In this article we take a look at some steps to undertake when choosing a professional wedding photographer. This can be used as a guide for brides to help you understand wedding photography and what to expect from a wedding photography package.
1. Your budget
They say on average you should spend 10% of your wedding budget on a wedding photography package. By now you should have an understanding of what you are able to spend on your entitlement wedding. From this you are able to work out how much you can spend on your photographer. While this is no hard and fast rule its certainly a starting point. Photographs will last a lifetime and provide you with memories for ever, so do not be tempted to skimp on the photograph budget.
2. Select a professional wedding photographer
Do not be tempted to book a cheap wedding photographer. They are cheap for a reason! Always book a professional and do not be tempted either to let your "uncle bob" who has a "good" camera shoot your wedding! Whilst you may have friends or family that produce excellent quality photographs of cars, children or landscapes; shooting a wedding is entirely different and the pressures involved in producing a high quality set of 500 + wedding photos can be quite intense if he or she has never managed a wedding party or controlled wedding guests before. Weddings during the dark afternoons of winter or when it rains require professionals that know how to still produce a consistent high quality photos specifically the weather conditions! Ask yourself if your friend or uncle bob could do this?
3. Select your style of wedding photography
Ask yourself if you would like a traditional wedding photography package with formal portraits or a more relaxed candid approach. While the candid or reportage style is probably the most popular at the moment please be aware that some wedding photographers will just do this all day long and not take any group photographs at all. You will need to select what is right for you of course, so if you do want a few groups done you will need to find one that does a good mix of traditional and candid photos throughout the day. The same goes for the way the photos are edited, ask yourself whether you prefer the vintage look to your photos or do you prefer photos to look as they are supposedly to look. Some photographers offer a range of options on your photos in the way they are edited; giving you not just color but black and white; sepia or any other vintage filters on your key shots through the day. While other wedding photographers may just give you a vintage look on every photo. You will need to decide what you prefer.
4. Search for your wedding photographer
By now you should have a good idea of what you are prepared to spend and the style of photography you like. Now its time to select three of your favorites from the many websites or wedding fayres you may have visited. Please understand that most professional wedding photographers will be happy to make an appointment with you one evening and come and see you for a chat to show you more of their work. This will allow you to meet them in person which is an important part of the selection. You may see some fantastic wedding photos on a website but does their personality match what you'd like from your wedding photographer ?! You will be working with this person through the most important day of your life so its equally important to have someone you and your family are happy to be around. They should be friendly, easy to get a long with and deal with as well as being a great and professional photographer.
5. Questions to ask
Ask to view a full set of wedding photos from a wedding day, most wedding photographers will be happy to show you a full set of photos, possibly even from your venue if they have worked there before. Ask about insurance; a professional will have public liability insurance as well as being insured to provide emergency cover your wedding if he or she were to fall ill or have an accident the day before your wedding.
Find out if your wedding photographer will allow you to keep all the edited photos from the day on a disc or memory stick to re print as you wish without any copyright or watermarks. Some wedding photographers will allow you to do so, some still only allow a select few to be printed. Again this may be reflected in the price of the package so choose which method bet suits you.
By now you should have an idea of who you would like to be your wedding photographer. Remember its not just about the quality of the photos! Personality, price and the all round package of what you get all play its part. Take all this into consideration and you should have your answer.