The A-Z Guide to Booking a Wedding Photographer
24 Apr 2014
If you've started to search for your wedding photographer, but don't know where to start, then fear not... we've brought you an A-Z guide with all that you need to consider before you book: the questions to ask, and the issues to consider.
Does your chosen photographer offer an album? Do you have to pay extra for this? How many shots are included and who chooses them? Do you even want one?
If you have the money in your budget consider going down the bespoke album route, giving you choice of cover material, weight of the paper, edgings and mounts rather than going down the route of the photographer simply dropping your images into a pre-made package.
COFFEE TABLE BOOK
Instead of a traditional album consider a coffee table book where images are normally presented in a hard cover book in a magazine style.
Make sure you and your photographer know what shots you want. If you want all those details of the cake, flowers, rings etc recorded they will do so. But if you don’t want to pay the price to have every little detail recorded equally let them know.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
There are thousands of things you can’t control on your wedding day from laddering your stockings to forgetting to cut the cake. The trick is to not let these get you down – you want to be smiling in your pictures, not scowling.
FORMAL OR INFORMAL?
Decide if you want formal wedding photographs with group shots of everyone and anyone or if you want a more reportage style giving your photographer free reign to be as creative as they want to be.
GRATIS OR GOOD?
Asking a friend to photograph your wedding might seem like a good idea at the time as well as saving you money but think about your friendship first and money second. Think about what happens if something goes wrong, if you get out of focus, badly shot pictures or worse still if they don’t come out at all. A professional photographer takes the worry out of things and means your guests can relax and be guests.
As far as wedding photography goes, package prices can start from as little as £300 to as much as £10,000. After your reception costs (and possibly dress) the photography is the next biggest chunk of your budget. It’s also important as your photographs are the lasting memories of your day.
Make sure you and your husband escape with your photographer. Even if it’s only for half an hour, these images usually make for the favourites in a bride’s album.
If you don’t understand the terms your photographer is using ask them to explain. It’s not being stupid, it’s making sure you understand what they are talking about so you can make an informed decision and don’t feel disappointed by the end result.
Make sure you meet your photographer face-to-face especially if you’re booking a company which has a team of photographers. You want to know and trust your photographer on your big day.
Make sure your photographer is familiar with your location. If they haven’t shot there before many will go and scout it out beforehand. If they are familiar with it they still might want to do so, just in case there’s something amiss from the previous time they worked there.
If you’ve got your heart set on black and white photographs make sure your photographer is experienced working in, otherwise they might look dated and dull rather than magical and timeless.
Natural light is the most flattering light for any bride. If the majority of your wedding pictures will be taken outdoors the best light is normally one or two hours before sunset. But make sure there’s at least one space inside your venue with plenty of natural light, just in case!
ONE MOMENT IN TIME
When you get back from your honeymoon put on your wedding gown one last time for a Trash the dress, or Cherish the dress photo shoot, with or without your husband. They’ll make for some stunning images and give you another excuse to wear that beautiful gown.
Hire a photo booth for your guests. This provides masses of fun, especially in the evening with many booths printing copies for your guests to take home as well as providing you with some hilarious images of your guests enjoying themselves.
Don’t be afraid to ‘interview’ your photographer. Ask them all the questions you’re thinking no matter how small or how silly they seem. Question them in detail and ask for references.
This is a non-obtrusive documentary style of photography which could be the perfect choice if you don’t particularly like having your photograph taken.
Remember to smile for your photographer. It doesn’t have to be a Cheshire Cat grin, just the hint of a smile is all that it takes.
THROW AWAY CAMERAS
Brides often like putting disposable cameras on tables in the evening reception but beware once developed the pictures are likely to be lots of out-of-focus shots or close ups of hands where people are trying to work them out. If you want fun pictures of your guests enjoying themselves see, photo booth.
Some photographers now offer to upload a series of photographs from the ceremony onto a computer at the reception so guests can see a rolling slideshow.
If you’re considering having a video made ask your photographer for recommendations. If both work happily with each other then you’ll hardly notice either of them on the day.
If there’s one thing you can’t control on your wedding day it is the weather. Prepare for it but don’t let rain dampen your spirits. Many photographers say it’s actually better not to have too much sunshine on your wedding day. The bright light is too harsh apparently.
(I know, but you try finding a word with ‘x’) Make sure you allow plenty of time for your photographs. People often don’t and that’s when the wedding breakfast, speeches and evening reception start running late.
Don’t be pushed into making a decision you’re not comfortable with. You’ll know when you find the photographer that is right for you.
Make sure you get a good nights sleep before the big day so you look fresh, with no signs of dreaded bags beneath your eyes.