Choosing a wedding photographer who understands your style and vision is a crucial part of your wedding planning process. There are several things to keep in mind when thinking about how to pick a wedding photographer, from their individual wedding photography style to your overall budget.
As the person responsible for documenting all the memories of your ‘best day ever’ and delivering images you’re able to look back on for years to come, it’s an important decision, no doubt. Not sure where to begin or exactly what to know when choosing a wedding photographer? We’ve got five helpful tips to guide you through the process.
Before we dive in a quick tip: do your research! As with any wedding supplier you hire, you should look at a few different options, read their past testimonials, look at their website and ensure that they are the best fit for you.
- Know what your numbers and what you’re willing to spend
Quality wedding photography isn’t something to go cheap on. Often, your wedding photography (and any videography) can be one of the largest single expenses after your venue and catering, of the entire wedding. You can expect an experience wedding photographer to charge anywhere from £1000 all the way to £10,000 and beyond.
Packages will vary, but their price will factor in their talent, equipment costs, travel times and many hours of preparation before your wedding plus editing afterwards – in addition to the time on your day they’ll spend photographing your wedding.
What photography style are you most drawn to? Photography can vary from photographer to photographer. It’s up to you and your fiancé to decide which artistic style you like the best, and let that heavily influence your final decision about who to book.
Are you drawn to fine art photography, ones with less colours, less contrast and more brightness and cool tones. You can usually expect to see more posed shots with this style. Or perhaps you are more drawn to photojournalistic style, with less emphasis on capturing ‘perfect’ shots and just documenting the day as it happens. This style can reflect more raw emotions and have plenty of candid shots. Or you may decide to hire someone with a combination of both categories and other elements too. Photography is subjective, so the best piece of advice is identifying photographs that give you a heartfelt reaction. Book that photographer!
If you are unsure of your own style, I’d recommend gathering several of your favourite photographs or wedding pictures you’ve seen and popping them in a Pinterest board to discuss with any photographers you are researching. Don’t go overboard here, 10 is plenty and enough to assess any commonalities. Are there similar styles with the lighting and colour, is it the emotion? Which photographs do you feel suits your personality and the type of wedding you’re planning.
Yes, I know I’ve mentioned this already – however it’s important you get this part right – as it’ll make your decision on who to hire much easier.
When it comes to narrowing down a short list of photographers, you’ll want to rely on word of mouth recommendations, from who have your friends used and loved? To what are the reviews saying?
You’re able to use Instagram’s location based hashtags to your advantage and do a search around your venue or area – although most wedding photographers will travel, it’s a good idea to see which photographers come highly recommended by the venue, but don’t limit yourself to just their suggestions. It’s much more important you choose a wedding photographer that you get along with and who photographs in your style.
You can also check out your local wedding photography listings, many will have past couple testimonials you can check out, along with photographs of recent weddings. Do bear in mind that these listings may not be as up to date as their website or social media and it’s a great idea for you to check those places too when you’ve found a photographer you like.
Peruse their website, Instagram and any Pinterest boards they have to get a feel for their individual personalities – you’ll be spending essentially all day with this person on your wedding day – so you’ll want to make sure they’re someone you can be friends with!
Narrow down your list to around 3-5 wedding photographers and then start to send enquiries and fill out their contact forms. Even if you find a photographer you absolutely love, there’s no guarantee they’ll be available on your wedding day, so compile a list of your favourites before you start to reach out.
Research what’s included in each of your chosen photographers packages, how many hours is included, what extras are included and what you’ll need to pay extra for.
It’s fine to ask to see a full gallery from a recent wedding so you can get an idea of what every element of your wedding day is likely to look like documented. Like their style of family shots, reception images and it’s absolutely OK to request an in-person meeting with photographers you’re considering hiring.
Once you’re ready to sign on the dotted line, read your contract carefully and clarify any questions you have. What happens in the event of your photographer comes down with something and can’t make it? If your wedding requires the photographer to travel, what costs are you responsible for? Will you get any prints or just digitals?
Protect yourself and your photographer by ensuring there’s a good contract in place.
- Be clear on your vision and in your communication
Let your photographer know what types of pictures are most important to you – not necessarily the specific poses or copies of photographs on Instagram or Pinterest, but do you care more about the details, the candid images, the family pictures or the portraits about the two of you? Or perhaps a combination of all?
Bring your photographer up to speed on anyone in your wedding party you’d like them to pay particular attention to, for example a grandparent you’re close with, or any family you don’t see often. Let them know so you can be sure to get photographs with these people while you have the opportunity to.
- Finally, Trust your photographer and their creative intuition
Remember that you hired this person for a reason! Be open to their expert advice and let them work with you and your wedding planner to create the day of a lifetime.
They have all the knowledge on the lighting, poses and the best timeline to go with to get the imagery that works best for your venue, time of day you’re getting married and location too.
Great photos, depend on a lot of great light so allow them to take the lead when devising a timeline that allows the best photographs to be captured as you celebrate your wedding day.
Trust in the person you hired and relax as much into the day as you can knowing that the person you’ve hired is amazing at what you do.
A great photographer will ensure that both you, them and your venue or wedding planner is up to speed with the style of photography and any special images you have on your list too.
Happy Moments Co is a wedding photography company based in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, in the East of England. Owner Carrieanne makes it her mission to capture the authenticity of your relationship so that she can produce one-of-a-kind photographs. With an adventurous spirit and a romantic heart, this talented professional goes the extra mile to achieve the perfect image. Whether you want to tie the knot underwater, go hiking as a couple, or have a photoshoot on the beach, Carrieanne is happy to oblige. She’s available to travel all over the country to help with this and will go above and beyond to help you feel at home in front of the camera. Carrieanne will take an organised approach to your wedding day by understanding each request to ensure that each detail is beautifully documented.
Happy Moments Co offers comprehensive photography coverage of your wedding day, from the morning preparations to the dance-floor fun. Carrieanne’s packages include fully edited images presented in a private online gallery for easy viewing and sharing. You can also receive a USB stick with your photos in a beautiful white vegan leather pouch. In addition to wedding photography, she is happy to offer engagement sessions in a location of your choice. Ultimately, this company aims to provide a premium customer experience and a comprehensive collection of memorable wedding-day photos and stunning albums.