Here are our top tips on how to pick your wedding photographer
Choosing your wedding photographer needs some serious planning. When planning your wedding you can directly view items such as your dress, sample the cake, and watch your chosen band in action. But when it comes to your wedding photos, you won’t see what you’re getting until after the event. And you don’t want to have to do it all again to get those special shots!
That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills and artistic style are even more important when selecting your wedding photographer. We’ve put together a few handy tips to help you pick your wedding photographer and to make sure you have amazing photos that capture your day and create lasting memories for you both in years to come.
Pick a style
Before you start researching local photographers we suggest that you first discuss and decide what style of photography you prefer. These could be candid and spontaneous photos which are not posed. For example it might show the bridesmaids dancing whilst sipping on their champagne and a group of men laughing or joking around by the bar. These types of shots are unplanned so in most cases people will not be staring into the lense. You may feel these types of images are more of a realistic portrayal of your day than the more posed photos. The classic photos tend to be posed shots of the two of you, your friends and family in front of various backdrops. That’s not to say there isn’t room for creativity in this category. Depending on your venue you can have some truly beautiful backdrops so it might be an idea to show your photographer around your chosen venue first so they can get an idea of your requirements.
Research is the key
This is where many people fail. They meet one photographer that they like and just book them before reviewing all the options. But its better to look around first. Start your search by reading reviews from recent newlyweds and browsing local wedding suppliers. Then review potential photographer’s websites to check out photos of other weddings they’ve shot, which will give you an idea of their style and personality. Also check out their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages too if possible. That enables you to read other people’s reviews and check they are positive whilst also seeing how the photographer responds to any comments.
Arrange to meet them
Set up some meetings with your top 3 or 4 photographers that you have researched and make sure when you meet them you explain that you are seeing a few people before you decide to book. First of all check they are free on the date of your wedding and then go on to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos. Its always important to meet your chosen photographer before booking so you can see if you like their personality and view their wedding album portfolio.
Viewing their work
When reviewing a photographer’s album, look for the key aspects you would like captured. Such as whether they got photos of both the bride and the groom when they locked eyes for the first time? Also look for the thoughtful expressions and shots that show emotion from the day. Do people look relaxed and joyous, not like a deer caught in headlights! Also make sure the images have good lighting and beware of any photos that are poorly focused.
Make sure you get on
Don’t dismiss the fact that you need to like your photographer. Is the photographer excited by your thoughts and description of your wedding? Are they interested and positive when responding to your questions and are they making good suggestions? Any good professional photographer needs to have good social skills and be confident and bold enough to go out hunting for great images. Whilst doing so they need to be able to put you at ease and avoid irritating or pestering guests. Remember they will be shadowing your every move and the more comfortable you are with them the better.
Time to book
Once you have researched your photographers its time to make a decision and book one. While packages vary, most include about 6 to 12 hours to cover everything from preceremony events (getting ready with your bridesmaids or first-look photos) to the end of the reception. It’s usually better to pay for more coverage if your preference is to have them until the end and there’s a chance you’ll run over (overtime is usually charged at a higher hourly rate). Make sure you go over all the pricing and pay the deposit by credit card incase of any problems nearer the day.
Ask about your rights
Most contracts have a clause that says that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken at the wedding, even the ones of you. In other words, the wedding photographer can use them promotionally on their website or for ads, etc. That also means you can’t just post the digital proofs they send you—most photographers have a policy that you can only share watermarked images or images with their credit on them. Also, unless you negotiate otherwise, if you want to print the images yourselves or order an album from another source, you’ll have to buy the rights to the images.
We hope these tips have been useful and wish you lots of luck in your search for finding your wedding photographer.
If you haven’t booked a wedding band yet and you need one then check out the Right Hook. We have performed at hundreds of weddings and know exactly how to make sure everybody, from the oldest to the youngest has a great time. We also love to work with you to make the event as personal and special as possible so contact us for more information on how we can do that.
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