Your wedding photos are something you’ll treasure forever and are a lasting reminder of the happiest day of your life. It is therefore important that you know exactly what you want and what you need to do when arranging your wedding photography.
You need to decide whether you want to hire a professional photographer or not. It can seem like the easy and affordable option to just rely on your guests and members of your wedding party to take photos, but you run the risk of not getting the same quality of results that you would by hiring a professional. An established professional photographer will have photographed plenty of weddings, and will know about the key moments you will want to have photos of, and therefore will be ready to capture them. A family member or photography student may not be experienced enough to be prepared for special moments.
To find a photographer, you can look for adverts in the local paper, listings in the phonebook or search online to find websites. A good way to find a reputable photographer is to ask your married friends who they used and how they were. If they had a good experience with that photographer, ask if they have a card or any contact details they can pass on. It’s best to start looking as soon as you’ve set a date, as you don’t want to risk the photographer you want being fully booked on your wedding day.
When choosing your photographer, look at a portfolio of their work and ask to see testimonials from other couples who have employed them. Ask if they have insurance should their cameras fail, and if they use back-up units and additional memory cards to store the images. Will they back up the images throughout the day? Check how many cameras they plan on bringing with them as well – if they’re only bringing one camera and one lens, what do they plan to do if that camera fails? The answers to these questions should tell you just how professional the photographer is.
Price is a massively varying factor when it comes to picking a photographer. It is worth bearing in mind though that the more expensive the photographer, the more likely it is that he uses more high-end, expensive equipment. Some photography companies also send out more than one photographer to a wedding, so you can get separate, simultaneous shots of both the bride and groom getting ready. This will increase the price, so if you’re watching your spending, ask about this.
When you’re picking your photographer, think about the sort of photos you want. Does the photographer specialize in dreamy, romantic photos with soft lighting and editing? Would this work with your modern venue choice and monochrome theme? Make sure you take these things into consideration so your photographs don’t come back looking awkward or clumsy, or not to your taste at all. Discuss whether you want any effects, editing, grey-scaling, and what sort of lighting you want before you book the photographer, and make sure they know your venue. This way they can see what sort of lighting and equipment they will need to bring – a stone church will need a different light set-up to a seafront restaurant.
If you want any specific style of photos, such as funny or quirky ones, check to see if your photographer will shoot these before you book them. Compare a few different sites to see the differences between each photographer’s work, and to look at what the packages they offer include. By comparing a number of different photographers and what they have to offer, you’ll be able to see what is the best and most affordable for you. You may be able to negotiate different aspects of your package, based on whether you want extras such as a DVD, or a proof book. You’ll also have to decide on the size of the albums and photos, and the number of prints you want, which could impact the cost of the package.
You might not want an album included at all. Many professional photographers offer an album as standard, but if you’ve bought one or received one as a gift, you might want to cut the photographer’s album out of the package.
If you’ve fallen for a photographer but they seem way out of your price range, it’s always worth contacting them to see if you can arrange a custom package. Remember, as always, weekends in the summer are the busiest and most expensive times to arrange weddings, so see if an alternative date proves more affordable.
Always get any correspondence and agreements in writing, so that if anything does not go to plan, you will be covered.