I want to start of by saying, this blog isn't a dig at newly established photographers or low cost ones for that fact. Its me trying to give advice on what to look for in your wedding photographer to get the best out of your budget.
Weddings can be expensive, everyone knows this. Prices double as soon as you mention the W word, premium summer dates are booked up years in advance and when its all over and the vows have been said, what are you left with?
A Marriage, Memories & Hopefully some beautiful photographs to look back on for years to come.
Now, why would you compromise on this part of your big day?
You can't go back and recreate that day if a photographer misses you walking down the aisle, or if your first kiss photo is completely our of focus.
This doesn't mean you have to pay for a photographer that charges £1000's assuming because there expensive that they are good.
Im going to talk you through what to look for in a photographer, questions to ask and how to make your budget work.
First of all, shop around. All friends and family for recommendations, google photographers in your area, look on your venues social media page and see which photographers have shot there, even ask your venue for recommendations.
once you've gathered a selection, look through there website & social media pages to see there style. Does this suit your style?
Its no good having someone who only photographs candid moments, if your wanting to have a lot of styled poses.
On the other hand if your having a colourful wedding, don't choose someone who mostly shoots black and white.
They need to fit your style and needs.
Next, read there reviews online, see what others have said about how they worked together. Most people will only leave a review if they've truly been happy with a service, so your bound to get genuine written reviews.
Now, if so far you've been impressed, the next step is to arrange to meet up. Do not book someone without meeting them. Its important to feel comfortable and relaxed with your photographer. They will be sharing one of the most important days with you, and you need to be relaxed around them.
by arranging a meeting its a chance for you to get to know each other, talk about your day and how they will capture it for you.
Important questions to ask at this meeting
How long have they been photographing weddings?
have they shot at your venue before? if so can you see examples
What will be included if you book with them? Chats, meetings, communication, pre wedding shoot, how many photographers, Disc/USB, Album, Viewing Gallery etc.
Are they insured?
What is there back up plan if they were unable to make the day?
How long after the wedding will the images be available to view?
These are just a small selection of questions to ask, most photographers will cover these while chatting to you anyway.
Now comes the cost, every photographer is different.
Most low priced photographers are just starting out or doing it part time, so they don't have to rely on photography as a full time income. They can afford to offer at a lower price. this isn't to mean your going to get an awful service, but it does mean you need to make sure your getting a professional. Insured, trained, experienced.
Hiring someone who has only photographed some candid shots at a friends wedding in the background is great, but when it comes to working a full day, under pressure switching between dark and light rooms, with changing weather and time constraints is a completely different ball game. Experience really is key.
Look at what you are getting for the cost. Photographers Time at meetings, emails, phone calls, time on the wedding day. Editing time, album design, order processing. that is all time related, then you get your products. Albums, USB's, Prints. Photographers spend a lot of time searching for high quality suppliers to give your images the best finish. All this is to be taken into consideration.
I feel like I've just rambled on and thrown all sorts of information out there but its important that you don't regret your choice, you can't go back.
So top 5 tips to remember.
Don't be afraid to ask questions, its your day and you want lasting memories.