How to Choose Your Wedding PhotographerAs your wedding day is booked, the venue, the car, and all those good things that make your wedding day a day to remember, and in that list one of the most important things to remember to do is to book the photographer. It is his or her duty to capture those precious moments on in your wedding photographs that you will have for the rest of your life. But when it comes to choosing your photographer how can you be sure you have found the right one?Interview Your Wedding PhotographersA good photographer will know how to get the best from the wedded couple and their guests and will be able to select the best light and backgrounds for the photographs. When you meet a photographer who may potentially be the photographer for your wedding, ask about creativity and his or her suggestion for creating the wedding album in terms of style of images.
However, it is what they wanted and I was happy to go along with the show
The photographer you choose has a role that goes beyond simply taking pictures. A good photographer will know how to create opportunities and scenarios that will create interesting and fun images. Remember, your idea of fun may not be the same as your photographer. For example, at a recent wedding I photographed the Bride was picked up and held by the Groom and the Groom’s Men and the Father’s of the Bride and Groom while she reclined in their arms. This is a common image, but not one that I personally would ever suggest as it is just not my idea of either a nice image or a fun thing to do. However, it is what they wanted and I was happy to go along with the show.Your Photographer’s PersonalityThis brings me to the next important thing to remember, the wedding is your day, not the photographers, this is a day for you to have fun and have a good time.
A good photographer will only book one wedding on any one day, as he or she will know that things can go wrong and the photographer may need to stay a little longer
People relate differently various personality types. Choose a friendly wedding photographer that can make you smile, one who can sense the mood of the guests and allow things to flow naturally and with a sense of joy for the occasion. This will make photographs look more natural and relaxed.Try to have a pre-wedding photo shoot, this will help you to understand your photographer and more importantly him to understand you and how you feel in front of the camera. With the exception of your partner you will spend more time with the photographer than with any one else on the day of your wedding, so make sure you can get on well with him or her.Evaluate PortfoliosWhat is the most beautiful picture in the world? You may have an answer, but another person may disagree with you because the answer is subjective.
For example, at a recent wedding I photographed the Bride was picked up and held by the Groom and the Groom’s Men and the Father’s of the Bride and Groom while she reclined in their arms
The old saying is true ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ The portfolio of any good wedding photographer will look good to most people; you must make sure it looks good to you. Look at their portfolio to make sure that the photographer’s style reflects your own style and creativity. If a set of images or a sample album looks good, ask to see all the photographs from that wedding. If the photographer has visited you at your home and this requires a seconded visit, then so be it.Get EstimatesMost wedding photographers suggest different “packages”, allowing you to select a deal that will best suit your budget. Compare the pricing packages of several photographers to find your best option for evaluating the price along with all the other factors, including quality of their work, reviews by other clients, their flexibility and personality. Don’t just go for the cheep and cheerful option either; you are paying for talent and ability.A Flexible Approach A photographer should be flexible with their timetable for the day. Make sure that they will be around through both wedding and reception if you need them to be. A good photographer will only book one wedding on any one day, as he or she will know that things can go wrong and the photographer may need to stay a little longer.As a photographer I have taken guests to the reception because the taxi has not arrived. Gone and collected gas and balloons to decorate the hall, stayed later than anticipated (recently by six hours) because there has been a problem with guests or family and the photos would not have been taken if we had stuck to the original agreement. For all of these things there was no extra charge, as it is all part of the service that a photographer should provide if he or she is both flexible and personable.Check The PaperworkThere are three or possibly four things it is worth checking with your photographer, and dare I say you should ask to see the evidence of. I can only speak from a British Photographers Point of view on this as other countries will have different organisation and rules, but still check!First, check the photographer’s Public Liability Insurance Policy, if Great Aunt Agnes trips on the tripod and fractures her hip is the photographer covered?Second, check the photographer’s Professional Indemnity Insurance; if the photographer looses all your photos can you get compensation?Third, is the photographer a member of a professional body like the British Institute of Professional Photographers? Ask to see his or her IDFourth, is the photographer’s car covered adequately with breakdown cover? If his or her car does not start will they get to your wedding?Finally, if you do find you need help with those little extras like taking guests to the reception venue, ask if the photographer’s car insurance covers business, because if not, then your guests will not be insured to travel in the car.
William Johnston is a professional photographer providing wedding photography and portrait photography throughout Bristol, Wedding Photographer Bath and Somerset, the South West, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Leicester and Leicestershire, London and the Home CountiesPlease visit Wedding Photographer Bristol