HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
With all the excitement of your forthcoming wedding please take a little time selecting your wedding photographer, I have been a wedding photographer for over twenty years and I know that choosing a photographer will feel like you are walking through a minefield, not sure what to look for or what style.
My advice would be to talk to your wedding venue, the florists, the car hire, make-up artists etc and get recommendations from them, speak to your friends, family and work colleagues and you will soon hear about the good and the bad photographers. Researching photographers on the internet, take a really good look at the photography that is in the portfolio, do the photographs show the personalities of the family and friends, do the people look comfortable and natural? Also, have a good look at the story telling elements of the pictures. Take time to read the testimonials. Then make a shortlist of photographers you are interested in, telephone them and if you feel comfortable arrange to make appointments to meet up. Do not be pushed into booking at the first initial appointment. It is important that you that you have a rapport with the photographer and just as importantly that the photographer has a rapport with you.
Online magazines, UK Bride, Get Hitched, You & Your Wedding and Tickled Pink after surveying couples after their wedding have revealed one of the couple’s biggest regrets of their day is the couple’s choice of photographer based on price alone. Good quality photographers with experience, good camera craft, skills and the ability to work under all-weather conditions will always get the shots and is often overlooked until it is too late! Why? You might ask, It is worth remembering that once you’re wedding day is over, your guests have gone home, all you will have left apart from the memories will be your photographs which now will be priceless.
Preserving those memories; not only for you, but also for future generations will be your carefully chosen documentary/story telling wedding photographer, he or she will have experience and expertise to be able to capture your special day.
Qualifications. What are they and what do they mean?
“Acquired knowledge, capacity and skill that makes a person eligible for a status and fit for purpose through the fulfilment of the necessary criteria of required training”
Please ask your photographer what area of photography have they qualified in and to what level. Sadly a lot of photographers are not disclosing the area of photography for which they qualified in and therefore misleading the general public. A Craftsman or Associate qualification shows that he/she are an expert in that particular genre of photography. A Master Craftsman or Fellowship qualification especially in Wedding Photography is one of the highest and specialist fields of photography that a photographer can achieve. Qualified or Licentiate qualification shows that the photographer has reached a professional standard. For instance would you book a photographer who has qualified as a commercial or landscape photographer to photograph your wedding? It’s a bit like asking a plumber to cook for you in Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant.
A true specialist wedding photographer will capture your special day in the best possible way, working with you before, during and after to ensure that your wedding photography captures the fun, the romance, the laughter, the tears, the emotion and atmosphere for a lifetime in photographic images to show your children and your children’s children. The photographs however viewed will be part of your family heirloom.
When you first talk to your potential wedding photographer, imagine spending the day with them, do you think they will blend in naturally with your guests? How experienced are they? Do they understand what you actually want from the photographer?
One of the most important things to watch out for is that the images shown are actually that of the photographer and have not been taken by another photographer working with them previously or set up by another photographer. All too often photographers show display work that is in a generic display album. In some cases so-called ‘professional photographers’ display work and try to pass it off as their own when it clearly has been taken on the side of the professional photographer employed to photograph the wedding they were a guest at. This has happened to me on more than one occasion, guest followed me around at a wedding and then a few weeks later had set up a website using all the photographs taken over my shoulder and also placed a testimonial from the bride and groom about his work. So unprofessional and misleading to future bride and grooms.
Choosing the right wedding photographer should not be a last-minute decision, or based on a figure of a few hundred pounds. A good, experienced, qualified wedding photographer with experience, knowledge and above all, will have the ability, photography skills and training to be able will capture your special day, whatever the weather conditions, time of year, especially during the winter. Buying cheap, buy twice, is an old saying, but true. Sadly, you cannot buy twice for your wedding day.
Get it right!
Remember it is YOUR day, please choose your wedding suppliers and wedding photographer carefully. Ask questions and then more questions! You are more than welcome to call me at any time if you have any questions that you are not sure about or wanting a little advice with regard to wedding photography, wedding suppliers or venues. I don’t have to be your wedding photographer to help.
Enjoy the planning, have a great wedding day and celebrate one of the best days of your lives.