The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography
One of the first things you’ll need to do after booking your venue is to book your key suppliers, such as your wedding photographer. There are a variety of different wedding photographers available, each with their own unique style, and they tend to get booked up quickly. We’ve put together the ultimate guide of everything you need to know about wedding photography, for a stress-free wedding photo experience.
Jump to a section:
- Our top UK wedding photographers
- How to choose a wedding photographer
- What questions should I ask my wedding photographer?
- What styles of wedding photography are there?
- How much do wedding photographers cost?
- What is a Wedding Photography Contract?
- Do I need a second shooter for my wedding photography?
- Do I need a wedding photographer and videographer?
- Why choose a professional photographer?
- Can I get my friends and family to take my wedding photos?
- Should I have an engagement photoshoot?
- Should I have a boudoir photoshoot?
- What is an unplugged ceremony?
- Can I still have nice wedding photos if it rains?
- How to look good in wedding photos
- Do I need a photo booth at my wedding? Can my photographer supply this for me?
- Wedding photo ideas
[Image: Yellow Door Photography]
With so many wedding photographers and styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide on which one is right for you.
A good place to start is to choose a professional wedding photographer with plenty of experience and trust. Look at as many photographers as you like, noting the ones that spark your interest. Make sure to look at their portfolios, including their social media, to gauge if their photography style is for you. You can also read reviews to see what other couples’ experiences with the photographer have been like.
Once you’ve compiled a shortlist of your favourites, send some emails out to enquire about their availability, their prices and any wedding packages they offer. You may even be able to arrange a video call to discuss options before booking anything. Once you’ve compared and contrasted, you’ll likely have settled on the wedding photographer that’s right for you and have already established a relationship with them.
With such a variety of photography styles to choose from and so much talent out there, it can be hard to compare photographers. To help you decide which photographer is right for you, you may wish to ask these 15 questions when you speak to them.
[Image: Paul Gapper Photography]
There are so many different styles of photography, each telling your wedding story in a unique way. It’s important to note that many photographers cover more than one style, and you won’t necessarily need to pick just one.
- Classic / Traditional – These are your posed photos which are great for getting portraits of the couple, and group shots of the family and wedding guests.
- Natural / Documentary style – Also know as candid, photojournalistic or reportage. These photos capture natural, unposed moments as they unfold.
- Fine Art / Editorial – This style focuses on the emotion or expression of the image and can include dark and moody styles. Think magazine-style images.
- Black and White – This is not necessarily a style of photography, but a style of editing. Some photographers prefer to take a few black and white images as they can look very dramatic.
- Drone photography – This is great for showing off the venue, or getting unique angles of the couple and guests.
The cost of a wedding photographer can vary greatly, depending on experience, the number of hours needed, location, and various other factors. The average price for a wedding photographer in the UK usually sits around the £1500 mark. For this price, you can expect coverage for most of your wedding day, and a few hundred beautiful images for you to enjoy.
However, if you’re on a budget and just want some simple, no-fuss wedding photos, you can usually find a great wedding photographer for under £500. If you’re having a destination wedding or asking your photographer to travel a large distance to capture your day, you can expect that their quote to be increased to include the travel costs and any accommodation they’ll need.
[Image: Yellow Door Photography]
A photography contract is simply a binding agreement between the couple and their wedding photographer. It will outline the details of both the couple and the photographer. It will likely include the photographer’s hours of work, the price, any terms of payment, deliverables agreed to, delivery dates, and so on.
In many cases, the contract will also serve as a guideline for your photographer to refer to so that they can make sure to deliver everything you have asked for on the day.
Some wedding photographers may offer a second photographer for your wedding day, either included in their wedding package, or at an additional cost. Having an additional photographer means that multiple angles can be shot at once, which is especially great for your wedding ceremony, and capturing a large number of wedding guests.
More cameras mean more of your big day can be captured! If your photographer offers an additional shooter, make sure to ask them whether they are included in the package price, or whether they are charged at an additional cost.
