‘As soon as I saw your stall, your photos and your warm smile I could say that was the photography I wanted.’ – Laura & John, Ashridge House
Choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make during your wedding planning. After all, once your day is over, the only thing you have left is your memories and your photographs. So where do you start when choosing your wedding photographer?
I’ve put together some tips and advice to help you find a wedding photographer who’s perfect for you:
Giulia & Gregg, Brookfield Barn
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 1. Fall in love with their photography
When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure you love their style. If you prefer the posed images, then you should look for ‘traditional’. For something more out there and wacky, search for ‘creative’. I look for natural moments, emotions and connections. If this is the kind of photography you love, seek out photographers that use words like documentary’, ‘story-telling’, ‘natural’ and ‘relaxed’.
Wedding days are full of moments that naturally happen – there’s the pre-wedding nerves and the first time you see each other. There are the friends and family helping you celebrate your day and party the night away. There will be tears, love, laughter and the sheer joy of marrying your best friend.
To capture natural, relaxed photography, I help and support couples so that their day goes as planned. Being friendly with guests and blending in so that they feel at ease means I capture genuine moments.
Love their style
Whatever style of photography you love, choosing a wedding photographer whose portfolio you would love to have of your own wedding day is a must. Look for a sophisticated, consistent editing style over Instagram-style filters and vignettes. Classy, simple editing will create timeless authentic photos of your day that will not age.
‘I was amazed at how many great natural pictures we received of the evening party. It definitely helped refresh my memory! It gives you another perspective and you get to look back on things that were happening that you may have missed.’ – Adam & Christina, Burrows Lea Country House
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 2. Want them at your wedding
Such a simple thing but one of the most important and often overlooked. It’s worth bearing in mind that your wedding photographer will be with you for the majority of your day, so choose someone you click with (no pun intended). You’ll spend more time with them than anyone else – including your partner – so high up on your list should be finding someone you like!
‘I’ll never forget the moment my Mum and I turned to each other and said at the exact same time as we walked away ‘I really like her!’ I can only describe it as one of those ‘I know’ moments – just like finding my dress, finding John and our venue. Although not necessarily in that order…’ – Laura & John, Ashridge House
In your hunt for a wedding photographer, you’ll come across many websites. These are good starting points to find out a little about them. Most photographers have get to know me pages. Get in touch and ask to meet if they’re local or chat over the phone/Skype if that’s more practical.
- Do they seem helpful and professional?
- Are they warm and personable?
- Are they interested in you and your story?
- Do they answer your questions fully?
- Would you be happy to have them at your wedding?
- Do you like them?
That’s a great start to choosing a wedding photographer.
If you want your bridal or groom preparations covered before the ceremony, remember that these are often really intimate, personal moments (think putting on the dress!). Make sure your wedding photographer is someone you’re comfortable to have present at those moments with you.
‘We feel like we’ve become friends with you rather than just a photographer and couple dynamic. It just felt so natural to have you there at some of our most intimate moments throughout our journey over the last year.’ – Laura & John, Ashridge House
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 3. Get to know them
‘Having never had our photos taken professionally before, Rebecca made it very comfortable and natural for us with our pre-wedding shoot. This let us relax ahead of the pressures of our wedding day. It also gives you a chance to know your photographer a little better before the main event.’ – Adam & Christina, Burrows Lea Country House
I always include a pre-wedding photoshoot with my photography collections to give us a chance to get to know each other properly. Often one half of a couple doesn’t love having their photo taken so this practice helps ensure that your wedding photos are natural and you feel relaxed. A pre-wedding shoot is an excellent way to ensure you feel comfortable throughout your day.
‘Thank you very much for the photos – there are so many amazing ones and we love how they look! Thank you again for such a great day and such beautiful pictures – we cannot wait to have you with us again on our big day!’ – Nika & Michael, Northbrook Park
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 4. See what else they offer you
Two sets of eyes
I love working with a second photographer so when couples choose this, I know we’re going to tell the story of the day in a really thorough way. Choosing a wedding photographer who can offer a second shooter means more of your day is covered. It means shots from different perspectives during the ceremony, speeches and reception but also having one of us with each of you for your pre-ceremony preparations. It’s a big day for both of you so capturing the build-up for each of you completes your story.
I have a network of professional photographers whom I trust to work with me as second shooters. I know they’ll provide complementary images to make an even more varied collection for my couples.
