Finding the right photographer to capture all the special moments of your big day is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. After all, the memories from your wedding day will be treasured for a lifetime and passed down for generations to come. Don't rush the process, take your time, do your research and find a photographer who shares your vision. Whether you prefer a classic, documentary-style approach or a mix of styles, there are a few key things to consider when making your choice. In this blog, I will guide you through the steps to find the perfect match!
Determine your style
Before you start searching for a photographer, think about what style of photography you like. Do you wish for more posed, formal shots, or do you want a more relaxed, candid style? I personally shoot in a more natural, documentary style, letting the day run as naturally as possible, while other wedding photographers may spend a lot more time capturing group formals, and creative wedding portraits. So ask yourself, do you want to focus more on portraits, or do you prefer a mix of portraits and action shots? Knowing your preferred style will help you find the right photographer for you. It's just as important to consider the style of wedding photography you want as it is to have a clear vision for your big day. While most photographers can accommodate various preferences, many specialise in a specific style and have different approaches to their photography. Some prefer a non-intrusive and behind-the-scenes approach, while others may opt for a more structured and traditional approach. Here are three of the main types:
- Reportage Photography
Also known as photojournalistic or documentary photography, this style captures candid and spontaneous moments as your photographer blends in with you and your guests. The focus is on capturing real emotions and telling the story of your day, without any posing involved.
- Traditional Photography
Formal or traditional wedding photography involves classic posed group shots of the couple and the wedding party. Although it requires more direction from the photographer and takes more time, the finished photos will be beautifully shot and well-lit.
- Contemporary Photography
This style blends elements of reportage photography with a more dramatic and unique approach, reminiscent of fashion or editorial photography. If you're looking for fashion-forward couple photos and an artistic approach, find a photographer with a similar creative vision, whether that be street style, portraits, conceptual, or nature-focused.
Once you’ve determined your style, start looking through portfolios of photographers in your area. (Although many photographers do shoot all across the UK and the world, including myself) Look at their portfolio to see if their style matches what you’re looking for. Take note of the quality of the images, the lighting, the composition, and the poses. You’ll want to choose a photographer whose work you admire and who has a track record of creating beautiful, timeless images.
Schedule a consultation
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential photographers, schedule a consultation to meet with them. (Either in person, over the phone, or via video call) This will give you the opportunity to ask questions, see more of their work, and get a feel for their personality. It’s important to choose a photographer you feel comfortable with, as they’ll be with you all day on your wedding day.
Know your budget
Make sure to ask about the packages and pricing offered by the photographer. Be sure to understand what’s included in each package and whether there are any hidden fees. Also, ask about the turnaround time for getting your photos back and if they offer digital copies or prints. Before you start searching for a wedding photographer, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget. There's no use falling in love with a photographer's work only to find out that they are beyond your means. To give you a rough idea of what to expect, the average cost for a wedding photographer in the UK ranges from £1,500 to £3,200. To get a better idea of what you can afford, take a moment to decide on your budget and stick to it while searching for a photographer. Many photographers list their starting prices on their website and offer photography packages that offer great value. You can also reach out to a few local photographers and ask for a quote to get a better understanding of the going rate.
Read reviews and get recommendations
One of the most effective ways to choose a wedding photographer is to seek recommendations from friends and family who have recently tied the knot. Ask them about their experience with their photographer and if they loved their photos. You can also seek recommendations from your wedding venue, social media, and online reviews.
A trustworthy photographer will have numerous testimonials and reviews from satisfied clients, which they will be happy to share with you. When you have a shortlist of photographers, reach out to them and ask about their reviews or testimonials, or if they can connect you with a previous couple they have photographed. The importance of customer and couple reviews cannot be overstated when choosing a wedding photographer.
Do they know your venue?
It's always a plus if your wedding photographer has shot at your venue before, (But it's not a deal breaker, believe me) as it gives them an advantage in knowing the best locations and lighting conditions. Your wedding venue may provide a list of recommended photographers, and many photographers have portfolios showcasing their previous work at different venues.
If your photographer is based locally, they may even offer to visit your venue prior to your wedding day to familiarise themselves with the space and determine the best times and lighting for shooting. I personally always scope out new wedding venues beforehand, as I believe it's important to know the layout of a wedding venue.
Book an engagement photoshoot
While not crucial, having a pre-wedding engagement photo shoot with your photographer can help you feel more at ease on the big day. This is an opportunity to get to know your photographer better and ensure that your personalities are a good fit. As your photographer will be spending a significant amount of time with you on your wedding day, it's important to feel comfortable with them.
Your photographer should be professional, respectful, and able to blend into your wedding seamlessly while still capturing all the important moments. They should take an active interest in your wedding plans and ask you plenty of questions to understand your vision. Most importantly, they should be genuinely excited about your day.
Engagement photo shoots also provide an additional chance to capture beautiful photos of your relationship and get you both excited for the wedding. This is a great opportunity to try out fun and creative ideas for your engagement photos.
Trust your gut
If a photographer seems like the right fit for you, go for it! The best way to ensure you’ll have beautiful, timeless photos is to choose a photographer who you trust and who you feel comfortable with. Choosing the right wedding photographer is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect match for you! So go ahead, put on your detective hat, and get ready to find the photographer who will capture all of your special moments on your big day!