It’s completely up to you if you want to have one or both present for your wedding. The roles of your wedding photographer and videographer usually won’t clash. However, you might want to think about whether there is going to be any overlap in what they will be capturing, or whether you prefer them to work on different parts of your wedding. For example, if you’re happy to have just the photographer for the daytime, your videographer could focus on capturing the great dance moves in the evening.
While your photographer will capture the majority of your wedding day, there are certain things that might be best captured on film too, such as your vows, the reception music and dancing, and your speeches. You could also have your photographer and videographer work together to create a ‘fusion’ style wedding film, which is made up of a combination of stills and video. What a truly special way to capture the most magical day of your life!
If you like the idea of having both, speak to your wedding photographer as they may also offer videography as a service, or regularly work with someone who they can recommend. Bear in mind that this will, of course, cost more, as you are paying both professionals for their time.
You can read our Ultimate Guide to Wedding Videography here.
Choosing a professional and experienced photographer simply means less stress for you. They’ll know exactly what they’re doing and how to get the best shots of your day. In the event of an illness or an emergency, a professional photographer will always have a back-up plan to make sure you still get those precious photos if they cannot attend. For example, they may have an additional shooter who is able to attend instead or they may work with another photographer they trust who can step in.
Professional photographers will also have assurances such as public liability insurance, great reviews from previous experience or notable awards to their name. You’ll also be able to have a much higher level of trust and feel more relaxed with an experienced wedding photographer, as you’ll be confident that they will deliver on what was promised.
Following on from the previous question, a professional photographer really is the best person to capture your wedding day. You can, of course, ask a friend or family member to take your wedding photos, if you have a very low budget. Bear in mind, they may not be able to capture exactly what you’re looking for, and may not have all the necessary equipment.
Furthermore, it’s important to consider how much time you want to take for your wedding photos, and whether your friend or family member will be happy to do so. They may want to socialise with your other guests when you would be looking to have some couple photos taken. Ensure that yours and their expectations of the day are the same. If your wedding budget is very low, you still may be able to find a wedding photographer who can shoot for only a few hours, therefore reducing the rate. It’s definitely worth enquiring before you rule it out!
Some photographers may also offer an engagement shoot prior to your wedding day. This is a great opportunity to get to know your wedding photographer and what to expect on the big day. It can also help you to feel more relaxed on the day itself. Ask your wedding photographer if this is something they offer, and whether this is included in the price or at an additional cost.
Engagement shoot photos make a wonderful memory for you to keep. Planning a wedding can be stressful, and it can be a great idea to take some time out to relax and enjoy each other’s company, whilst getting some stunning photos.
[image: Paul Gapper Photography]
Having a boudoir shoot prior to your wedding day can give you a huge self-confidence boost, which is great if you’re camera shy. It will be an intimate experience and so you’ll want a professional photographer whom you can trust. Before the session takes place, your photographer will discuss with you your preferences for the shoot, and what parts of your body you are most, and least, comfortable with. They’ll then be able to give you guidance on the best angles and poses.
The photoshoot can last up to two hours, so it’s best to arrange it before your wedding day, not on the morning of. Ask your wedding photographer if you can include a boudoir shoot as an addition to your wedding photography contract.
After the shoot, you’ll have a gorgeous selection of images to cherish. Your photographer may be able to provide them in an album, which would make a great wedding day gift for your partner.
Not sure what to wear for your boudoir photoshoot? See our Ultimate Guide to Wedding Lingerie for all the info you need!
An unplugged ceremony is where all of your wedding guests are politely asked not to take any photos or videos on their mobile phones or cameras for the duration of the ceremony. This means your photographer is able to capture better shots of your ceremony, without having mobile phones in the way, blocking the faces of your guests. It’s very much a personal choice whether you choose to have an unplugged ceremony or not. Some couples prefer their ceremony photos to be ‘phone-free’, whilst others love seeing what photos their guests have captured!
