Choosing A Wedding Photographer – A list to add to your list(s)…

One thing that has made me really sad lately, and it’s the story of the bride of who can’t bear to look at her wedding photos, because they’re pretty much horrendous. I don’t have one tale specifically, because there are so many. Too many. One example is here (and well worth a read); another example was at a newborn session where the mom informed me she pretty much hated her wedding photos.

That’s a pretty strong thing to say about something that should, in all honesty, bring back the best memories of one of the best days of your life.

While you’re choosing your wedding photographer, can I just REALLY urge you to take the time to stop and think about some really, really, REALLY important things? Please?

1) Research. You can spend MONTHS trawling the internet looking for photographers. Sometimes the internet actually makes it harder to choose. It’s worth searching within your venue area to have a better chance of finding someone who has photographed your venue. Ask around friends and family to see who they used. Keep a list of questions/requirements to hand as you search through, and if possible, compare them as much as possible to see who’s work pushes your buttons the right way.

2) Portfolio. Ask to see a FULL wedding, ideally two. The majority of photographers with any online portfolio will put their best images first. I do it! It’s how we appeal to people who are looking. But when choosing your photographer, you need to make sure they can do exactly what you’re after. Seeing a whole wedding (or as much as you need to see) gives you peace of mind knowing that your photographer can actually do those shots correctly, even if they’re not necessarily displaying them online.

3) Budget. Or not. The deciding factor for choosing your wedding photographer should not come down to how much they cost. Don’t skimp on the budget and choose someone just because they’re cheap, to theoretically save some pennies (exactly how important are your photos to you?). BUT, don’t necessarily think you’ll get the best because they cost a fortune. You need to choose someone based on the work they can produce for you, how well you get on with them, how much you love their work.

4) Interrogate. Sounds a bit hardcore, but you know what? It’s worth it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions for your research. What do they use? Do they have back up equipment? Are they insured? (I can’t even stress how important that is. Wedding photography without insurance? WRONG.) Exactly who will be taking photos on the day? What editing will they do? What editing won’t they do? But don’t be rude. Remember a photographer doesn’t stop work when your day is over. Assuming they make a fortune based on how much you’re paying them (remember they still need to pay for your product and, you know, do the work…) or asking them for a whole bunch of additional extras for free…well, just, um, be nice. (The nicer you are, the more they might give you? It’s a possibility…)

5) Plan WAY ahead. You know how you’ve set aside a mahoosive budget for your flowers? Or your food? Or the table decorations? Please remember that those things will be GONE in less than a month (or even by the end of the day). It is so, SO important to remember that if you’re not putting similar time and effort in for your photographer, you might never get the chance to remember WHAT all of those things actually looked like. I say this time and time again; there are usually 2 survivors from your wedding day, besides yourself and your partner. I’m talking about your outfit and your photos. 10 years down the line, you might not be able to get back in your outfit (and surely you want the generations to see what you got up to, right?)

Ok, lecture over. I just want you to make sure that you get the best out of your day for a long time afterwards. As ever, you know you just have to get in touch if you’d like more info, yes?

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Marcia (@rosesandlace)

Thank you for this post Jay. You are clearly as caring as you are wonderfully talented. As a bride to be myself it is essential to make the right choice. xxx

Thank you so much Marcia, that’s such a lovely thing to say! And yes, making the right choices IS essential, for so many different reasons. Hoping your wedding planning is going well, would love to hear about your big day! 🙂

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