Woohoo! You're engaged and I'm guessing you're reading this to find out more about how to choose your wedding photographer! Choosing your wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions of your wedding day. The photographs you keep from your day, are one of the few long term memories you will keep, not only for yourself, but they will be around for generations to come. Also, the photographer will be there all day! You need to feel comfortable around them as they are the only supplier who will be with you from the moment you are getting ready, right up until you hit the dance floor! And of course, lastly, your wedding photography can take up a large part of your budget for your wedding - it's an investment so you need to be sure you're making the right choice.
A few questions you need to ask yourself before choosing your photographer:
What type of photos would you like? Fun? Colourful? Neutral? Dark? Light? Creative? Natural? Documentary? Editorial? Candid? Film? Relaxed? Formal? Informal? Chilled? There are so many different ways in which your photos can be taken and edited. If you're not sure, maybe screenshot/create a board on pinterest of a few different individual images together to give you a feel for what you might be leaning towards.
What is your budget? It's important to approach a photographer with your budget, right at the start of the conversation. There is no point wasting both your and the photographer's time chatting, if their photography package is outside your budget. However, if you love someone's work and really want them, of course, ask them at the start of your conversation/email if they'd be willing to work to your budget, then you'll know early on if it's a possibility or not.
Where are you getting married and at what time of year? Does the venue have lots of natural light or is it dark? If you have part of your wedding day that is very dark and also full of artificial light, then make sure you have a photographer who is extremely confident using flash. If you are getting married in a church and it is dark, please ensure to ask if flash is allowed to be used during the ceremony as some do not allow it (Read more about questions to ask your wedding venues).
What are you getting for your money? One of the most important aspects that you are paying for with a wedding photographer, is experience. Every wedding a photographer covers is new and they won't have done another one like it before. The more we photograph weddings, the more we learn and the more experienced we get. Whether it's knowing where to position yourselves in a venue you've never been to before, photographing a different times of year with different types of light, building good relationships quickly with the couple, guests and family, other suppliers, venue coordinators etc. to ensure that they can get the best shots possible. And of course, you're paying for someone who without a shadow of doubt, is going to capture your day in a way that you are expecting them too. Other things to think about are how and when you will receive your images, how much they charge for extra hours if they day runs over or if it's included, what back ups do they have, do they offer albums/prints and within what timeline,
Always remember to.... Sign a contract. Make sure all the details you have discussed are covered to ensure you are both on the same page an in agreement. Meet your photographer at least once (over a Zoom call, or face to face if they are nearby). Point out in person the key people you need photographing on your wedding day. It's all well and good telling them their names, but it's important that they know what they look like on the day. You'll probably be busy, but ask a bridesmaid/family member to help! Think of any particular shots you would like - please don't give the photographer an individual shot list! If you're working with a professional, then there is no need to tell them how to do their job. However, if there is a specific shot, or a specific photograph with someone you want, then let them know and ask them to do it on the day. Be flexible! Weather and timelines are ever changing and sometimes you need to take time out unexpectedly for your portrait session. And lastly, let your guard down and you'll get the best out of your wedding photographer and your photographs! Enjoy your wedding day!!