What do couples need to think about when choosing a Wedding Photographer?
Beyond the obvious questions like “how much do you charge?” and “how long will you stay?” here are six other key questions to ask:
1. Do they have a large number of images to show you? It’s important to see a good selection of images from real Weddings. We focus on quality and consistency of all our images – the photo’s you see on our blog match the quality you can expect throughout your day. We always advise you to view at least 100 images from every ‘display Wedding’ shown by a prospective photographer. This enables you to get a real feel for how they shoot. So always look for consistency and consider whether they have captured key moments that really reflect the atmosphere of the day.
2. Do you like them? This is crucial. It’s not so much about having a long list of questions to ask, it’s more about what feel you get when you meet that person. It’s easy to make the mistake of treating all your suppliers the same, but most of them are not there with you on the day. Remember your photographer(s) are the only ones that will be with you for almost all of this most special day.
3. Are they good with people? You want them to be comfortable with your guests and able to interact with them throughout the day. I would say that nowadays most photographers are moving towards a more unobtrusive style – we try not to be in people’s faces. But when they need to ask people to move or do something, you want to know that they’re going to be polite and understand how people feel on the day. A good photographer can provide subtle direction without coming across as bossy! You will normally get a feel for this when you meet them and read their reviews.
4. Do you trust their creativity? Some things need precision, and others are best left to the creative side. You’ve picked your suppliers for a reason – you’ve researched them and are confident in their abilities – so hand over to them and focus on enjoying your day. A number of florists have told me that they deliver their best when someone gives them a brief but isn’t too specific, and I think it’s the same for a good Wedding photographer. We try to be as helpful as we can on the day and help to make it flow. Not everything runs on time or goes to plan, but an experienced photographer can easily adapt. It’s your day, your photographer is there to capture it and do the best job they can, and you should feel completely confident in their ability to do that.
5. What will they deliver? It’s important to know exactly what you can expect to get after the wedding – will your images be on a USB or disk? How many images will you get? Will the images you receive be high resolution or low resolution? Can you select images for an album?
6. What information do they need from us? We always meet with couples a month before and run through names of family members, Bridesmaids and Ushers. We also run through timings (because by then you’ve probably met with your other suppliers) – how we’ll work during the day and what can be fitted in. For example, if your drinks reception is only half an hour, you won’t be able to fit 10 group shots in and get lots of photo’s of your guests relaxing and enjoying themselves!
Excellent advice. Anything other final thoughts?
Yes, don’t be too clinical! There’s lots of advice telling you that you need to bring a long list of questions or a ‘checklist’ to all your suppliers. Being well organised is important, though I think it’s much more important for you to have a good feel for your photographer as a person – and their images of course.
Have a pre-Wedding shoot. It can be easy to look at the additional time and expense and think “we could do without that”, but they are one of the best things that you can do. A pre-Wedding shoot helps you to get to know your photographer a bit better so it doesn’t feel like you’re working with a total stranger on the day – unsurprisingly this often leads to better photographs on the day.
Finally, it’s worth considering whether you want one or two photographers on the day itself. The great thing about having two is that they can cover so much more of the day than one photographer. Ultimately this comes down to your personal preferences and budget.