A wedding day is a big deal. It’s the day that two people celebrate their love for each other in front of their family and friends and start their new lives together. Because of this choosing a photographer is also a big deal. No two weddings are the same. Each one has its own personality because every couple is different.
It could be one of the most expensive decisions. But it’s confusing as there are simply hundreds of wedding photographers. So, how on earth do you pick the right one for you?
Decide your favourite photography style. There are so many different kinds, but for this I’ve picked what I think are the three major categories.
1. PHOTOJOURNALISM / DOCUMENTARY / REPORTAGE
A wedding is a true real life event. Photographers in these styles generally capture moments as they happen without being intrusive. Some of the more serious photojournalistic wedding photographers will not even do any formal or posed images. Also within this category you have the photographers take reportage and documentary style images.
They tend to concentrate on capturing the day as it happens. The top photographers in this category, react quickly, anticipate moments, capture emotions and will create a beautiful story of your day with the images.
2. THE CREATIVES
This is fine art photographers, natural light and editorial photographers. They love the pretty things in life and have an eye for detail. They will find the beauty in your wedding and they use photography skills to capture it. They will manipulate the setting, move you for perfect light or backdrop, or even create a situation to get that beautiful image.
3. THE TRADITIONAL
Initially when you mention wedding photography, most people will think of this style. This is lots of posed formal images.
So, which style is for you? Only you and your intended will know, it might be you’re a couple who never take much seriously and love having a laugh, then traditional might not be for you, but on the other hand reportage would be right up your street. Many photographers offer a mixture of styles. Personally, I consider my style to be a mixture of reportage and creative. On the day, I take time to ensure everyone knows me and feels comfortable with me. From the bridal preparations to the first dance, no detail is missed in capturing your story. Guests are very much involved in making your wedding images come to life. I normally recruit the best man and bridesmaids to help round up guests for the formal shots.
For those more intimate moments between the bride and groom, we take a short time away from the crowd and create some beautiful images of the two of you, giving you both time to breath before you head back to enjoy the rest of your wedding.
I’ll still do those family shots that your mum wants but if you want hundreds of group shots of every different family grouping combination, I’m probably not the best person for the job.
Meet your wedding photographer
You will spend more time with your photographer over the day, than anyone else so it’s good to know them, feel relaxed and not hate them!
I take time to get to know you, speak to you about your hopes and dreams for the big day and arrangements you already have in place. I offer a pre-wedding shoot a couple of weeks before, which gives us the chance to work together and relax you in front of the camera before your wedding day. This is so important to me, so when I turn up, you feel relaxed and comfortable which means guests tend to trust me too.
Fact, weddings are costly. Like most things there’s a plethora of prices, and they vary from one photographer to another. It all depends on budget and how you much you value the photography.
But, you get what you pay for and with that in mind, for the most part the cheap ones are cheap for a reason, they are not very good! Running a photography business is expensive if you are doing it properly. Photographers are expected to have the best equipment and back-up equipment, and have all those important but costly things like insurance and editing software. You’d certainly be worried if we turned up with an iPhone or cheap camera. Those things have to be factored into the costings.
If you find a photographer that you love but they are just out of your budget, in my opinion it would be worth sitting down together to work out a way to afford them.
In 15 years’ time when you are gazing at your beautiful images, you will not regret the decision you made to get the cheaper shoes for the bridesmaids.
My final tip is to get everything in writing. A good photographer will always have a contract in place for you to sign. This is to protect you and them. This is to outline exactly what you will receive from your wedding photographer and how much it will cost you. Read it, understand it and make sure you are happy with it before you sign it.