Weddings are a joyous occasion when family and friends come together to celebrate and toast the happy couple. Planning your wedding day is an all consuming project and there are various guide books to get you off to a productive start. One of the main items on your checklist will be choosing a wedding photographer to record the special moments and capture the atmosphere, wedding dress, bridesmaid’s outfits, wedding party, venues and guests. Photographs are tangible, they don’t go out of date with changing technology, and provide a lasting memory for yourself and future generations to view and cherish.
Tips to help you choose a wedding photographer
It is a good idea to have a clear overview of what you need from your chosen wedding photographer. Questions to ask your self include:
- Would I like a traditional or more contemporary style? Should the emphasis be on formal or un-posed shots?
- Do I require photography taken at home on the morning of the wedding?
- Will all the shots be in colour, or some black and white or maybe others using effects such as sepia toning? Is this something I am happy to leave to the photographer to decide?
- Would I like a copy of the photos on DVD?
- Do I have any special family shots that need to be taken on the day?
- What is my budget?
These questions will help you to create a brief for the photographer when you meet. By establishing this clear brief you will ensure accurate comparative pricing, and on appointment, be sure that the event is captured to suit your requirements, and not those of the photographer.Finding a photographer
Once you have booked your wedding day and venue, you can start creating a list of photographers to contact. The sooner you do this the better as top photographers get booked up quickly. Recommendations from friends and family are a good starting point, as you can get a first hand account of the photographer’s character, the service provided and their reliability. You can also do a Google search on the Internet for photographers in your local area or in the location where you plan to get married and view their website for additional details.
Contact photographers to qualify your list
To achieve superb quality photographs it is important to find a full time photographer who is well qualified, experienced and, ideally, has previous experience of work in your chosen venue. Make initial contact to check availability on your wedding day and then arrange to meet at your home or their studio. It’s a good idea to take along a friend or family member to get another impartial opinion on the photographer and his work.
Viewing the photographers work
You need to feel absolutely sure that the photographer you choose will capture the essence of your wedding and be able to coax out the best smiles from you and your guests.
- Do they have a flair for making the ordinary appear beautiful
- When viewing samples of the albums, ask yourself, “Do the people in the photographs look happy, relaxed and comfortable?” Postures should be confident and hand placements should look natural.
- Are you able to have a good rapport with the photographer and does he explain things clearly. This is an important aspect as you and your guests will need to take instructions from him regarding pose and positions on the day.
- Do you like their style and do the images tell the story of the Wedding Day?
Questions to Ask
- Confirm that the photographer you meet will be the one actually taking the photos on the day.
- Has he taken photos at the venue before? – ask to see examples.
- Does the photographer have professional indemnity insurance to cover the cost of retaking your photographs if something goes horribly wrong?
- Does the photographer have backup equipment and is it of the same quality as the primary equipment?
- Who will process and develop the film and prints?
Comparing quotesMake sure you ask each photographer to quote for the same job, working to your brief, allowing you to make a fair comparison of quotations. It is important to understand what you are paying for so check the quotation carefully to establish what is included and what is treated as extras. You will find that you generally get what you pay for, and that more experienced photographers may charge more for their services. Emphasise that the quality of print is most important, and establish whether there will be use of digital photography and if so whether photos can be enlarged or edited. Once you are happy with your choice, ensure you return the signed contract and get the booking confirmed in writing. If booked well in advance, phone a week or so before the big day, to ensure everything is in place, and to fine tune arrangements.
On the day, why not also buy disposable single use cameras and leave them on the dining table for guests to capture their own unique take on the wedding. This is a great way to capture more relaxed moments later in the evening when the official photographer has left.