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Ideas

How to choose your wedding photographer

Red7 , September 5, 2013

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Choosing the photographer for your big day is one of the biggest decisions you need to make. After the cake’s all gone and the confetti’s swept away, all you’ve got to show for your months of painstaking planning is your ring, your bloke and your memories. So of course, you’ll need the perfect photos to help you remember your perfect day. We’ve put together our top tips to help you make a snappy decision!

Budget

Experts say you should spend 10% of your entire wedding budget on your images. This might sound a little steep, but with wedding photography, you really pay for what you get. Taking into account their expertise and equipment, it’s no surprise that the perfect photos you’ll show the grand kids may cost hundreds or thousands of pounds. As soon as you’ve set the date you should start researching to find the right deal for you. Determine your budget early so you can discuss with them exactly what you need: do you want shots of the ceremony or a package that captures the whole day? Wedding photos are an investment in all the time and effort you’ve put into planning the perfect day, so make sure you put enough aside to commemorate your meticulous planning. Ask for a breakdown of the costs so both you and the photographer know exactly how the images will turn out – and make sure to take into account the cost of albums and printing.

Pick a professional

When picking your picture takers, it can be tempting to think asking friends or relatives to capture the day will save you an unnecessary expense. But, unless you’ve got guests with actual wedding photography experience, it’s unlikely you’ll get the shots you’re after. And what’s more, getting a friend behind the lens means they’ll be entirely absent from your photo albums. Relying on friends means asking them to forgo their own fun at the wedding to capture yours, so make if you sure they’re willing to do this. Picking a professional means they’re focused on the day as a job, and will be fixed on getting the images you’ve paid for. Choosing someone with wedding experience means they know exactly the sort of shots you’ll treasure.

Get comfortable

Your wedding is the day you get all of your nearest and dearest together, so you may feel a little apprehensive having what is essentially a stranger sticking a camera in your face to snap your romantic and happy moments. When choosing your photographer, conduct telephone interviews so you can make sure that not only are you on the same page in terms of what you want, but also that you’re fully comfortable with them. After you’ve chosen, meet them in person to fully discuss each shot. Being mutually certain on the number of photos, provided shots, prints, and styles means neither of you will feel short changed. If you’re on friendly terms with the photographer by the wedding day, you’ll have no problem asking them focus on specific areas without feeling like a demanding Bridezilla. Look out for deals that include a pre-wedding shoot. Not only is this a great way to get acquainted with the photographer, but it ensures both you and your spouse-to-be won’t feel any awkwardness on the day when it comes to posing.

How to find them

The best wedding photographers get snapped up straight away, so pick early if you wants the best pics. Wedding fayres, wedding magazines and some hotels are all great places to find high quality photographers, but there’s nothing quite like a recommendation. Ask around friends and relatives (or scope out the Facebook’s of vague acquaintances!) to find out who other people rave about. And be sure to check out their photos so you’re sure you agree! Do make sure that these recommendations are not a case of people promoting friends, or hotels being given money to display photo albums. When flicking through portfolios, ensure they have many great shots from few weddings, as opposed to a singular shot from each job. Anyone can take a fluke shot, but not everyone can consistently capture the magic. Ensure they’re free on the day you want, and confirm, confirm, confirm!

What photos do you want?

Much like the rest of wedding planning, picking a photographer isn’t simple. When it comes to wedding photography, there are two main schools of thought. Firstly, traditional photography are the posed front-of-church images that your parents and grandparents will no doubt display on their mantelpieces. Reportage photography is the other type of wedding photographer. This involves natural, candid-style shots that capture the day as a whole. Many people opt for this type of photography as it provides you with the magic shots of dancing uncles and first dances that you’ll want to remember. Of course, getting a photographer for both the day and evening will be more expensive, so discuss with your partner exactly what you’ll treasure ten years down the line. Some, but not all photographers are skilled in both, so make sure prospective photographers outline their styles sufficiently to ensure your needs are met. Before booking them, find out the costs and availability of prints, albums and reprints. Do you want prints, or a disc for you to choose and develop your own images? This might seem like a money saver, but only do this if you have the expertise and access to high quality printers that’ll do your images justice. If it’s important to you that out-of-town relatives can see the photos and order prints for themselves, make sure to ask if your photographer can provide Online Picture Proofing for this. Carefully visualise your big day (as if you haven’t already!) to make sure you’ve thought of everything in terms of picking a photographer: churches and receptions that run late into the night will need good lighting systems. Be sure to communicate fully with your photographer-to-be so you don’t have to worry on the big day!

Do you have some good advice or tips from your own experience finding a wedding photographer? Please share them with us on our Facebook page.

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