Choosing a Wedding Photographer
Making the decision to get married is perhaps the most important decision you will ever make in your life. Many brides-to-be have dreamt about their wedding since they were little girls and the decision to marry will not be one that is taken lightly.
Of course, you will want to remember not only the grand moments, but the fleeting moments too, whether the beautiful smile of the blushing bride, a tear quietly shed by the groom, a laugh-out-loud moment during the best man’s speech, or the first dance of the bride and groom.
This is why choosing a wedding photographer is one the most important decisions you will make while preparing for your wedding.
Here is my guide to help you do just that…
Choose your Style
A great place to start is to determine what style of wedding photography you want. Two of the most common styles are the more choreographed ‘traditional’ style, and the more fluid and much more modern ‘documentary’ or ‘reportage’ style. You can choose from either option or opt for a combination of the two styles.
Create a List of Possible Candidates
Once you have decided on the style you want, the next step is to make a list of possible candidates. Get personal recommendations from friends or work colleagues who have just got married, wedding fairs, the classified section of wedding magazines, internet forums, local newspapers or yell.com.
Look at Each Photographers Portfolio
Finding the perfect photographer is very subjective thing, so focus on finding the perfect candidate for YOU. Portfolios are a great way of determining which photographer this might be. This is because they enable you to ascertain whether the photographer in question will capture your wedding in the way that you want.
Remember that one true sign of a good photographer is consistency – if their portfolio shows consistently high quality photos from a single wedding, you know that they are good. You will want your photographer to take consistently natural-looking shots throughout the day and it truly takes real skill to be able to do this.
Personally, I feel that looking for complete albums is most important with documentary style photographers, as anyone can take one or two natural shots. In fact, I would be quite suspicious of any documentary photographer that does not provide prospective clients access to complete online galleries.
However, if you cannot find complete online galleries on a particular photographer’s website but you still like what you see, it would be advisable to contact the photographer in question to request links or to ask him/her to send you complete albums by email.
Never Choose the ‘Budget’ Option
Like I said in my first post, good photos are very magical to me because they capture moments in time. They will enable you and your husband-to-be to re-live all of the joy of your special day again and again.
I stated earlier in this article that it takes real skill to be able to take consistently good photographs throughout the day, so with this in mind, never ever be tempted to go for the ‘cheap option’, as you need to make sure that you have the best record of your day possible.
Meet the Photographer
Before making your final decision with regard to your choice of photographer, it would always be a good idea to meet up with the photographer. This is a great way of determining their level of professionalism, as well as their personality.
When you meet them, ask yourself whether you will want to be around this person during a day – which although joyful – can also be quite stressful. Documentary photographers will likely be documenting events from the early morning onwards, so it is important that you ‘gel’ with them as a person in order for things to run as smoothly as possible.
A good photographer will want to strike up a good relationship with you, in order to get a feel for the kind people you are. This will allow them to capture the day in ways that would like to remember it – you’re the boss, after all.