Well, let’s start off by saying that nobody actually really needs a wedding photographer! We’d love to think that we’re vitally important and an indispensable part of any wedding but, all you actually need to get married is love, a registrar and a witness or two. The rest of the paraphernalia associated with weddings is just add – on fripperies peddled by the wedding industry!
O my goodness the bitterness! Sounds like I have just talked myself out of a job – if so please feel free to leave now!
However most of us are a little softer and more romantic than this and, quite rightly so, want a forever record of what will be one of the most important days of our lives. If this is the case then the photography becomes incredibly important, it’s definitely a luxury but one that it’s important to get right.
So, if you are at the stage of thinking that you should have a photographer for your big day here are three quick and easy top pointers to help you on your way to fining the perfect fit!
1) Style – Decide what sort of style of images you like and the type of approach you prefer. This can be quite complicated especially as a lot of photographers work in a bit of a mix or hybrid of styles. However basically you need to decide if you want a more traditional approach with lots of family groups and set up bride and groom shots, a more editorial or fashiony approach where again the shots are set up or posed to a certain extent but have a much more contemporary edgy look or a photographer who has a more documentary, natural approach and will essentially photograph the day as it happens.
The easiest way to do this is to have a good look through wedding blogs, photographer’s websites and social media looking for the types of images that appeal. Making a Pinterest board can help you to define what you like and you then need to find some photographer’s who fit. Don’t get too bogged down by the terminology mentioned above, it doesn’t really matter, it’s much more important to get a photographer who’s style appeals to you.
2) Budget – Always a bit of a sticky moment! So, pick yourself off the floor and pull your bottom jaw in and make a realistic budget for your photographs. Some sources suggest 10% of your total budget – is life really that black and white? – I’m not so sure. Some couples cut back on other aspects of the day because the photography is so important to them and fund it that way and others, for whom it is less of a priority hire a cheaper photographer or don’t have one at all. My personal feeling is that we are a luxury and there’s not really any point in having cheap second class luxury – you will never regret hiring a great photographer and will forget the financial outlay pretty quickly. Bad wedding photographs will blight you for years afterwards though. Hire a great photographer or don’t bother at all? I think that’s basically what I’m saying, it’s a bit drastic but good advice.
The other thing that will take a bit of sorting out is exactly what you get for your money. A good baseline to use for comparison is how much each photographer charges for them to photograph on the day and to provide you with a disc of images. A vast majority of photographers offer this as their basic service but if you can’t see this then ask – most of us will create some sort of bespoke package to your requirements and our prices may well vary depending upon whether your wedding is in our out of the main season, is a weekday or weekend or whether we are fully booked or not around the time of your big day.
3) Personality – You really do have to get on with your photographer. They will be in close proximity to you both for a lot of your wedding day and you have to feel comfortable with them. It’s really important that you meet in person or at least Skype or even chat on the phone before booking to check that there is a connection between you. Often this is the most important ingredient in the mix and I have been told by countless couples that they booked me because they liked me. Nice! I hope they liked my pictures as well but it’s good to know and if we all get on it makes the whole process so much more natural, enjoyable and easier!
I hope that’s given you a few pointers to help you on your way!
If you are looking for a photographer whose clients often book because they just like him, has great photographic style and will hopefully be in your budget then GET IN TOUCH. I’m always happy to chat!