Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Photographer
Getting married is an amazing experience. It is a day filled with emotion, joy, happiness and sometimes a little sadness when a family member or friend who is no longer with us is not there to share our special day.
As professional wedding photographers we know how stressful arranging your wedding day can be. With so many photographers around, where do you start? What do you need to know when looking for a wedding photographer? With prices ranging from a few hundred pounds to many thousands, how do you know if they are right for you?
It is a simple fact of life that with the arrival of digital cameras, many people now call themselves a “photographer”. Over recent years there has been an explosion of people offering their services as wedding photographers, many of who have never received any training, have no insurance, do not use professional equipment and do not have sufficient backups in place to cater for any eventuality.
A professional photographer will have all of the above and this post is a quick “Help Guide” to the things to look for and the questions we recommend you ask when choosing a wedding photographer. Grab yourself a cuppa and get comfy. This is not a definitive guide, merely a general overview of what to look for.
Looking for a Photographer:
Personal Recommendations: Have you been to a wedding recently? What did your friends think of their photographer? As a Yorkshire wedding photographer the majority of our clients come from personal recommendations from either Bride and Grooms who have used us, or from Venues that know the quality of the work we produce and the fantastic value for money we offer.
Google And Other Search Engines:
A quick search on any of the major search engines will produce a mind numbing amount of choices. For example, if you type into Google the search terms “Wedding Photographer” it will return millions results. Simply going through each result would take you years, so as a general rule of thumb, stick with those on page 1 or page 2. The reason for this is simple: If they are on page 1 or 2 then they have taken the time to ensure that their website is well designed, optimised and placed, to ensure that their products or services are easy to find for prospective Bride and Grooms.
Choosing A Photographer
As soon as you have decided on a date, have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation then book all other services required for your wedding day as quickly as possible. Leaving it to the last minute to book your wedding photographer is not a good idea.
Many Bride and Grooms start looking for their photographer the day they get engaged.
The first thing to do is look at a photographers website but do NOT be fooled into thinking this is the be all and end all. Always concentrate on the images and not the website design. These days for a few hundred pounds you can have a real classy looking website designed. Never forget that a website only shows the content that the photographer WANTS you to see. You will only generally see the best images, the ones they want to use to showcase their abilities so take a good look around the website. Have a look and see how many different weddings you can see. If there is only one or two, have they only photographed a few weddings? Also how much information does the photographer give you? Are they up front about their prices or do you have to go in and see them to find out how much they charge? Do they give you specific detailed information about their services? Theel Wedding Productions
Also be VERY wary if they say they are a member of a “Professional Trade Organisation”. Some trade organisations only require photographers to pay an annual subscription fee to join then allow the photographer to use the Organisations logos on their website. Indeed some organisations have absolutely no joining requirements, you do not even have to own a camera and your Granny, who has no idea about photography, could join if she wanted. Do your homework and check out Trade Organisations carefully as they are not all the same.
Some are for full time professionals only and Members are required to undergo evaluation, inspection and have insurance documents checked, others simply let you pay a nominal amount and declare you to be a “Professional Photographer”. Remember that the photography industry is not regulated and anyone can claim to be a “photographer”.
If it seems too good to be true, chances are it is! Many photographers just starting out tend to charge really low prices and only cover their costs. Many see your wedding as a way of building a portfolio of wedding images. Now this will not apply to all budget priced photographers but as a general rule of thumb, if the price seems really low, then there is a reason for it, so try and find out what it is.
For many Bride and Grooms, price ends up being the determining factor. You spend hundreds, if not thousands on the dress, the venue charges a small fortune, then there are the cars, the Grooms attire, Bridesmaids dresses, the cake, the flowers – cutting costs on your wedding photography can result in poor wedding photographs resulting in huge disappointment and photographs of the day that you simply do not want to look at.
Remember it is a one shot event – to get everyone back to retake the photographs will be time consuming and very expensive.
Make An Appointment:
Until you go meet the photographer, you will not be fully informed if they are the right person for the job. At the meeting ask to see photographs from AT LEAST five recent weddings. Ask if the photographer has worked at your venue before and if so ask if you can see some images from that wedding. Ask to see the demo albums – is there a good range to choose from? Does the photographer have letters of recommendation from previous clients, if so ask to see them. Does the photographer work from home or from a Studio? w:
Q. How long have you been trading and how many weddings have you photographed? If the answer is “6 months and 2 weddings, both of them friends of the family who I did not charge because I need the experience and the images for my portfolio” – is this the right photographer for you?
Q. Are you insured?
All professional photographers should carry Professional Indemnity and Public Liability insurance. If they do not then tread carefully.
Q. What are your prices, and what do I get in my package?
Seems a silly question to ask right? Well no! There is nothing worse than handing over your hard earned cash only to find that after the wedding you are not getting what you thought you were. Is there an album in the package? How many hours coverage do you get? What additional products are included in the price? Does the price include image editing? Do you have an overtime fee if we run over?
Q. Do you contract out your wedding photography service?
Picture this scene….. you spend months researching photographers, finally decide on one, get them booked then on the wedding day, someone you have never met before turns up to photograph your big day. How are you going to feel? Angry?