Having a wedding photographer is often a contentious issue. A lot of people asking themselves why do I need one? why do photographers cost so much? can they really be better than your Aunty Babs' best mate who's going to do it for a few hundred quid and a toffee crisp?!
STOP! I'm here to tell you that you absolutely must get the best photographer you can afford. Because once the cake has been eaten and the confetti washed away, this is all you have. The day goes by so fast and you can't be in all places at the same time so there is so much you don't see, your photographer will capture all of this and more.
There are also a million and one photographers out there...choosing one is a minefield! So here's a few helpful tips to help guide you through it.
Show me the money
Firstly, work out what you can afford. The average for a good photographer is around £1500 and what is included in that will differ. It's also a good idea to think about what you want from your photographer in terms of number of photos, albums and usb etc. This will help once you start looking.
Pro tip: NEVER choose your photographer on budget alone!
Do your homework
It's no surprise that research is key when it comes to looking for a photographer. There are so many varying factors when it comes to finding the right photographer for you. When trawling the internet, ask yourself or any photographers on your shortlist these questions:
+What style do you like?
-There are lots of different styles such as fine art, alternative, fun..the list goes on, but think about what style fits in with your plans. The most common is photography that shows an honest snapshot of your day with all the raw emotions and less posing. Also consider what style works with your venue(s).
+Check out their work
-Go through any potential photographer website with a fine tooth comb and ask yourself, could you imagine yourself in these photos? Check out galleries of full weddings (not just the odd highlight pic) and look at customer reviews on Facebook and Google. If you don't see what you're looking for...ask them for the info.
+What do the packages include?
-What coverage of the day do you get? How many hours (eg Morning prep to first dance)?
-How many photos?
-How will you receive your photos (online gallery, USB etc.)?
-Do you get a photo album?
-Do you get a 2nd shooter?
-Do you get an engagement shoot?
Give them a shout
Once you have a shortlist of photographers contact them and ask them if they have availability, will they travel to your venue and if travel (and stopover costs if applicable) are extra and if they have photographed at your venue before (this helps them get the best pictures if they've been before).
It's a deal
Once you've booked, there are still a few things to consider:
-Make a list of group shots that you would like, 10 max!
-Definitely have an engagement shoot, it builds a relationship with your photographer and gets you used to being in front of the camera.
-Do you want confetti/smoke bombs? Remember to check with your venue that you can use them.
It's gonna be perfect
Most of all trust your photographer. They are professional and you've paid for the experience and skills so let them do what they do best and relax!
If you'd like ideas, inspiration and news straight to your email inbox, join my mailing list here.