5 tips to help you choose the perfect wedding photographer for YOU
There are so many amazing wedding photographers out there, so how do you decide which one to choose? Read my 5 top tips to help you find the perfect photographer for you:
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Find the perfect specialist for you!
Every wedding photographer specialises in something, so it's important to find out whether what they specialise in is what you are looking for. This is much easier to do if you start by spending a bit of time working out what the most important aspects of your wedding photography are to you. For example, you might be someone who loves dramatically posed, flash lit portraits and so you will need a photographer who loves to set these up rather than capturing things more naturally. Alternatively, you might prefer photographers who work more unobtrusively and that will capture lots of unposed candid shots of you with your friends and family having a great time that you didn't even know were being taken. Perhaps detail shots are really important to you, or you may prefer photos that concentrate on people and capturing real moments. Once you know what type of photography you like and what's most important to you, you can set about finding a photographer that specialises in that area and who you can trust to deliver the kind of shots YOU want. Some photographers could be all about the details, or perhaps they are incredible at making nervous subjects smile and feel relaxed. It's just a case of knowing what you like and shopping around.
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Choose a photographer who is happy to show you some full wedding galleries
It's so important that you can see photos from an entire wedding day, and not just one part of it. A wedding has so many elements to it, from getting ready to the first dance and everything in between, so you want to make sure you choose someone with a proven ability to capture photos you like from all areas of the day. Ask your photographer for a couple of example galleries of weddings they've shot and most will happily send these to you and browse away!
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Consider light and how it will impact your wedding photos
It may sound obvious, but things like getting ready in a large, light room will achieve significantly more beautiful images than the small bedroom I (somewhat stupidly) chose to get into my wedding dress, so if the getting ready part of the day is important to you, it's definitely worth bearing this in mind! Likewise, when you set up the top table or when you're deciding where the speeches will take place, it could be worth looking for the most interesting light available.
Also, look to find a photographer that is comfortable working in all different kinds of lighting conditions. Shooting a summer wedding in the bright sunshine requires very different shooting skills to a December wedding where the light is likely to be very low. Likewise if it rains on your wedding day and you need to do your couple shots inside, will they be OK with this? Ask your photographer how comfortable they are working with flash when required, and consider how this will impact the look of your photos. Ideally, ask your photographer to show you previous galleries of weddings they've photographed at a similar time of year / similarly lit venue to yours, as this will help you to see what their style is like.
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Find someone you like and trust!
Obviously you need to love their style and the photos they capture, but it's also (I think) important that your photographer feels like someone you could and would be friends with. After all, we will be with you all day, so it's important we're the kind of person who will fit in with your guests and that your family will like!!
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Try not to base your decision about which photographer to choose entirely on price
I know it's a cliche, but in wedding photography you often get what you pay for, so I always urge people to do their research and then to get the very best wedding photography they can afford. It's so tempting to save money if someone offers to do it for free, but you can't expect your Uncle Bob with a great camera to necessarily have the first clue about photographing people: being a good wedding photographer is so much more than the camera they use. An experienced wedding photographer will not just have spent thousands of pounds on training and equipment, we will be able to handle all types of lighting and all types of people and we know how to get the best out of them. We know where to stand and how to anticipate what’s coming next so as to get the perfect shot every time. We know how to make you smile when you may not be someone who loves having your photo taken. We know how to blend in with the crowd, be in the right place at the right time and how to perfectly tell the story of your day.
I hope this helps give anyone out there that's looking for a wedding photographer some help and useful guidance!