What To Look For When Hiring A Wedding Photographer
by WEst midlands wedding photographer - Lisa Lander
Being a wedding photographer one of the most important questions we hear is “How do I choose a Wedding Photographer?” We put together the top tips we give couples when looking for their dream photographer
How To Find Your Dream Wedding Photographer
For most individuals the hunt for the right photographer is fairly easy process but it can be seriously overwhelming with all the options, personalities, different styles (what the heck is an alternative wedding photographer?), expressions of talent and experience. We hear about so many horror stories about people upset and disappointed that their wedding photos were blurry, or really grainy and just not what was promised to them. You want to make sure you do your research so this doesnt happen to you.
If you already have a photographer, then check one less thing off your list! If not there are many factors to consider early on in the process as many photographers are booked up 12-24 months in advance.
Each photographer has something unique and different to offer their couples, but what’s most important is that you find the one that best suits you as a couple and who can tell your story as you see it happen.
The most important thing is PERSONALITY of your wedding photographer
Your wedding photographer is one of the vendors that you will be spend a good part of your day with. Make sure that you click with them. If your wedding photographer doesn’t have the right personality to fit you, it will show in your wedding photos. It is a good idea to meet with them in person or do an engagement session to make sure you get along and are comfortable with your wedding photographer.
Your Connection With your wedding photographer
When assessing a photographer’s work, look for points of connection - whether you’re reviewing their website, social media, profile on wedding websites and such. Are there points of connection that resonate with you? Do you have things in common? Do you like their style of photography?
You don’t have to be the best of friends with your wedding photographer, but it is important to share some similarities so you can feel connected to them. A connection will formulate a bond, which will create a sense of comfort, enabling you to feel natural in front of the camera and truly like yourself.
Look for a photographer who can see past the numbers
Most photographers do this job because of the couples. They love to be involved and create lovely images for the couples. I know, as this is the reason behind my business. Talk with your photographer, look at the reviews and do your research.
Choose the Style of the photographer that you love
Style is somewhat of an ambiguous or subjective term. As a newbie photographer and bride, I didn’t know anything about the styles of photography. Most photographers have a visual style. This normally incorporates colour, composition and other photographic techniques.
Think about the types of wedding photos you like. We recommend taking some time online and looking at different wedding photographers and their styles, what is different about them? What did you like about that specific photo?
Do you like dark & moody photos, or light and airy? Do you want film or digital? Do you want completely documentary or candid style of photography or do you want more curated style of image. Does your photographer use natural light or flash? All of these factors affect the style of wedding photography.
Another great resource: Pinterest!
Yes, I said Pinterest.
When I got married, I had so many Pinterest boards. It helped me find a wedding photographer whose style I liked and could capture our day as I wanted it.
Make sure that you look at the type of experience that a wedding photographer has. Just because they have done 400 weddings doesn’t mean they are a better fit than another photographer who has done 50. When looking for an experienced wedding photographer, don’t forget to ask about other important skills. Do they have great social skills? One of our couples told us that a photographer they really wanted refused to even meet them until they paid the retainer, no small talk. They were worried how this photographer would interact with their family and guests. Take home from this point is to look at the wide range of skills that wedding photographers have including photographing weddings.
Professionalism in a wedding photographer is an important point? Do they have insurance? Do they have proper equipment? Do they have a professional manner? Are they ethical and transparent in their business? Do they have a professional website? These are important questions to consider because you’re doing business with these individuals. Aside from the act of taking your wedding photos, you want to work with someone who can conduct themselves to your expectations and provide you with the experience and results you desire.
Know you Wedding Photography Budget
At this point you might not have an exact idea of your wedding budget but it’s important to have a rough figure. This is a whole other article! But to sum it up, know that wedding photography is an investment. You get what you pay for. Know a rough budget and start from there. The key rule of thumb is expect to spend about 8%-15% of your wedding budget on wedding photography, depending on the type of package and products. The most important thing to know is: are you looking at a photographer who costs £ 700 or £3000?
Our advice would be to spend the most that your budget will allow for as your wedding photos will be one of your keepsakes from your wedding day that will last for years.
Wedding photography is one of the most important investments as it will last for years to come
Last but not least: meet your photographer in person
(or by skype)
An In person meeting is so valuable to both wedding photographer and the couple. We like meeting in person, even if it is only 15 minutes. It lets our couples see that we are real people outside of social media and our website. This is a good way to weed out any photographer that doesn’t click with you both. Sometimes when in-person meetings just aren’t possible, then we suggest a skype meeting so it is still face-to-face, even through the computer.
The take away: do you research. When looking for a wedding photographer, you probably googled some keywords for wedding photographers near you. The process normally goes —> you saw their website —> you filled out their contact form —> then you email back and forth. Don’t feel obligated that you are committed. Contact as many photographers as you can to get information you need to find the right one. After you have chosen then you will normally have to fill out some paperwork (contract & questionnaire) and pay their deposit. Don’t sign anything until you have read everything and you are happy with your choice.
If you are getting married and are looking for a wedding photographer we would love you to consider us. Take a look at our portfolio and our wedding tips on our blog to see if you think we might be a good fit. You can always contact us if you have any questions!
Now go and find your perfect wedding photographer!