Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make in the planning of your wedding day. Most of my clients come to me via referral, either from wedding planners or other industry suppliers or, perhaps, a client’s friend who’s wedding I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph.

But if you haven’t got that referral network how do you go about choosing the right photographer for you and planning the coverage you want.

Siobhan Craven-Robins, one of the country’s most experienced Wedding Planners, says “I usually give my clients an initial list of 5 photographers from which they would choose two candidates to meet up with.”

Meeting with a photographer is as important (if not more so) than looking over their website. As Julie Gray from top UK caterers, Bovingdons, puts it “without a meeting, there is no way anyone should book a photographer. What’s important is that you feel very comfortable with your photographer so you can relax on the day.”

Siobhan also insists that the couple both attend the meeting.

During initial consultation I show albums that contain complete weddings. This way couples will not only see a wedding day from start to finish but also appreciate how I use the photographs to illustrate the story of their day.
The images will be of the bride and groom along with their friends and family, of course, but also the other aspects of the wedding that complete the narrative; the table settings, the flowers, the dress etc which all contribute to the story.

We would also discuss the kind of coverage required along with the schedule of the day. My normal attendance is 8 hours but it’s easy to book longer coverage where needed, either beforehand, or on the day if things are running on a little.
According to Siobhan it’s important to be realistic about time coverage and more and more couples are insisting on a second photographer especially where there are multiple venues involved. I always recommend a second photographer when the number of guests is above 140-150 or, as Erika Unbehaun of Flutterfly Events comments “when both the bride and groom want photographs of them and their wedding team getting ready”.
Erika adds that “[it’s important to ask] does the second photographer have the same qualifications, experience, and standards as your first photographer?”
I’m pleased to say that the team of photographers that work with me all fit those criteria.

The number of formal/group photographs required is also a factor when considering the timings and the need for a second photographer.

Another important matter is your choice of album. I’ve always made albums optional but the the ones I do supply are, in my opinion, the best available. Erika’s advise when talking albums is to discuss the amount of ‘images’ required rather than the number of ‘pages’; it’s important to a couple which ‘photograph’s go into their album, the number of ‘pages’ is a secondary issue which will be decided at the design stage.

Ultimately it is up to you to choose the right wedding photographer that meets, or preferably, exceeds your expectations in terms of creativity and technical ability. You must also feel comfortable about being photographed by that person on the most important day of your life and have confidence that they will capture your wedding day as you remember it.

It’s a difficult decision but I’ll leave the last word to Siobhan Craven-Robins who says that “… it’s what suits you; like hearing a song you love or putting on a dress that fits, you just know it’s right!”

 

Please visit my testimonials page to see some of the comments I have received from previous clients and wedding industry colleagues.