Once our venue had been booked, our next step was to get a photographer booked too! As with venues, your photographer can get, and more than likely will get booked well in advance of the day, and as your everlasting keepsake of the wedding, choosing the right one for you is really important.
So, what should you consider when choosing your photographer? One of the invaluable steps to take is to have a really good look through their body of work. Each photographer has different styles, approaches, themes and techniques that they will use for your day. It also shows their ability and skills as a photographer, and apart from a personal recommendation, there is no better way of ensuring they will meet with your expectations.
Be wary of any photographer that doesn’t have a comprehensive collection of images that they are more than happy to show you. Any reluctance on this should set alarm bells ringing.
It is so easy to get overwhelmed with the options of wedding suppliers available for you at the planning stage, and we found that photographers who are quite open and upfront about their prices and packages (even guideline prices) from the beginning made a better impression on us. We were looking for the right photographer, not just the cheapest, but before you even set a meeting you must have a rough idea of whether they are in your price range or not! I also felt it showed the photographer knew their worth within the industry, and this also demonstrated confidence and pride in their work.
When meeting potential photographers, I’d also recommend getting a detailed quote of what is included (particularly if there is a package option you are going with). An understanding of what is included is very important, and having prices for anything extra you may later choose to add is also a good idea. We went with a package but upgraded it slightly after the wedding, and it was easy because we already had an idea of what the extra cost should be. Also agree the times the photographer will attend during the day for the fee quoted.
The next tip may seem a bit silly, but you really need to LIKE your photographer on a personal level. Yes, they are providing a service, and yes, they should do whatever you ask of them for your day, but they will be spending the WHOLE day with you, and a rapport is vital. You as a couple, or any of your guests, don’t want to spend your day whinging about the photographer. Believe me, I’ve been to weddings where I thought the photographer was a bit of an idiot, and it can have a negative impact on your enjoyment of the day (as much as it shouldn’t).
Communication between the couple and the photographer is so key, to ensure you get the balance of taking photos and spending time with your guests, as well as ticking off everything on that all important shot list. A lot of this will be covered in the pre-wedding prep, but on the day you need to know you can speak with your photographer about anything you want doing differently, and vice versa. If you came away from the day feeling you hadn’t got that perfect shot, or that the photographer got in the way of your enjoyment in any way it would be disastrous, and should have been totally avoidable.
One of our other considerations was how well the photographer knew the venue and it’s surroundings. We got married at the beautiful Dunsley Hall, and as it’s an 13th Century Grade II listed building, it’s interior and exterior are very different to other venues. Our photographer, Maxine from Emotive Imagery, came recommended from the venue, and they even had an agreement of some extra discount if you booked with her. She had shot at the venue on numerous occasions previously, and when we met with her at their wedding fayre, she showed us her beautiful images of the weddings at Dunsley Hall. Because of this past experience, we knew she would be able to get all the best shots using as little time as possible. We also bonded really well with her early on, and in the end, she was the only photographer we sat down to discuss our ideas with. I’d collected a pinterest board (obvs), of some of my ideas for shots, and Bobby pitched in some of his ideas too, and I was so chuffed how well she understood our ideas and gave us her thoughts on how these would work at Dunsley.
Needless to say we were overwhelmed with Maxine’s input and professionalism on our wedding day, and our guests had nothing but positive comments about her and how hard she worked to capture our wonderful day. When the shots came through, they were beautiful, and have given us such joy to be able to share them with our friends and family since the wedding.
A slideshow of our wedding can be found here, hope you like it.