Ultimate guide on how to choose a wedding photographer
Getting married? did you know that choosing a photographer is exciting and one of the most important parts of planning a wedding? After all, the only thing you have left is your pictures?
You probably haven’t planned a wedding before and if you’re wondering how to choose a wedding photographer, then this is the place for you.
When you start looking for the perfect Wedding Photographer to capture your day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices and you don’t want to make a mistake. There are so many photographers and styles to choose from ranging from documentary wedding photography to fashion and editorial.
If you want to capture all the magical moments form your wedding, you need to hire a wedding photographer you trust and style of work you like. Below is a complete guide on “how to choose a wedding photographer” to capture your special day.
Where to start when picking a wedding photographer
My name is Wes Simpson, I’m an award-winning UK and Destination Wedding Photographer specialising in luxury weddings and emotional images.
During my time as a professional wedding photographer, I have built up a reputation as one of the most sought after photographers in the North West of England. I’ve photographed weddings worldwide, won multiple awards and seen my work featured in celebrity magazines.
Socially (when someone finds out I’m a wedding photographer) and pretty much at every wedding when I’m talking to guests, people tell me how much they hate their wedding pictures, surprisingly (and sadly) the subject comes up time and time again.
So with this in mind, I’ve decided to write a guide on “how to choose a wedding photographer” for your big day with no regrets.
So, if you’re planning a wedding and wondering where to start when looking for the perfect wedding photographer, this is the place for you.
How to choose a wedding photographer in 10 easy steps
1. What’s Your Favourite Photography Style?
An easy place to start when faced with the question “how to choose a wedding photographer” would be to look at photography style. Keep it simple and ask yourself what type of images do you like.
You need to pick a photography style among the various styles available, so you can choose a wedding photographer who offers exactly that. Look through different images and narrow it down to what you love. Of course, you can make a blend of 2 different styles, you don’t necessarily have to stick to one.
The three most popular styles of wedding photography
DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY:
Which also falls under the titles of Reportage and Photojournalism. Read my dedicated Documentary Wedding Photography page for more information. In this instance, the photographer captures the day as it happens with minimum intervention. If you like natural looking images this might be the perfect wedding photographer for you.
CREATIVE AND FINE ART WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS:
In this category, you can expect high-end photography, posed portraits, creative use of lighting, edited and retouched images. These photographers will be influenced by fashion and editorial magazines and their images and price point will reflect this. If you want to look your absolute best and require images with visual impact, this might be the perfect wedding photographer for you.
TRADITIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY:
Traditional wedding photography will be in line with what your parents might expect. The photographer will have more control and interaction with you and your guest during the wedding day with a focus on producing formal group shots and portraits.
2. Do Your Research
When researching how to choose a wedding photographer, look for reviews from newlyweds and the local papers and search the internet. Look through websites belonging to photographers and check out the photos from other weddings they have done (look at full-day coverage and not just their highlights reel). That way, you can get a general idea of their style.
Also, when your researching how to choose a wedding photographer you can check their social media feed from different platforms including Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. Do they have positive feedback from previous clients? If everything looks good, you can go ahead and set an interview.
3. Professional Organisations
Are they a member of any photographic organisations or governing bodies such as the British Institute of Photography, BIPP for short or The Societies of wedding and portrait photographers, SWPP. A popular online group for photographers is Fearless.
Planning for the worst, check if your photographer is fully insured. Do they public liability and indemnity insurance? Check this against your own wedding insurance to safe guide against accidents and piece of mind. This also helps to ensure the photographer’s professionalism.
5. Conducting Interviews
One of the things to consider on how to choose a wedding photographer is; do you connect with them? Out of all the wedding vendors, it is your photographer that spends the whole day with you. So you need to feel comfortable with that person otherwise you will look uncomfortable on your wedding photographs.
A good idea is to meet your potential photographer in person or via FaceTime / Skype call. You should be able to discuss further your wedding photography needs to see if they can deliver. Don’t set an interview with someone whose fees might be out of your budget. Talk to the photographer to see if you have a good feeling about hiring him/her.
Make sure you mention your wedding venue, time of year and even the time of day too. During this interview, see how you feel about the photographer, their experience, style and approach. Trust your gut.
