For those who haven’t seen part 1 of this series, please take a few minutes to read Choosing a wedding photographer | Part 1.
6. How much?
This is often the decider for most couples and while it is important, there is more to choosing a wedding photographer than price. High end prices do not always guarantee the highest quality. Take a look at some websites of the £1500-£2000 photographers and decide if you think they are worth it? At the other end of the scale, you’ll find the £200 shoot and burn photographers who just photograph the wedding, load the photos on DVD and send them out to you the next day. They spend hardly any time editing, the photos will be badly composed and look flat and lifeless.
Some photographers openly show prices on their websites, others you need to email or phone for a quote. Most photographers will offer a variety of packages from just the ceremony only to full day photography from the preparations to the first dance. If you want something different to what is shown on the pricing page then don’t be afraid to ask.
Always make sure of what you are going to get for your money. Some photographers (including some very local to me) display a price for photographing the wedding and nothing else. If you book them, that is all you get and if you actually want to see your photos, then you have to pay extra for the USB or an album. Make sure you aren’t being charged extra for travel allowances and VAT.
7. Who will your photographer be?
This is easy if you choose a small business to photograph your wedding, as most wedding photography businesses are one man (or woman) bands. If you book with them, the person you speak to will be the one to photograph you. There are, however a growing number of larger companies out there who will take your booking and then assign a photographer to come along on your wedding day. You’ll have no idea who your photographer is going to be until they arrive on the day. If your photographs are important to you then you need to know you can get along with your photographer and that means meeting them preferably before the wedding day!
Some photographers work with a second photographer as standard and some offer a second photographer as an added extra. I prefer to work alone, I like to know I am capturing all the right moments myself instead of leaving it to somebody else. A wedding isn’t the place for the paparazzi. Wedding photography should be discreet.
8. What style?
When you are looking at photographers, you’ll notice different styles and different ways of working. You might not know what these styles are called but you may be drawn to one over the other.
Traditional or posed
Look at your parents wedding album and the chances are you’ll see lots and lots of posed photographs. Traditional photography rarely captures any candid moments and is seen as quite old fashioned. Most people want something more modern but group shots are still as popular as ever.
This style isn’t new to photography but it is new to the world of wedding photography. It’s about telling the story of the day, as things happen, capturing natural candid photos.
I photograph mostly in the documentary style, I have very little input into what happens during the day. I don’t direct people, instead I mingle with guests, getting close to the action. The only time I will have any input is during the group shots, where I will arrange the group for best effect. I like to keep the Bride and Groom portraits looking natural but I will guide you along, giving you tips on how to look your best and lets face it, everyone wants to look their best on their photos.
9. How much coverage do you want?
Most photographers will offer different packages depending on the amount of coverage you’d like. Do you just want the ceremony and group shots covering or would you like the speeches, cake cutting and first dance as well? The most popular option now is full day photography. This includes everything from the preparations before you leave for the ceremony right the way through to the first dance.
Lastly, and one of the most important reasons for choosing your photographer is, do you like them? Do you think you can work them throughout the entire day? I always say that out of all of the wedding suppliers you hire, the photographer is the one you will spend the most time with. You’ve got to feel comfortable with them and got to feel happy about having them around.