It’s your big day – and naturally, you want to capture every moment of it perfectly. But choosing a photographer you trust with this momentous task can feel like a daunting and difficult prospect.
When meeting couples for the first time, it’s unsurprising to hear that their biggest concern is getting it right – knowing for sure that the photographs taken on their big day can be cherished forever. So here I’ve compiled my ‘big six’ – half a dozen important things to consider before you settle on the wedding photographer responsible for collecting memories on one of the best days of your life.
Consider your ideal style
Before you begin to browse wedding photographers, create a ‘look book’ of the type of images you prefer. These can be found on Pinterest, in wedding magazines or other online sources. Different wedding photographers have personal styles or specialisms – so this is something you’ll need to think about before you embark on your search for ‘the one’. Sample albums and portfolios will provide you with a flavour of each photographer’s individual style. Being clear on what you want (and what you don’t) is a must if you want your wedding photographer to deliver on your big day.
Keep it natural
The best way to photograph a wedding is to go with the flow – capturing moments as they come, and taking advantage of snapshots in time that convey real emotion and sentiment. Making the most of natural, romantic light – finding a spontaneous moments or catching a tiny tear or stolen kiss is what makes a wedding album truly beautiful. Some posed shots (with full family, friends and the couple) are required – but the rest should be real, raw and original. This is a true skill, as it requires versatility, emotion and inspired insight into how you want your day to be remembered. You’ll be able to gauge this ability by looking through a wedding photographer’s portfolio and viewing previous albums.
Whilst you’re busy creating memories of a lifetime, you need to know that your photographer is at your side capturing each and every one.
One skill a wedding photographer must possess is the ability to be fully involved at all times, whilst causing minimal disruption to proceedings. You want to be able to relax and enjoy your big day, without worrying about whether the photographer has captured this or that, or feeling frustrated when they are getting in the way of a special moment and preventing you from fully letting go or having fun. Couples they have worked with in the past should testify the flexibility and coverage a photographer has provided – so you can rest assured that they won’t miss a trick whilst staying out of the picture themselves.
A wedding is unforgettable – but it’s also unrepeatable. There’s no second run – so your photographer must be calm and confident – something that comes with experience. You also need a wedding photographer who puts you at ease – someone you get on with well and feel comfortable around. You (and your family) will be sharing personal, intimate moments with them – so you also need to feel happy to share each moment, and any specific requests you have. Always ask about how many weddings they have done, and if you detect nerves, poor attitude or uncertainty, go with your gut.
Professional wedding photographers usually manipulate your photos in some way after the final selection has been made – and just as they have different shooting styles, they also have varying editing styles. How you like the photos edited will depend on your personal preference – some couples prefer lots of black and white, brides ask for varying degrees of retouching, and other effects can make for a stunning image – such as adjusting brightness to emphasise strands of natural light passing through trees, or the glow around the happy couple as they confirm their vows. The best type of editing is generally natural – not overly airbrushed. This is something to look out for – as you need to know that the people in the photographs are going to look like themselves, not blurry imitations. Poor editing can also ruin beautiful photographs – and once you’ve received the finished album, it’s unlikely a fresh edit or request for raw files will be accommodated. You can see examples of a natural editing style here on my wedding photography page.
Always ask for testimonials and reviews
Once you’ve created a shortlist, it’s time to ask each wedding photographer in turn for a recommendation or two from a couple they have worked with in the past. Good photographers will have plenty of testimonials to choose from – and may even have them published on their website. This is the acid test – and the best way to know that the person you trust with your wedding photography has the experience and expertise to deliver.
Searching for an experienced wedding photographer to take care of you on your big day? Learn more about my unique and carefully considered approach to wedding photography here.