Booking your Wedding Photographer is a critical part of your wedding planning – when the music has ended and the wedding buffet is finished, you will look back on your wedding photographs to remember your special day.
1) Consider several photographers and look at their portfolios
It’s important that you take a good look at several photographer’s portfolios to understand not only their quality but also their style. If you find yourself emotionally invested in a photographer’s portfolio then this is a good indication that they may be a good fit for you.
2) Look at their reviews and endorsements from other wedding suppliers
By reading reviews you can get an accurate idea of what it will be like to work with this photographer on your wedding day and whether they will deliver. Look out for photographers who are recommended by wedding venues and other suppliers as most venues won’t risk their reputation by recommending suppliers who aren’t tried and tested.
3) Make a shortlist of your favourites and set up a meeting with them
You will be sharing the most precious day of your life and extremely personal moments with a photographer who will more than likely be a relative stranger so try not to underestimate the importance of personality when making your decision. By setting up initial meetings with your favourites you will get a good first hand impression of whether the photographer is a good fit for your big day.
4) Ask to see at least three full photographed weddings
A portfolio normally only represents a limited amount of shots – all of which have been taken from various weddings. It takes real skill to perform consistently throughout a wedding day and time after time. By looking through at least three completed albums you can get an accurate idea of the photographer’s consistency and whether their quality is guaranteed.
5) Find out who will be photographing the big day
Some photographers employ multiple photographers to go out and shoot weddings under their studio name so they can shoot a number of weddings on any given day. It’s important to know exactly who will be documenting your day and to look through specific examples of their work.
6) Find out if they have backup equipment, insurance and a contingency plan
Your chosen photographer should have multiple backups of professional grade equipment in case something goes wrong. Likewise without liability and indemnity insurance you won’t be covered if a relative falls over a tripod or if you are unhappy with your images. Also make sure you know what will happen if your photographer falls ill on the day and also whether they have a wet weather plan. Knowing the answers to these questions will minimise distress in the event something doesn’t go quite to plan.
7) Make yourself clear on what you are getting
Different photographers have different pricing structures so make sure that with each photographer you talk to that they explain in detail exactly what you will be getting. Ask LOTS of questions! By making yourself clear you can prioritise between photographers according to the elements which you think are important for your wedding photography.
8) Familiarise yourself with your contract
A good contract will lay out in extensive detail every aspect of working with the photographer. It’s a good idea to ask for a copy of the contract even if you haven’t made up your mind yet so you can make a more informed decision. Don’t make the mistake of signing and then reading it later and realising you don’t agree with certain clauses, which could involve a cost if you want them changed. If there is anything you are unclear on ask your photographer for clarification before you sign.
9) Don’t leave it too late.
Photographers get booked up months (and sometimes years!) in advance so if you see and meet a photographer whose work you love take the plunge and book them as soon as possible. The longer you leave it the more of a risk you are running that your photographer is going to be unavailable on your special day.
10) Don’t be put off by price – go with the photographer who you love
Most couples will be looking to squeeze their budget somewhere along the lines and one of the most common areas people look to is photography. Your photographs are going to be the only lasting memento of your day and it’s important that you LOVE them. It doesn’t matter how much (or little) you spend – as long as you have chosen the photographer whose work you fell in love with.
A big thank you to Lauren Lilly Wedding Photographer for her 10 top tips.