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How to Choose a Great Wedding Photographer

Our top tips on choosing a great wedding photographer; from packages to pricing and beyond…

You’ll be faced with numerous styles and options when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer to capture the special moments of your celebration. Whilst your top priority should be to enjoy your day and spending it with loved ones, getting the perfect wedding snaps is also up there on the list.

There are many different styles of wedding photography and the one you choose should reflect your personal style. It will also be the way your memories of your day are ultimately recorded, so our advice would be to err on the side of tradition if you’re in doubt. As always, we would recommend covering all of the classic photograph bases and then adding personal touches around the edges.

Your wedding photography shortlist

Once you’ve selected your preferred style of wedding photography, you’ll need to create a shortlist of photographers who appear to suit what you’re looking for. References from friends are a very good way to get some ideas – reading wedding photography reviews online is another. We’ve also brought together some of our favourite wedding photographers for you in the ‘Our Partners’ section of this site. Ultimately however you’re going to have to take the plunge (and yes, it’s a big decision), so in order to best equip yourselves we would suggest that you do the following:

  • Look at a wide variety of images on photographer’s websites
  • Ask questions (as many as you like) by email or on the phone
  • Read reviews/testimonials on the photographers website and social media pages
  • You should also consider whether the photographer know your chosen wedding venue. If not, going to visit your venue with the photographer before your big day is a great way to get to know all the brilliant spots for pictures

Technical questions to ask your photographer

You may not have thought about this in advance, but there are some technical questions that you should ask your wedding photographer. These questions are important because you need to know what you’re agreeing to before you sign the contract.

How many shots will you get on the day of your wedding and who will edit them?

In a perfect world, you want your wedding photographer to be snapping away constantly throughout the day and you wouldn’t want a single shot to be deleted, you never know what gems they might accidentally shoot. So, it’s best to know their photography style when actually capturing the images.

Who will have copyright of your wedding photographs?

In short terms – if you own the copyright to your wedding snaps you will be able to use them as you wish, like featuring on a real wedding story online. However, if the photographer retains the copyright then you’ll need to ask permission if you want to use your images elsewhere.

Will you receive a wedding album, separate prints or a disc so that you can print your own?

We advise chatting about what you want in regards to pictures as a couple before you meet with a wedding photographer, so that you’re prepared to discuss different package options.

Does the wedding photographer have appropriate insurance?

This is always a tricky one as of course there’s very little that financial compensation can do if your photos all get deleted from the photographer’s hard drive. But, if it would make you feel better to be covered, then it’s worth thinking about

Things to keep in mind when making your decision

Aside from choosing the perfect wedding venue and purchasing your dream dress, choosing a photographer is usually quite high up on the list of priorities. This isn’t an element of your wedding that should be chosen in a hurry – so here are some quick-fire things to think about when making your decision.

  • Location of the wedding photographer: Some wedding photographers work on a national basis, so travel isn’t an issue. But regardless of where your wedding photographer is coming from, check in their contract to see if they charge for mileage. If they are travelling from far, and charging you mileage, then this could change the price of your package.
  • Do you have chemistry with the photographer? If you don’t seem to be getting along on the phone or during your first face-to-face meeting, this could make the picture taking process slightly awkward or uncomfortable on the day.
  • Has the photographer won any awards? It might be worth looking on the photographers website to see if they have won, or been nominated for any awards.
  • Wedding show offers: Some wedding photographers might offer a ‘wedding show discount’ if you happen to meet and book them at a wedding show. If you’re heading to one in the near future, it might be worth speaking to a few different wedding photographers to see if they are offering anything unique, compared to if they weren’t attending the show.

Some final top tips:

Lucie Jamie Wedding

Book early

Good wedding photographers book up quickly, so make this one of your first priorities and confirm as soon as possible…but only after you’ve met them and have confirmed that the ‘chemistry works’. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them on your day, relying on them to get the best out of you and your guests for your pictures so it’s important that you feel comfortable with them.

Get it in writing

Make sure you get a written contract confirming all of the details, including costs. For instance, does the contract require you to feed the photographer?

Communicate

Talk through how you want things shot on the off-chance of wind or rain with your photographer. Be inspired by shots you have seen, collect them and share with your photographer. Pinterest is ideal of course for storing such images.

Send a 'photos we definitely want' list

Drawing up a list of pictures may sound obvious, but you don’t want to forget to capture a part of your day. Check out our recommended list of 60 must-have wedding day photographs to print and give to your wedding photographer.

Plan the day

If you are getting married in a church think about the shots you need to get before moving to your reception venue. Many couples these days take the essential pictures at the church, like ceremony and arrival images, and then move everyone to the next venue so that drinks and canapés (and a roof!) can be provided while the list of family photos are being worked through.

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