Absolutely! Ask your photographer if they have a back-up plan for if it rains on your wedding day. They may be able to suggest some great locations at your venue where you can stay dry for your photos. If you still want some outdoor photos, why not buy some clear, white or red umbrellas for some seriously romantic shots in the rain?!
You will likely have heard this many times before, but people always look their best when they have a natural, smiling expression. Choosing a professional, experienced photographer will help put you at ease and help you to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. You may also prefer to opt for a documentary-style photographer, who can capture natural, unposed moments of your special day. Brides can also get their hair and makeup professionally done to ensure it stays in place all day, and grooms can buy or hire some great quality suits to help look their very best!
A photo booth is an excellent way for you and your guests to get some fun photos of your wedding day. The images are usually instantly printed, so your guests can either take them home as a great memento or add them to your wedding guestbook! There are lots of options to choose from, such as a ‘Magic Mirror’ photo booth, or a simple camera stand set up with a gorgeous styled backdrop. Some wedding photographers do offer a photo booth as part of their services, so it’s definitely worth asking!
It’s a great idea to come up with a list of photos that you’d love to have captured on your special day. Your photographer can then try their best to make them happen! Here are some of our favourite wedding photo ideas to get you inspired…
Pre-Ceremony or First Look
A beautiful photo that encapsulates a truly special moment between you both. There are no rules to say if you actually sneak a peek or not before you say ‘I do’ – we absolutely love this idea! Plus, this shot doesn’t have to be about you and your partner, it could be you and your parent. A father/daughter first glance is always a tear-jerker and a beautifully emotional moment to capture.
[image: S.R.Urwin Photography]
As mentioned above, rain on your wedding day is a great excuse to get some fun images with umbrellas! As well as making for a great group photo, you could also get some very romantic shots of just the two of you. How about putting some fairy lights under a clear umbrella for a magical evening photo of you both?
[Image: Paul Gapper Photography]
A simple yet beautiful shot to capture is one of the bride and bridesmaid bouquets all together. Often these little details can be missed, so this is a great opportunity to get your flowers captured whilst having some girlie time together, whether before or after the ceremony.
The Flowing Veil
You don’t need a windy day to get this fabulous shot! Your wedding photographer will be happy to direct you to get the perfect picture. If your photographer is shooting alone, you may need to get a friend to give a hand by holding the veil up for them to get the flowing effect.
[image: Stone Photos]
Dramatic silhouettes make stunning images for you to look back on! They are the perfect way to get some extra photos after the sun has gone down. We absolutely love this shot by S.R.Urwin Photography.
Using a bubble machine or individual bubble mixers is a great way for your photographer to get some beautiful, interesting shots of you two as a couple. It’s also a brilliant substitute if your venue doesn’t allow confetti. Plus, it’s a great way to keep any kids entertained!
Coloured Smoke Canisters
If you’re looking to get some unique and artistic wedding photos, why not make use of some coloured smoke canisters? Be sure to ask permission from your venue before using them though. Your wedding photographer will love getting creative with the colours!
Style: Candid, natural photography.
Locations: Oxfordshire-based, but covering weddings throughout the UK and destination weddings.
Hey, I’m Steve! No wedding is too small or too far away that doesn’t deserve to be beautifully documented. Good photography is more than a fancy camera. I’ve spent over 10 years perfecting my skills and photographing weddings. I know what makes a great composition and how to capture feelings and show emotions, in a beautiful way. My style of wedding photography is best described as authentic and honest. I focus on candid and natural expressions with, at times, a hint of direction from me! I will be striving to bring out the most comfortable and natural side of you.
You will find my images include all those things you have worked so hard to pull together and the things you’ll probably otherwise forget. I am always focusing on candid, natural unscripted moments which will happen throughout your wedding as well as those little pieces and parts you have woven together to make it YOUR day. As this never-to-be-forgotten event draws to a close, you will see me on the dance floor with your family and friends, still capturing your special day as you continue to celebrate long into the evening.
