Things to consider before choosing your wedding photographer - Frances Stephenson - Wedding Photography

Things to consider before choosing your wedding photographer

Choosing your wedding photographer is an important decision. I’d actually argue that it’s as important as selecting the wedding venue and even the dress!

After all, while the day will come and go, it’s the wedding photos that will be the lasting reminder of your special day. So, it’s really important that you find the perfect wedding photographer for you.

Top tips: Choosing your wedding photographer

With this in mind, I’m sharing my recommendations of things you should consider when choosing your wedding photographer. I hope that you find them useful.

1. Get clear on the style of wedding photography that you are after

Every photographer will have a unique style of photography, so it’s important that you choose someone whose can deliver exactly the kind of images that you are hoping to achieve from the day.

Photographers won’t change their style to suit you – remember you’re choosing them for their unique approach to wedding photography. So, the first thing it’s important to get clear on is whether you are after something traditional or do you prefer a story-telling style.

To be clear, I offer what’s known as documentary-style or reportage wedding photography. This is a modern style of photography that is all about telling the story of your wedding day.

I don’t typically pose brides and grooms or their wedding guests. Instead, I aim to capture the natural events that occur on the day. Although I am happy to take some posed shots, at every wedding I do you’ll usually find me mingling among the guests rather than directing everyone into certain positions for the traditional couple and group shots.

If that is your preferred style too, then I’d love to hear from you!

2. Create a shortlist of at least five potential wedding photographers

Once you’ve confirmed in your mind what style of photography you want, don’t make a snap decision. Research the market well.

Look at the websites of lots of photographers in your area and further afield who offer that style – at least five, if not more!

This will really help you to confirm that the style of wedding photography you have chosen is right for you, and will give you lots of ideas for the type of images you could get of your own wedding.

After this important research stage, if there are any particular shots you want, do ensure to mention this to your prospective wedding photographers when you get in touch with them.

 

3. Insist on a face-to-face meeting before booking

Not only is the photographer’s style important, but you also should check that you and they gel as people.

  • Do they ‘get’ you and your partner?
  • Do they seem personable, friendly and give you the reassurance that they are an experienced and accomplished photographer?
  • Do you feel comfortable in their presence?
  • And do they bother to take the time to discover what you are looking for?
  • Or do they seem more concerned with talking about themselves and what they can do?

A great wedding photographer should be able to demonstrate their creative skills and passion for their work, but also put you at ease and be sensitive to the individual needs of their client.

It’s important that you view your wedding photographer as someone who is part of your team. It is crucial that you get on with them and can really trust that person to become part of your inner circle. You will usually be spending up to 12-14 hours with them on your wedding day after all!

4. Plan how much you can afford to invest in wedding photography

Before you shortlist and start meeting up with potential wedding photographers, ensure that you have checked their prices. Get clear on what you can afford and be realistic about what that budget will get you.

The price of wedding photography varies from a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands of pounds, or more!

Each photographer will have set their prices based on a number of factors. Skill level and experience, the amount of coverage that they provide on the day (whether full day or part day), whether there work alone or are a team of two, and whether they have to travel to the wedding. These are all going to contribute to the photographer’s charge.

I always say, after the cost of the venue, photography is the biggest investment in your wedding day.

After all, it’s what you’ll have afterwards to look back on for years to come. So, have a realistic budget in mind for photography. A quality photographer won’t work for peanuts. If you scrimp and save on the photography, chances are you will regret it later!

5. Educate yourself about the minutiae of what each photographer is offering

Just as every photographer will have a unique style and approach to wedding photography, their wedding packages will be different to each other too.

So, before making a decision, ensure to obsess about the details of the wedding packages on offer.

Discover what is included (and what isn’t) in each case, and if anything is unclear don’t be afraid to ask! You want to avoid any unwelcome surprises after making your selection of photographer.

Once you’ve come up with a shortlist of photographers, I’d suggest that some of the main things to ask each one are:

  • What are all the costs associated with their service?
  • When are fees to be paid?
  • What’s included and what’s excluded?
  • How soon can you expect to receive your wedding photos after the wedding day?
  • And, what are the charges should you wish to purchase additional photos and albums at a later date?

6. Only sign on the dotted line if you are completely happy with your choice

This one may sound obvious, but it can be stressful trying to choose all the different elements of your wedding. And you may feel inclined to rush the wedding photographer selection process in order to get the job off your to-do list!

Don’t rush the decision though. And only go ahead if both of you are COMPLETELY happy that the wedding photographer concerned is the very best fit for you.

Remember that there are many photographers to choose from and that many will travel. Which means that you aren’t necessarily limited to choosing a photographer based in your immediate locality.

If you find someone who is based in the next county or even further afield, you may find that they are still prepared to travel to your wedding.

For example, I mainly photograph weddings in Stafford and within the county of Staffordshire, but I also do travel further afield. And therefore, the options of wedding photographer are larger than perhaps you may originally think!

Selecting the perfect wedding photographer for you

Choosing your wedding photographer needn’t be stressful. Do your research and enjoy the process. It should be a fun part of your wedding planning (yes, really!).

Trust me, you will feel wonderful once you have booked your wedding photographer, knowing that you have done your research and that you’ve discovered the perfect photographer for you.

If you’d like to find out whether we are the perfect fit, complete this form to get in touch.

Fran x