I believe hiring the perfect wedding photographer is the most important of all your wedding vendors and I not only want to meet your expectations but exceed them. To do that effectively I meet my clients for a planning meeting before the wedding and provide them with relevant information as needed. Request a free wedding planning brochure.
6. Lighting Situations For Your Wedding
An important factor on how to choose a wedding photographer is skills and experience. Whatever you do, make sure you choose a photographer who can handle any lighting situations and has enough knowledge and experience to be able to choose the best lighting for your photos.
Note that there are some easier times to take photos, for example, during the day under natural light with some shade. However, if that’s not your wedding venue, you need to look for a photographer who is skilled in different lighting environments.
When looking through the photographer’s portfolio, look for similar weddings with the same lighting options and see how their photos were captured.
How to decide on a wedding photographer UK
7. What’s The Photographer’s Price?
Prices are one thing to consider when looking at how to choose a wedding photographer. When looking at a photographer’s pricing, you need to see the different packages they offer and what’s included.
For instance, there might be a fee for additional hours, engagement sessions, albums and much more that might be a little extra. Just make sure you know what you are signing up to and if there’s any money to pay later.
BUDGET: There’s no getting away from it, one of the biggest factors on how to choose a wedding photographer is a budget. Let’s face it, weddings can be expensive! But after all, is said and done you’ll want pictures that will reflect your day perfectly.
Like most things, when researching how to choose a wedding photographer, you’ll find a massive variance between wedding photography pricing. You’ll find lower end photographers charging just a couple of hundred pounds, mid-range photographers averaging 2/4K and seasoned pros and specialists charging upwards of 10 grand.
Whatever you decide, remember that an average photographer can make a couture gown look cheap, whereas a good photographer can make a budget gown look amazing.
Whatever your budget, I promise you this, if you invest in good wedding photography in 10 years when you look back at your beautiful pictures you won’t miss scrapping the chocolate fountain or buying a cheaper pair of shoes… Remember, when all is said and done all you have left are your wedding pictures.
The true cost of wedding photography. An ultimate guide.
8. Reviews and Recommendations
When researching how to choose a wedding photographer, you’ll want to know what previous newlyweds are saying about the potential photographers you are looking to hire.
Did the photographer take good photos? Did he/she pay attention to the clients’ needs? How long did they take to produce their photos? Did they produce high-quality photos?
When researching or interviewing potential photographers, it’s a good idea to read some references or testimonials. That way, you can gauge what previous clients have to say and if they would recommend the same photographer to a new client.
Check out some Wes Simpson Wedding Photography reviews and testimonials.
Recommendations are always a BIG one. Ask your family and friends for recommendations, especially newlyweds. Chances are they will be able to give you a comprehensive lowdown on their wedding photographer and can show you their pictures and wedding album.
85% of my bookings come from word of mouth and recommendation. You won’t see me at wedding shows. Check out my approach page to photographing your wedding.
9. Post-Processing and Delivery
Here, you need to assess the turnaround time for the photographs, albums and the final quality. You need to choose a photographer with consistent post-processing quality that you like. That way, you are not disappointed when photos don’t come out the way you’d imagined.
Will the images be delivered via USB stick, online gallery or presented in a wedding album? What is the estimated turn around time and can you print, share and download the images.
10. Happy Ever After
Whatever you do, make sure you choose a wedding photographer you trust and who makes you feel happy inside. With these “how to choose a wedding photographer” tips, you will find the perfect wedding photographer to capture the most unforgettable moments on your big day!
Some additional tips on how to choose a wedding photographer.
How Many Photographers Do I Need? Do I Need A Second Wedding Photographer?
The True Cost Of Wedding Photography. An Ultimate Guide.
Wedding Photography Style. What Is Documentary Wedding Photography?
Choosing me as your wedding photographer
Choosing me as your wedding photographer means you won’t be away from your family and friends for too long. Nothing will be staged or over posed. Every photograph will be a true insight into your wedding and a timeless reminder of the best day of your life.
I understand how much you care about your wedding, which is why more than 400+ couples in over 10 countries have trusted me with their wedding photography.