“We want to thank you so much, for making our day so perfect. You really made our day so special! People say, having photographers on your wedding day feels awkward and imposing. We can, hand on heart, say the complete opposite. You both really made our day, and now thinking back, it wouldn’t have been the same without you. It’s hard choosing suppliers; we are so proud of ourselves for choosing you. Thank you so much.” – Jane and David
Style: Natural, unobtrusive and relaxed.
Locations: Based across Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, but covering weddings in the UK and abroad.
Hello I’m Graham and I’m a multi award-winning wedding photographer with over a decade of experience. 15 years ago I wasn’t yet a photographer and, like you, was planning my own wedding. I was counting down the days until I could tie the knot and marry the love of my life at our dream wedding venue in Buckinghamshire.
As the days and weeks slipped by and our wedding date came ever closer, the worry and stress began to build. We were well prepared and had researched and planned all the details, even producing a handbook for the ushers and bridesmaids. We didn’t want to spend our wedding day worrying!
We wanted our day well documented and recorded, not just for us but for our family and friends to enjoy the memories of our day both after the wedding and into the future. I knew how hard it was to find a professional photographer who could capture exactly what we were looking for.
Yellow Door Photography was borne from my own experience (and feedback from couples) in wanting to provide a relaxed, natural and unobtrusive style of photography. One that captures all those special moments and provides couples with the relief that they have found a true professional who is passionate about their craft. Who is filled with personality and fun and who truly values every wedding, taking away the worry and stress, allowing you to truly enjoy your wedding day both now and in the future.
“Graham was awesome all along. He really listened to us and even stayed for a bit longer, free of charge. We are not big fans of photographs and definitely not good at posing, but he made sure we felt relaxed and confident during all session. We had loads fun in the end! And when we thought our experience couldn’t get any better, we received a beautiful wooden box with a pen drive with all our photos in the post. Honestly, we can’t recommend him enough!” – Aloma and Alex
Style: Reportage / Documentary / Photojournalist.
Locations: All London, 100-mile radius from the M25 including Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex, all the Home Counties.
Hi I’m Paul and I’m an award-winning documentary wedding photographer based in South London. I capture natural, fun wedding photographs in and around London and throughout the UK. I have an informal and relaxed style, capturing everything from the excited giggles in the morning to those wicked dance moves in the evening. If you’re looking for an experienced but modern photographer, then look no further.
My wedding photography brings together both my practical experience of punctuality, reliability and my focus on the individual, with my creative side. With nearly 200 weddings to my name, I will bring all that experience to your wedding. I know where to be at the right time, when to stay in the background (even at 6’2” I can remain invisible), and when to step forward to capture those special moments. I know how to help everyone feel comfortable and to capture the day in an unobtrusive way.
“Paul was just brilliant! We loved the candid nature of his photos and chose him right away. He worked closely with us and captured our wants and needs perfectly; we really didn’t want too many posed photos and he didn’t try to nudge us in another direction. Everybody at the wedding commented on what a lovely man he is, put everyone at ease and managed to capture some really special moments. Highly recommended!” – Rosie and Adam
Style: Light, natural and romantic documentary-style photography.
Locations: Berkshire based but willing to travel to anywhere in the UK.
Your wedding day will be the most incredible, emotive and fast-paced day of your life. That’s why your wedding memories are so valuable. Let me capture them for you!
I’m a Berkshire wedding photographer based near Newbury. Specialising in a natural, romantic style with a friendly, unobtrusive approach. My work has been published in national wedding magazines and I’m currently a finalist in the Guides for Brides’ customer service awards 2020. I’m the preferred wedding photography supplier to nine Berkshire wedding venues including Bradfield College, De Vere Wokefield Estate and Ufton Court. With a wealth of experience (370+ weddings photographed), you can trust me to deliver!
