There’s a hell of a lot of us out there, so here are our top tips on how to choose a wedding photographer that’s right for you.
It should be one of the first tasks of wedding planning after you have secured your venue but how to choose a wedding photographer out of the billions available is no easy task. (It is. Just book us. Boom! Sorted.) How do you sort the wheat from the chaff and find The One? Like this…
Choose a Wedding Photography Style
There are a few different styles of wedding photography that are available and many photographers will lean heavily into one category and still incorporate elements of others. Let’s have a look at some of the main types.
These photographers have a very hands-off approach. They allow the day to unfold without interruption, capturing the story of the day as it naturally progresses. A lot of them will shy away from doing the traditional couples portraits and group shots, so it’s worth asking if that’s something they do (if you want them). You can expect a very honest set of images that truly reflect how the day felt.
Pretty much the opposite of documentary, traditional is what most people imagine when they think of wedding photographers. Born from decades of shooting with film, this style is all about staged photos. You can expect lots of direction and posing, a lot of standing still and loads of pictures of people smiling at the camera. You’ll get pictures reminiscent of your parents and grandparents wedding photographs. It is the classical style.
Opinions vary on how exactly fine art wedding photography is defined. One thing that most people agree on is that every element of the photo should be considered and optimised, almost as if you were painting a picture from scratch. Naturally, this will involve a lot of posing and scene-setting. More than the others, this style tends to focus on details such as shoes and bouquets. You’ll find an editing style that favours pastel colours and bright exposures. When done right, you can get beautiful, ethereal images.
Somewhere between fine art and documentary, you’ll find editorial wedding photography. Getting super creative with angles, light and framing to create awesome pictures on the fly. It grew from magazine photographers having to get unique images every month on fashion and product shoots.
So there are your different styles to have a look at. Do some Googling of each one to find the style that really sings to you and you’ll be well on your way to finding your perfect wedding photographer.
How much does a wedding photographer cost? Well, you can probably choose a wedding photographer on Facebook who’ll do it for a bag of chips and a pint. You can also find folks who charge tens of thousands of pounds. The average cost of wedding photography at the minute seems to be between £1500 and £2000 for a legitimate full-timer who knows what they’re doing. We know loads of great people who are around that price point.
It’s an area where you most likely get what you pay for. You may be super lucky and get a cheap photographer who’s an up-and-coming protégé needing to build a portfolio but, the more likely scenario is that you’ll get someone with very little experience who has no idea how much work and expense is involved in being a professional wedding photographer.
Obviously, we’re a bit biased but the photos and video are the one part of your wedding that lasts forever, (apart from your unending love, of course). We can confirm that the day goes by in a blur and after all the food has been eaten, the dancing has finished and all the decorations have been taken down, the pictures will be the everlasting record of the day. It’s worth getting a good photographer.
Now you know what style you’re after and you have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend, it’s time to knuckle down and do your research. Get a shortlist together.
It’s always worth asking any recently married folks you know if they have any recommendations. After that, we’d suggest getting online. A professional wedding photographer is going to have a website set up where they’ll be showcasing all their best work and you’ll be able to see if they are in your area or willing to travel. Make a list of all the ones that catch your eye, whose work you really love.
When you have that list together it’s time to go deeper. Check through all the pictures in their portfolio and look to see if they have any recent blog posts up. Wedding photographers often share blogs featuring lots of images from the entire day of a wedding they’ve shot. It’s a great way to see what they produce throughout different parts of the day.
Still like what you see? Have a nosy at the pricing page and see if they’re within budget.
Look at the “about me” page and decide if you like this person. Would you want them as a guest at your wedding? They’re going to be following you around for the whole day so find out if you’re going to get along.
Read testimonials and reviews wherever you can find them. If couples they’ve already worked with are happy to recommend them, that’s got to be a good sign.
Basically, have a good root through the website and social media to check that their work is consistent, they’re still active and loving it, you’re still loving what they’re doing and also that you like them as a person.
Your list should be a little shorter so now would be a good time to get in touch and check that they’re available on your big day. We’ve had enquiries for weddings that are two years away before so it’s worth asking ASAP. The majority of people seem to book us 6 months to a year before their wedding but it’s always first come first served.
If you’re struggling to decide between a few different choices, ask to see some full wedding galleries and ask for a video chat or if they’re local, a meeting. After that, you should know who’s the one.
Oh! And before you send any money, make sure there’s a contract in place and that the photographer has insurance. Juuust in case!
Thus ends our guide on how to choose a wedding photographer. If it was too much to read, just book us! We’re ace and we’d love to shoot your wedding.
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Award-winning wedding photographers and husband and wife team, Emma + Rich take photographs and make films with our own creative, fun and unique way of telling your story. Based in Scarborough near York and Hull, we travel across the UK with our own style of fun wedding photography.