Keep it, print it
What features do they offer to make your photography a timeless heirloom to be treasured today and tomorrow? Printing using high street printers usually results in colours and quality that don’t match what your photographer has created for you. Choose a photographer who provides professionally-printed, quality products. My products are all handmade in England, printed with acid free, archival-quality ink on FSC paper.
I’m passionate that your gorgeous wedding photography is showcased in a way that you’ll love. When choosing a wedding photographer, consider how they can help you celebrate your images. I provide handmade fine art albums in a range of colours, covers and sizes in my Complete & Luxury collections. Parents and grandparents love an album so there’s also options to add on copies for them.
You can have a signing frame made with an image from your pre-wedding shoot as a great guestbook alternative. Plus I offer different options for displaying your favourite images in frames and wall displays in a beautiful way. See what options you have on offer.
‘After the wedding we were very pleased with the high quality photos and presentation albums we received. As it’s something you keep for life it’s important to get it right and in choosing Rebecca we definitely got it right!’ – Adam & Christina, Burrows Lea Country House
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 5. Find genuine value for money
I only take on a small number of weddings every year as each one receives so much of my time and attention. From pre-wedding consultations, shooting and editing pre-wedding photoshoots, keeping in touch, to the day itself, post-production, to working closely with my couples to complete the design for their handmade album. A wedding may last just one day but I’ll work on it over many so that the memories are preserved perfectly.
I spend more than just my time on your day. So when you see adverts offering wedding photography for £500, it’s worth considering what these photographers are scrimping on. My business costs include website and gallery hosting, sample albums, software, camera equipment, professional development, insurance, external hard drives, back-up to the cloud, travel costs, accommodation, taxes and more. Ask yourself if the price being advertised is too good to be true. You should be confident that they aren’t cutting corners on things that could potentially ruin your wedding… which brings me on to my next tip.
Choosing a wedding photographer: Tip 6. Trust them
‘The combination of a friendly, welcoming personality and beautiful photography with real personal touches made it an easy choice.’ – Adam & Christina, Burrows Lea Country House
What happens if…
- …anything goes wrong on the day? I have public liability insurance up to £5 million. Some venues insist on this for their suppliers. Always choose someone who has insurance.
- …their camera or memory card fails? I carry two Canon 5d mark iii camera bodies so, although it’s never happened, should one fail I have a back-up. This model has dual card slots, which means I’m recording each image I take to two separate cards, protecting your images in case of card corruption. Always choose someone who gives you reassurance that they take steps to protect your images.
- …they are ill? The network of second shooters I work with, I could call on in case of ill health on a wedding day. A photographer should try to arrange cover from their networks, offering options of available photographers where possible.
About your photos…
- Do I get printing rights? Don’t confuse this with copyright. That stays with the photographer as the images are their artistic creation. You want the printing release and you should always get this. I have a contractual term granting you a print release to use your images as you wish for your personal use. All of my collections include the high-resolution images, as well as digital images optimised for emails and online use.
- What do I get for the price? Make sure you’re not going to get stung for extras that you weren’t expecting after the event.When choosing a wedding photographer, make sure that you’re receiving your print-ready images and print release for the price you’re paying. Avoid a photographer who restricts you to low-resolution or watermarked images or limits how many pictures are included except for an extra fee.
- How many pictures will I get? Some photographers provide every single frame they’ve taken. At first, this might sound like a great idea but you don’t actually want this! Years ago, I went to a friend’s wedding as a guest. When the photographer delivered her photos, there were more than 6000 (my average is probably between 300-500). After the first thousand my friend was bored of her own wedding pictures. Sometimes less is more.
Good wedding photography is an art form.
I give you all the photos I think you will want from your day. I don’t quote a minimum or maximum number of images as every wedding is different.
Select someone who curates your wedding images to tell the story of your day in a clear and authentic way. Musicians don’t record every take of a track to the album. You don’t want pictures where someone’s blinking or distracted in a group shot or the 7 frames I shot to get one of the reactions to the best man’s speech.
‘Becky was so professional and very discrete with our photos. You hardly knew she was there which is why she captured so many natural shots from our day. It has helped see our wedding through the eyes of others and we love our photos.’ -Joe & Jen, Goss Hall
Choosing a wedding photographer
There is a lot to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. It can feel overwhelming but it’s worth doing your research.
You should find someone:
- whose photography you love;
- whose business you can trust to look after you, your wedding day and your memories;
- who you would want to have at your wedding;
- who will be capturing the natural moments as they happen and creating beautiful images;
- for whom it’s important that you receive images you love and cherish long after your special day has come to an end.