I want to show the true essence of your connection as a couple, your families and friends and the magic of your day. I capture moments as they happen in a documentary style (also known as candid or reportage). I also take the time to photograph beautiful portraits of your loved ones and the wedding party. When we set off into the grounds of your venue for some signature couple images, it’s so nice for you to take this moment alone together to let it all sink in. I will feature nature and the seasons as a backdrop to your wedding memories. When you look back at your wedding photos, I want you to feel like you’re in that moment once again.
I offer a personalised service experience throughout your wedding planning journey, right from initial enquiry through to image/album delivery. With years of wedding experience under my belt, I can help you get the most from your wedding photography. You’ll be dealing directly with me, the owner, throughout. I will also be photographing your wedding. I pride myself on great customer service. My aim is to build a good relationship with yourselves so that on the day you feel completely comfortable with me and can trust me to achieve the results you are looking for.
I love that photography can give you moments to cherish forever. Celebrating love with family and friends is one of the best things in life. Being part of these occasions is a joy. I have found my passion and believe that photography is my true vocation.
“Annabel is fantastic!!! I could not have asked for anyone more passionate, genuine and hard working than her. Everything from the planning before the wedding to receiving the final product was seamless. Annabel really listened to our wishes and helped us to make our day so memorable and special. I would recommend her in a flash to anyone. Very kind and super talented lady. Thank you Annabel….. you’re one of a kind!! xx” – Nicola and James
Style: Natural, relaxed and unobtrusive contemporary style photography.
Locations: Based in Oxfordshire, covering home counties and happy to travel internationally.
Hi – We are Julia and Richard Evans and are professional portrait and wedding photographers based in Oxfordshire. We either work together to create a super team, or individually with assistants depending on your requirements. Between us, we normally photograph about 50 weddings a year and we’d love for yours to be one of them!
Our photography style is truly unique, as it combines both documentary/reportage style with contemporary photography. We love to capture the magic and emotion of such a special occasion.
Coverage is for the whole day, from getting ready right through to and after the first dance or any other ending ceremony. A short time will be spent with the family group photos, whilst we take lots of relaxed informal shots of the big day.
We’ll make sure to capture a mix of fun shots with the bridesmaids and ushers and imaginative, natural and relaxed shots with the bride and groom to create the perfect portfolio of pictures. Most importantly, we’ll blend in with your wedding party so you won’t even notice we’re there! Natural and spontaneous images come from only being in the right place at the right moment.
“Richard is extraordinarily talented at making people at ease. He helped make our wedding day extra special and captured some truly beautiful photos without being intrusive. Many of our family and guests commented how professional and friendly he was. We can’t recommend Julia Evans photography enough. We are looking forward to seeing Richard again at our friend’s wedding later this year.” – Charlotte and James
Style: Relaxed, natural, unobtrusive and fun.
Locations: Berkshire, Bucks, Surrey and Oxfordshire, but is happy to travel further too.
Loren’s style is very relaxed, allowing you to enjoy your day with little interruption. She will discuss your precise needs before the day and will ensure this is translated into stunning and memorable photographs. She can capture your day from make-up to first dance and present you with a stunning selection of images that tell the story of your special day. Loren has 25 years experience photographing weddings and is a fully qualified and insured photographer. She will ensure you feel relaxed, resulting in happy, natural shots. Her aim is to blend in and photograph your day as it unfolds, including a selection of fun and romantic couple and group shots too.
Style: Documentary and Fine art.
Locations: Based near Oxford, but are happy to travel throughout the UK and abroad.
We’re a husband and wife team each with our own style. We aim to give every couple images they will love forever, images that bring back every emotion, every memory, for years to come. We shoot in documentary and fine art styles, so we not only record your big day, but add that little extra sparkle to make our images stand out. We love to get to know our couples before the big day, which we feel helps us capture great candid images, that really tell the story of their celebration.
Ready to book your ideal wedding photographer? Find them on Guides for Brides.
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