tips

How to choose your wedding photographer

If you’ve come across this post because you have been searching for tips and advice on how to best choose a wedding photographer, chances are photography is going to be an important part of your wedding day. The process of Googling ‘best wedding photographer’ can be a daunting one given the variety of photographers and styles. 

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So how do you know if a photographer is best fit for you?

Here are my top 5 tips on how best to choose your wedding photographer:

  1. Go with a specialist

Wedding photography isn’t just about being good with a camera. Someone who is amazing at photographing fashion in a light controlled environment with models who know how to pose, is not the same as documenting live events with people who may be a bit camera shy. And beyond the photos themselves, there is the unique job of managing the guests, the family and the wedding suppliers….

I firmly believe that to do a certain branch of photography well, your heart must be fully in it and that you love the subject you are photographing. A wedding day is a once in a lifetime event that has enormous sentimental value. Your chances of beautiful photos are far greater in the hands of a specialist who has heaps of experience and who will care about getting your day right. 

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2. Style - take your time!

If you are searching for a photographer through places like a well curated wedding blog or wedding directory, it’s likely that you will be faced with lots of varying styles. If you are not accustomed to looking at a lot of photography, go through as many portfolios as possible to work out what your unique taste is. 

Some styles lean towards pure documentary where there are hardly any posed photos at all, others focus more on set-pieces. Some work will appeal to clients who want highly elegant photos with a feminine edge to them and in contrast some styles can be anti-wedding and focuses on high energy and humour. No one style is best, but take your time to make sure it is right for you.

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3. All wedding photographers have unique skill sets

I think this is one of the most practical and useful steps you can take to make sure your photographer fits you. You only get one chance to do this so it really pays to do your homework. No photographer is ever going to display ALL of their work on their website - there just isn’t room for everything. Ask your short list of photographers to access a selection of full, real and recent wedding galleries delivered to past clients. Whilst it is a laborious task going through so many photos, the time spent will be a worthwhile investment. This ensures you get a more accurate sense of the photographers skill-set. 

A wedding photographer needs a range of skills, from documenting to taking great portraits of  couples, groups and working across a potentially wide range of people. They also need product photography skills for the details, the food, landscape and architectural photography depending on the venue. Someone who might be great at delivering 'hero' portrait shots in natural light might not be as good at dance floor pictures when you have to work in tight spaces under difficult light conditions.  Most importantly, it ensures you have a realistic expectation of what you will get. 

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4. Ask your photographer what their favourite photos are!

Everyone is different and the way we shoot is very much led by what we're personally attracted to and enjoy shooting. I always think it is very revealing finding out what’s really in their heart and how their eye is led.

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5. Meet your photographer in person

Or at least have a meeting via video chat. Remember the photographer will be around you all day. How you get on and whether you can trust them to be polite, friendly and sensitive towards you and your guests is important to the photo outcome.  

Happy hunting!

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