A guide to choosing your wedding photographer
Let’s chat wedding photography! Our next guest blog is written by Mark from Mark Raines Photography and is a guide to choosing your wedding photographer.
Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life and with so many wedding photographers out there, it can be a bit of a minefield to choosing the right wedding photographer for you.
So I have put together a guide to try and give couples a few pointers.
Although it can be a difficult subject to breach, first things first is budget. There is no point in finding your dream photographer if they don’t fit into your budget. I like to say Investment. After all, that is what your wedding is. An investment in each other, not just for one day, but for life.
I always say to couples that photography should be one of the areas that you invest in. Aside from fantastic memories from your wedding day, the photos will be whats left to remember your day by in years to come.
You want photos to capture those cheeky smiles, little looks, tears of joy, laughter and the smallest of details that you have spent and invested so much time into. Treasure those memories.
Research styles of photography that you both like. There are hundreds of wedding photographers in Norfolk alone, so you can see a variety of different styles that people offer. Whether it’s traditional, contemporary, candid or colourful – there will be someone out there for you.
Personally, I am a natural light photographer, so I always say that if couples are looking for strong filters and heavily photoshopped pictures, then I am probably not for you. I think people appreciate that honesty. I will often say to couples “Can you envisage yourselves in these photos?”
When browsing through photographers work, normally you will feel a connection to a particular style straight away.
So now you know the style of photography, you can find some photographers in that category. Check out their websites. Have they got several examples of different weddings on their website? Do they have a few years of wedding photography under their belt?
Nowadays with the powers of social media, there are lots of groups for couples getting married. Ask for recommendations from friends, family and beyond. If you have attended a wedding recently and liked that couples photos, why not ask who their photographer was. It can be a great starting point. I always say that the best form of advertising is word of mouth recommendations. Many photographers have testimonials on their websites, Facebook pages or why not check out their page on Google too.
Once you have created a shortlist of photographers, you need to check to see if they are available on your date. That will always be a photographers first question – have you set a date? After all, if a photographer isn’t available on your date, then thats pretty much conversation over. Although, if they are particularly helpful, they may suggest a few other photographers for you to get in touch with.
Examples of work
Next up, you should look at examples of their work. Look at their website and browse through their portfolio. A lot of photographers have a blog on their websites. Many of whom will post real wedding blogs, which can be a great way of being able to see how the photographer works on the day. Do you like what you see?
Have you shot at my venue?
I often get asked this at wedding fairs. It can help to have experience of where those magical locations are, but not a necessity.
In fairness to all photographers, there are hundreds of wedding venues in Norfolk alone, with more and more venues being added each year. Therefore, it’s impossible for a wedding photographer to have shot a wedding at every single venue. So if they haven’t shot at your wedding venue, don’t let it be a deal breaker. Many photographers will often do a recky of a wedding venue before your big day anyway if they aren’t familiar with it.
Meet the photographer
I always feel humbled when being asked to photograph a wedding. The fact that the couple have chosen me to spend their special day with.
When you meet photographers, do you actually like this person? You will spend all day with them and they will be like one of the guests – like your family and friends. Meet up with them and chat. I think its true what they say, first impressions are key. In current times, if you can’t meet in person, talk over Facetime, Skype or Zoom or why not visit them at a forthcoming wedding fair if they are exhibiting at one?
Don’t feel restricted to just talk to one photographer. Most people make decisions by having saying 3 to choose from. Once you’ve chosen your wedding photographer, get everything in writing of what to expect, what you will receive and all of the other t&c’s. Read the contract, take time to understand it and ask any questions before you finalise the booking.
Good luck and happy wedding planning!