An unforgettable big day, that’s the dream. You want to remember it all - every emotion, every little moment and everyone you shared it with. This is where the wedding photographer comes in. Capturing all those fleeting moments: the tears, the laughs, the genuine look of love between you and your spouse-to-be, the photographer immortalises your story, preserving it for years to come. Choosing someone to create that magic for you can be difficult, so here are some tips on how to do it.
Photographers are artists, and just like any other artist they have their own personal style, a signature look and feel to the photos they create. Choosing a wedding photographer is a lot like getting a tattoo - it lasts a lifetime, you might need to travel (in this case, they might need to travel) and most importantly, you choose someone whose style matches exactly what you want, that way your end goal is aligned. If there is anything you take away from these wedding photography tips, let it be this: make your choice primarily on the photographer’s portfolio. Everything else can come after. Do you want a black and white timeless effect or something a little more vibrant? Do you want more portrait shots or more group photos? Making sure you’re on the same page creates trust - you won’t need to worry on the day whether your moments will be captured the way you want, because they will.
When deciding the style, be sure to ask to see the photographer’s full portfolio, rather than just the ones on their website. It’s only natural that they’ll upload the most stunning photos that’ll bring in more customers, but if the rest isn’t nearly the same quality, there’s an issue. You also need to consider if the photographer’s experience matches up with your wedding. You might love how they capture natural light in incredible picturesque outdoor locations, but if you’re going for an urban city wedding, this technique probably won’t produce the same results. After all, the wedding photography London has to offer would be very different to wedding photography Cornwall-style, or the Lake District.
The photographer’s attitude and personality matter too. You don’t want someone you don’t like in your face stressing you out on your big day. You’ll be around them for most of the day, so it’s important that you click, Photographers each have their own way of doing things, some may like to be a bit more hands-on, posing you and your guests to get the best possible pictures. Some might prefer capturing everything as it naturally happens. Again, this is a factor to consider - do you want those posed shots? There’s no right or wrong answer; it’s a matter of personal preference.
Let’s be honest, hiring a wedding photographer can be expensive, but you don’t want to pick a photographer based on what appears as good value for money on the surface. Out of everything in your wedding, (except the ring, of course), the photos are one of the only things you’ll have years later. So while a photographer may seem too pricey, remember that it’s an investment in your future happiness and memories. Even if you’re planning a wedding on a tight budget, getting a family member who isn’t a photographer to take the photos won’t have anywhere near the same magic, regardless of how expensive their camera is. You also shouldn’t choose photography simply because they throw in a couple of free goodies. Packages are great, but you’ve got to be smart about what you’re actually getting: a keyring might seem like the perfect memento at the time, but it’s something that you could consider further down the line once it’s all over. The photos themselves should be the most important thing in the package. When you’re researching, by all means, check out local wedding photographers’ prices, but don’t let it restrict you. Photographers are often willing to travel, so you don’t necessarily have to use a local photographer, but you’ll likely have to pay for their travel expenses, so it’s a judgement call on whether it is worth it.
Photographers are experts; they’re passionate about taking photos, they know what they’re doing and have likely been to far more weddings than you have. It’s important to respect your photographer - they’re not simply taking photos, they’re preparing all the equipment, thinking through different angles, and then a serious amount of time is spent editing the photos to get them looking extra special, plus so much more. However, at the end of the day, it is still your special day, you make the rules and everything is your choice.
Here on Wedding Planner, you’ll find countless talented wedding photographers to get you started, so take a look to give you some ideas on wedding photography prices, styles, packages and reviews. If you need a little extra creativity check out our inspiration section for a look at real weddings.