Wedding photographers play a vital role in a wedding. Choosing the right one can be overwhelming.
I’m delighted to provide some top tips on choosing a wedding photographer that’s right for you, what to look out for and how to go about it.
I also highlight the importance of this vital wedding protagonist not only to you, an engaged couple, but also to their fellow wedding suppliers.
Your relationship with your wedding photographer
I can’t understate how important your relationship with your wedding photographer is.
A lot of people hate having their photograph taken. And even more so by a total stranger. When you know the person you are more likely to relax and this will also reflect in the photographs.
So it goes without saying that you should take time to get know your photographer and be sure that you know exactly how they will approach your day.
But it’s not just knowing the person it’s liking them. The relationship with your photographer should be like chatting to a friend or someone you have known for years.
To be fair you can usually tell within 5 minutes of meeting someone whether there is a connection. This connection is important. Don’t forget they’re going to be there when you are getting ready, when you exchange vows, your first kiss and all the way through to the last dance.
And let’s forget about about your guests. If your wedding photographer is approachable, cheerful and friendly your guests will feel at ease. He/she will blend in and capture those precious moments of the day as it naturally unfolds.
So be sure you find the perfect fit.
Wedding photographer’s style
There are three main styles of wedding photography.
Reportage or documentary photography
This the storytelling style of wedding photography. It is all about reactions and emotions shooting in an unobtrusive way with no posing unless of course you specifically request it.
This is a more formal style of photography with classic poses and conventional group shots.
This style is similar to fashion or editorial photography combined with reportage.
The chances are you may want a combination of all three and a good wedding photographer should be able to offer you a variety.
The most important thing to remember is that you must be able to see yourself in your images and they should reflect you both as a couple.
You also need to think about the photographer’s editing style. Some are natural light photographers. Some use filters and have a moody feel to their images. Look at their websites and decide which suits you.
The worst thing would be to be disappointed with your wedding photographs.
So in short take your time. Whether a personal recommendation or not have a look at their portfolios, read their testimonials, create a short list of those you think you will like and then get on the phone or drop them an email and arrange a meeting.
photo credit: Luna Weddings
Think of your wedding photographs as an investment
It is fair to say that post wedding can be something of an anti-climax. Although a relief that there is no more planning and that all went well; it can also feel a little flat.
Your guests have left, the flowers have gone and you are back from honeymoon. The one thing that is left is the excitement of the arrival of those photographs.
Spend as much as you can afford on your photography and think of it as an investment. These images will become a family heirloom for generations to come.
I recall one of my couples when I asked who their photographer was saying that they didn’t think they were going to bother with photographs. That there would be so many friends taking them that they didn’t feel there was a need.
It puts a massive responsibility on your friends who will also be trying to enjoy themselves and at the end of the day there is nothing better than professional images taken by a photographer who has been briefed. It will mean you will get the images you want.
I managed to persuade them otherwise (see image immediately below). . They have since told me how grateful they were that they took my advice.
Collaborating with other wedding suppliers
So that’s how to choose your perfect wedding photographer. But wedding photographers are also really important to their fellow wedding suppliers.
No more so than for a wedding celebrant like me. I have been lucky enough to have met and worked alongside many wedding photographers.
In fact there are actually many similarities between the role a wedding photographer and that of a wedding celebrant.
They both require a certain personality and are definitely involved in the most intimate part of a wedding. Both professions require confidence, vibrancy, empathy and the ability to put their couples and their guests at ease.
As a wedding celebrant I work closely with the photographer on the day. Indeed on occasions, particularly for weddings at home, the photographer has been my prompt to alert me that the bride is on her way as they scurry to the top of the aisle to be in position for her entrance.
I always contact the wedding photographer prior to the wedding and introduce myself. It’s a great opportunity to run through the production of the day and when the special elements are happening.
This preparation and consultation prior to the wedding ensures they are in the right place at the right time to get the best shot of the moments which will become a lifetime memory.
They are also confident in the knowledge that I am totally aware of where they are and I will move to the side so not to be in their way.
When suppliers work well together it makes for a wonderful, stress free atmosphere for everyone.
3 cheers to the wedding photographer
I take my hat off to wedding photographers. It’s a deeply competitive business. Not only are there many of them but they also work incredibly hard.
Most Saturdays are spent at a wedding tied up all day long into the evening. A lot of their week will be spent meeting couples, attending photo styled shoots and of course editing the weddings as quickly as possible.
Couples are inevitably very impatient to see their photographs, so there’s a lot of pressure involved. Not to mention the odd wedding celebrant like me nagging for copies of the images too.
And so whether it’s a venue, a florist or prop hire I know we all appreciate every image they take. These photographs are, with the permission of mutual clients of course, vital to all our marketing as you can see clearly illustrated within this blog and on my website. Here’s to collaboration.