Choosing the right wedding photographer for your special day

When you have said your vows, eaten the cake, danced the night away and thoroughly enjoyed celebrating the most important day of your life with your family and friends, what will you have left to evoke the special memories of this great day?  Your photo album, of course!  Ensuring you find the right wedding photographer to capture the images and mood of this special occasion takes some time and patience but is obviously well worth the effort. It is advisable that you begin your search early as possible as many of the best photographers become fully booked very quickly.

As you begin your search you will probably hear about people who have friends of friends who have taken wedding pictures.  Some of these photographers may do it for a hobby and may well have done a good job. If you are considering this as an option because of budget by all means use the following ideas to help you come to a decision, but remember you often get what you pay for. It is worth spending that little bit more to find an experienced, professional photographer capable of delivering the goods.  After all in years to come you want to be able to look through your album and reflect on what a great day you had.  Only a truly professional photographer is able to produce the images that can bring alive how you felt on that day. Some photographers work for small or large companies others work for themselves.  Some companies do many weddings a year some do only a few. Some do a lot of advertising others do only a little. Meticulous research will bring rewards.

So, what do you need to look for in a great, professional wedding photographer? 

Wherever you get the name of a potential photographer always arrange to see them personally, interview them and bear in mind the following:-

Qualifications and Reputation

Professional qualifications in many occupations are a reasonable indication of a degree of professionalism. However with regard to photography there really is no substitute for experience and reputation. Ensure that the photographer has a good track record and that bridal photography is their specialism.  If you are considering using a photographer with a good reputation who came by referral even a professional, still be thorough in your research. It may also be useful to ask the photographer for any references from previous satisfied customers.

The Photographers Work

Ask to see examples of the photographers work, not just the best photographs but an example of a whole album.  This will tell you if their ability is consistent. Most couples are not photographers themselves and therefore are not always sure when examining work if what they are seeing is for instance technically good. However you will know if an image is pleasing to you.  Some things to maybe look for are whether the album tells the story of your wedding day. Is there a variety of images or are the pictures similar? Is there a mix of portraits, group photographs and maybe some action shots?  Do the pictures capture people`s emotions and preferably the happy ones? Remember if there are particular images with particular details you would like, for example a picture that shows the wedding rings you can discuss them with your photographer prior to the day.  Some styles of picture can be traditional or classic, the kind your grandma would expect to hang on her wall. These often stand the test of time. Other pictures can have a more modern or fashionable flavour where lighting and background produce more idealized images of the bride and groom. These pictures can very quickly become dated.  All in all you would expect to see a range of the photographers work and expect to be given professional advice on how to arrange your album.  A good, professional photographer will give you a very personalized service, attempting to use the wealth of their experience and creativity and being sensitive to your needs and requirements.  

Personal Characteristics

All technical aspects of professional aside perhaps one of the most important aspects of choosing your photographer is whether you feel you can actually get on with them, do you feel some kind of `chemistry` in your relationship with them.  It’s an indefinable quality but is important if you are to feel confident that they communicate well with you on what needs to be done to get the photographs you need.  After all, your photographer is going to be encouraging non-professional models i.e. your family and friends to become stars in your show using whatever environments and conditions are available to them and relying on you to sometimes help to stage manage the activities. A good relationship is crucial. They should be patient and calm and have experience of working under pressure. You will get a feel for these things during your initial meeting and any subsequent meetings.

It is wise to never underestimate the importance of wedding photography.  How you felt and what you did on that special day will be recorded in images forever and cannot be erased or changed. A professional wedding photographer will share your passion for making your wedding day special and memorable. It’s your day and you deserve the best in every way.  Ensure you have the best person for the job.

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