If you’re planning a wedding for 2019 or 2020 now is the time to start the process of finding your wedding photographer.
You may be surprised to hear that the majority of wedding photographers are booked approximately a year in advance of the wedding date. In fact there are some couples starting to book their wedding photographer for 2021.
Choosing your wedding photographer can be a daunting task not to mention time consuming. There are many potential pitfalls for unsuspecting couples to fall into if they don’t do their research properly. In an effort to help you avoid this here are some tips for you:
1) Don’t choose your photographer solely based on price
Ensure that you look into all aspects of your potential wedding photographer before you choose them. The worst thing you can do is base your decision purely on what they charge for their service. A cheaper price does not necessarily mean poor quality, likewise, a higher price does not guarantee the best.
The average price paid in in the UK for a full day wedding photography service including popular products like a USB and story book album is around £1500.
2) Ensure they offer a guarantee
Any decent wedding photographer will guarantee their work. Quite simply if you are not 100% satisfied and the issue cannot be remedied then you should be reimbursed the appropriate and reasonable amount of the fee, even if that means a full refund.
3) Check that they are fully insured
Your chosen photographer should be fully insured by holding both Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance. In the unlikely event of a situation such as an accident, illness or incompetence, you need to need to be safe in the knowledge that you can make a claim against them to cover any losses you may incur.
The other factor to consider is that they may not be permitted to work in your chosen wedding venue without an adequate level of liability insurance. This is especially important if your chosen venue is on the grounds of the National Trust.
4) Always meet with your photographer before booking them
All good wedding photographers will offer a free no-obligation consultation before you confirm your booking. This is when the photographer should ask you all about your wedding in detail so they fully understand your requirements. It is also the perfect opportunity to break the ice and to assess if they are the right fit for you. The same goes for the photographer, as they need to ensure that you are the right client for them.
5) Ask about the equipment they use
I doubt you would be impressed if your photographer turned up to your wedding armed only with his mobile phone and a tiny digital camera that came free in a box of Corn Flakes. An amusing thought, but unfortunately situations like this have been known to happen. Seriously.
Your chosen photographer should be using professional level full frame cameras and appropriate high quality lenses capable of shooting in low light situations such as inside a church.
It is usual for most photographers to have on their person at any one time two cameras both fitted with lenses with at least one spare camera and lens in their kit just in case of malfunction or damage to their main equipment. In addition to this they should also have multiple memory cards, batteries and flash units.
6) Be sure to hire a competent photographer
Your potential wedding photographer may have the most expensive camera in the world boasting gold plating and encrusted with diamonds but this does not mean that he is a great photographer… maybe just very rich and likes photographing weddings.
Photography can get very technical and involves maths and physics, however, it is also an art form so a happy balance of technical know how, artistic flare and a good eye for details is required by the photographer to properly master their craft.
Of course every photographer has their own style and therefore looking through their portfolio is essential to see if their style fits with your requirements and expectations.
7) No hidden extras – Insist on a contract
A professional wedding photographer should offer you a contract. Most contracts are very similar in nature but some wedding photographers charge hidden extras such as charging an additional fee for the photographs after the wedding or to remove their watermark from your images.
A contract offers protection both to you as the client and to the photographer. Just ensure you read it carefully to make sure the service you are receiving fully meets your expectations with no nasty surprises in the small print.
8) Don’t hire the local weirdo
Photographing a wedding is not an easy task. Your photographer will need to be confident in dealing with large groups of people all with different personalities, characteristics and personal needs or requirements. In order to do this effectively they will need to be confident, personable, have a good sense of humour and a lot of patience, not to mention great organisational skills.
What you don’t want is the photographer who hides in the shadows who barely speaks to anybody skulking around with a miserable look on their face. This will upset both you and your guests and will result in dull, lifeless photographs. You will be spending more time with your photographer on your wedding day than anyone else so make sure that you like them and that you get on.
Well I hope this has helped you on your way to choosing your wedding photographer and wish you all the best for your special day. If I can be of any help to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.