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Top Tips On How To Choose Your Photographer For Your Wedding Day

Choosing Your Photographer

When deciding on a wedding photographer, the first thing you need to decide is what kind of pictures you would like to have.

Would you prefer traditional pictures that are posed for and the photographer arranges everyone into the position he wants to get the best picture? Or would you prefer candid shots where the photographer is given control to capture the day as it happens? Alternatively, you may want a mixture of both posed and candid shots. This is a big decision, as your wedding photos will stay with you for the rest of your life, so take time to think about it.

The next decision that will need to be made is the level of service you will want from your photographer. You may just want photos of the ceremony, which will mean you will only need to hire them for 1-2 hours. However, if you would prefer to have them for the whole day to capture events, such as pre-wedding preparations and newlywed photos as well as the ceremony, then you will need to hire them for longer. This is important as some photographers may not be able to commit to the entire day if they have other commitments in place already.

You will also need to decide how many photos you would like from the day. Some photographers will provide you with around 100 images to remember your day by, however, others may provide you with over 1000 images.

Once this has been decided you can start to think about your budget. It is recommended that you put aside around 12% of your entire wedding budget for the photographer. This will include photographer fees, prints and albums. This 12% figure will allow you to discard photographers who are out of your price range and allow you to concentrate on those that you can afford.

Remember to ask questions when you meet potential photographers. This way you will get a proper insight into the vision they have for your wedding and you can decide whether you share this vision or not.

Potential questions you may want to ask are:

  • What areas do you cover?
  • How do we book you to take photographs at our wedding?
  • Do we get to see every photo you take?
  • How many photos do you take?
  • How long will it take for our album to be ready?
  • When and how do we see the photographs?

There are a few tips we have when deciding your photographer:

  • Include any special requests in writing before you sign the contract
  • Keep notes on each candidate so you can refer back to them at a later date
  • Listen to your gut! It’s your wedding nobody else's
  • Good photographers will be booked first, reserve yours around a year in advance
  • Make sure you study their website before committing

When looking at the websites of potential photographers, make sure you look at their galleries. The sign of a good photographer is that they will have consistently excellent quality photographs from the same wedding. If they have a gallery of lots of photos from different weddings, the chances are they have just chosen the best ones. And, for all you know, they may be the only good pictures that they take and the rest could be poorer quality.

You will also need to check your photographer is covered by professional indemnity insurance in case something goes wrong with the camera, or the film gets lost or damaged. This insurance doesn’t cover the style of the photographs, so it’s imperative you discuss this with your photographer before the wedding day. 

Make sure you talk to the photographer in person, as you will want to make sure you feel comfortable with them and feel sure that they have a good attitude. The best wedding photographers will treat your day as a special event rather than just another job, and will endeavour to capture perfectly the magic of your wedding day on film. So, take your time to pick the right one for you.

Here are three things you should know about wedding photographers:

  1. The photographer owns the copyright for your images and all reprints must be ordered through him or her.

  2. Make sure you ask for a breakdown of the costs. The total fee will depend on how long the photographer spends at your wedding, the number of pictures taken and the type of album.

  3. Photographers tend to keep negatives or digital discs. Consider and compare the reprint prices when doing your initial research.