When choosing your wedding photographer, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There are lots of professional photographers available but finding one which you both feel comfortable with and takes photos in the style and manner you want can be a little tricky, especially as the best photographers can be booked up to two years in advance. It can be tempting to just accept offers from family and friends, but this is something you should think carefully about, as it’s very hard to match the work of a professional photographer! If you are unsure as to whether a photographer has the experience which you need why not look up the BIPP or ISPWP?
Things to ask your photographer:
Do you provide full-day coverage (from the bride’s preparations until the newlyweds leave their reception)?
Do you work with an assistant?
What’s your style? Reportage, traditional, contemporary?
How many photos do you generally take?
Do I keep my proofs or do I have to purchase them?
How soon after my wedding will I get to see my proofs?
Do you take both black and white and colour photos?
What is included in your basic wedding package?
What are the charges for additional photographs, or albums for the parents?
How much do extra hours of coverage cost?
Is travel included in your package? If not, how much do you charge?
Do I get full copyright over my images?
Most importantly, you should choose someone you feel comfortable with and someone who produces photographs in a style you like. Always ask to view a complete wedding album from a recent wedding, and not just look at the photographer’s best photos. You must feel comfortable and confident with your photographer, as they are going to photograph one of the most important days of your life.
Be aware that different photographers adopt different styles. A traditional photographer will be happy to do more group shots than a photojournalistic photographer, who will capture events as they unfold without people having to pose and look at the camera. Most photographers will be happy to photograph the bride getting ready, and if there are two of them then the other photographer will generally photograph the groom getting ready.
Most professional photographers will know the standard shots to take i.e. signing the register, cutting the cake, but if you have any specific shots you require then most photographers are more than happy to accommodate your requests. Have a look around in bridal magazines to get an idea of the different types of photography styles, and see which ones you prefer. A good photographer should be able to do a mixture of photojournalistic photography with a handful of group shots to keep parents happy and some really great fun shots of the bride and groom together.
Typically allow an hour or so for photography but check with your photographer to see if this is long enough. Most guests are more than happy to stand around for up to an hour, provided they have a drink in one hand and preferably a canapé in the other. If the weather is bad then ensure there is sufficient room indoors for your guests to stand and for photographs to be taken. To while away the time it can be a good idea to have a small jazz band or string quartet. A magician or entertainer can also be a good idea to mingle with the guests whilst they are waiting.
Group shots can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on your choice of photographer and the co-operation of your guests. A handy hint is get the best man and ushers to help round people up. Most photographers will require the bride and groom on their own for half an hour or so to get some shots of the two of them together.
Wedding photography can cost anything from £100 to £5000, but often you really do get what you pay for. Many of our brides say that the photography is so important to them that it’s not worth compromising on the cost, as it’s one of the most important reminders you’ll have once the day is over.
Finally, just enjoy yourself – if you look happy then your wedding photographs will look great!