching wedding photographers in your area. Much as you might want to cross it off your lengthy to-do list, don’t be tempted to hire the first photographer whose work you like the look of – for something this important, it’s wise to line up at least four or five whose portfolios you admire and then arrange interviews with all of them.
As well as looking at the images on their websites, try to do some extra digging by looking at their social media pages and, if possible, any photos other couples have shared. Remember that the images you see are probably strictly curated by both photographer and subject, so you’re only going to see the cream of the crop – it might not be an accurate reflection of their overall skillset.
You may be tempted to ask your friend, who ‘does a bit of photography and is really quite good’, but ask yourself a few difficult questions. Do they have the right kit to get the photographs you want? Shooting in low light for example presents many challenges? Should they actually be enjoying the wedding? What if it doesn’t work out quite as you had hoped?
Ask the Right Questions
Never underestimate how important it is to find a photographer with whom you share a rapport. For the bride in particular, many of the images taken on the day will be quite personal and intimate, especially if you want the makeup, hair styling and other preparations documented. Being able to feel comfortable with the person behind the lens is crucial if you’re going to look at your most relaxed and happy in the photos.
Ask them about how they like to set up photos, how many images they generally take, whether they will be there all day and how they will present the photos to you. Meeting face to face and discussing exactly what you have in mind will also give you a chance to size them up as an individual, so find someone you click with on a personal level before you go ahead and book their services.
Do Justice to the Guests and the Venue
The day is all about you as a couple, but you also want to make sure your guests and the venue are going to be well documented. You want to look for a photographer who is personable and can get guests warmed up for the big group shots and the more informal reception pictures, so someone who knows when to make a noise and when to fade into the background is key.
The venue you have chosen is as much a part of the big day as the ceremony itself, so try to find someone who is already familiar with the location and will capture it in all its glory. For those celebrating in the elegant splendour of a mansion venue such as Parkstead House or the sumptuous Grove House, you need to know your photographer has an eye for capturing the historic significance and stately beauty of the setting. Images taken at the top of a sweeping staircase or in the warm intimacy of a grand fireplace will capture the romance of both the venue and the occasion, so you need to know your photographer has an eye for setting and scenery.
Keep these things in mind as you begin to sift through your long list of wedding photographers, then make sure you sign them up well in advance. These are images to last a lifetime, after all, so make sure you make the right choice and above all, enjoy the day.