As a bride and groom to-be, you both have a big job ahead of planning your wedding. From venues, flowers to dresses and shoes, the list of choices is endless! And wedding photography is just the same – but it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re happy with your choice of photographer. We’ve compiled 10 simple tips to bear in mind when looking for a photographer for your special day.
1. Decide what you like
All to often, brides choose a photographer just to ensure they have photographs of their wedding day. But looking back at the photos, do they truly reflect you as a couple? Go through magazines, pull out pictures, find images on the web that you love. Do you love the dramatic, striking look of fashion? Or something a little more creative? Perhaps you love romantic images of happy couples. Or you love those photos where nobody poses, as if your photographer was never there! Whatever you like, make sure you keep this in mind when finding your photographer.
2. Do some research
Once you really know what style of wedding photos you love, do some research on photographers in your area. Use words that describe your style and what you’re looking for, like ‘fashion‘ or ‘glamour‘ weddings, hipster weddings, natural light photographers, photojournalistic, the list goes on! Limit yourself to 4 or 5 photographers maximum, and then really get to know their work before meeting with them.
3. Love their style as it is, not as how you want it to be.
The greatest compliment as a photographer is to have a bride trust completely in them and let them do their magic. It’s a whole lot tougher meeting a photographer who is used to photographing one way and has to photograph another way just for you. You might be disappointed in the final results, and your photographer might not be as confident in their work as they would if shooting in their own style. That’s why defining what you like is really important!
4. Get to know your photographer.
Pick a nice place, either a coffee shop or park to meet up and have a chat. Photographers love to get to know their couples, how they met, what they do, who they are. And you should get to know your photographer too – we all have different personalities! But make sure you can get along with them, if you find it difficult to communicate with them or get along. Don’t be afraid to let them know that you feel it won’t work out, and thank them for their time. You will find the right photographer for you as a couple, and that’s why the first 3 points are important! If you love your photographer, it makes your wedding day a little less stressful because you know them and trust them to get the job done.
5. Ask questions.
When you meet with your photographer, draw up a list of questions you might have. Get to know how they work and this will work on your day. Timing is important if you have a natural light photographer, so ask them what time is best for photos, lighting, venues and more. If they’ve worked at the venue before, they’ll probably have a great idea of where to take photos – and where not to! Not question is wrong, so don’t be afraid to ask as many as you can.
6. Book early.
Wedding photographers tend to start booking weddings up to 6 months and more before a wedding! If you really want a photographer to be at your wedding, make sure you find out if they are available and book them as soon as possible. If you leave them hanging, chances are another bride might ask for the same date and put down a deposit before you can decide. So make sure you start finding your photographer early and book them as soon as you can – one less thing to stress about!
7. Do your engagement shoot with them.
Unless you have a friend who you would like to do your engagement shoot, it’s always a good idea to have the same photographer shoot your engagement and wedding. An engagement shoot allows you as a couple to get comfortable with the photographer and camera before your big day, have a laugh and get to know each other a little better. Plus you’ll know what you expect on your wedding day when it comes to taking photos, and it makes it just that little bit easier.
8. Ask for recommendations.
Chances are, your photographer has worked with some awesome vendors that you need for your wedding. It gives you a chance to hear of the good work those vendors do, and also if there are vendors who are prone to letting people down. It’s good to know, and if your photographer can help, that’s a bonus!
9. Get an album.
Unless you are a serious scrapbooker or love putting albums together, allowing your photographer to do your album takes another stress out of your day. Your photographer will usually arrange the album and allow you to make changes, but they want to tell the story of your wedding – something you’ll be trusting them with when you hire them. They’ll ensure all the details are included, the smiles and tears are recorded, family members and friends are featured and tell your story. Even if you have a small album to start with, save up a little extra and you can get another one a bit later. Otherwise your photos will sit in a box as prints or on a DVD on the shelf, or a USB by your computer. An album is something special and will be a more prominent reminder of your wedding than anything else!
Now that you’ve decided the style you like, found your photographer, booked them early and gotten to know them, it’s time for you to focus on other things and let them do their thing. On your wedding day, your photographer is the one vendor who spends the most time with you. You don’t want to be asking them and telling them thing every 10 minutes – let them guide you, chat to you and make your day go a bit easier! We even have emergency kits in case anything should happen – we’re prepared. Let your photographer work their magic, and you’ll be glad you did when you see the photos.
Bonus tip: Thank them!
This might sound silly, but photographers love to hear feedback from couples about their wedding. If even it’s a quick email to say thanks and you love the photos, it’s that little message that makes photographers love their job a bit more. We want to know that you’re happy, and if you’re not, we’ll want to know how. Your experience starts from the moment you find their work til you thank them for their work, so let it end off on a happy note and make their day.
More fantastic articles for prepping for your wedding day:
A Bride’s Guide To Hiring A Wedding Photographer – Wedding Photography.com
Wedding Photos – Advice For Brides – Zara Zoo Photography
Want Great Wedding Photos – Follow These Ten Simple Tips – Rock n Roll Bride