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This website is dedicated to wedding photography - a guide for Brides and FAQs
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How to choose a wedding photographer… Main points

These are the main points. Read further for more explaination.

  1. Get a professional. Don’t ask a family member or friend with a camera – it can be disapointing, embarissing and you might fall out.
  2. Start looking early. Good Photographers get booked-up.
  3. Do your research online, look at their photo galleries – do you like what you see?
  4. Shortlist around three Photographers to meet, you may get confused if you see too many.
  5. Talk to friends who got married. Who did they use? Would they recommend them and can you see their album / pictures.
  6. You can find good and not-so-good photographers in all price brackets. Just because someone charges a lot does not mean they are good. The reverse can also be true.
  7. Expect to pay anything from £500 for a very basic service upwards.
  8. Look for storybook albums, DVD slideshows and online galleries for up-to-date (up with the technology) photographers.
  9. Make sure you see a recent complete set of photos from one wedding - not just the best photos from lots of weddings.

Good photography is also about feelings and emotion

The right photographer will be capturing memories, not just taking pictures.

It is important that you choose your wedding photographer with care. The photos of your day should capture the emotion and special moments. When you look at your album or DVD in years to come, you will want to remember more than just who was there. Good photography will bring the feelings and emotions of that day flooding back to you.

You will see lots of terms of different styles and choices in photography, like reportage, elegant, modern, classic, black & white, colour, sepia, formal or informal. It can be confusing so the best advice is to use a good internet connection and look at lots of wedding photographers websites. Don’t look at price to start with, just look at their photos. Take a good look at the bride and groom. Do they look happy? Do you think they will have been happy with their photos? Can you see lots of photos from the same wedding or are you viewing a few best photos from lots of weddings? After a while, you will start to find photos that you like.

Try to make a note of what it is you like about the photos. Now that you have done some research you will have a better idea of what you like and what you are looking for. A good wedding photographer will give you the opportunity to view a complete set of images from previous weddings which may be password protected and not available on the main site.

Talk to them and make sure you see more than one complete set. You will also get a sense of the person if you chat to them on the phone. Can you talk easily to them? If not, they may not be a ‘people’ person which may make photography on the day less relaxed. Have a good chat with them on the phone before making any arrangements to meet them. If you don’t like them much on the phone, they may not the photographer for you. Remember, you will need the photographer to organize you and the guests to be able to get the best pictures so people skills are important.

Make time to discuss all your arrangements with your wedding photographer before booking, as this will help you to understand each other's needs and requirements. Discuss photos on their website you like and any you’re not keen on, which will help the photographer understand what you are looking for. You should also make a list of any specific photos you require – Great Aunt Gladys with the nephews; your mum and dad with your brothers and sisters; Bride and Groom with your whole family etc. Weddings are often the only time families are all together and a good opportunity to get some portraits, when everyone is dressed-up and looking their best.

Have a pre-wedding consultation, and consider pre-wedding photo-shoot or ‘engagement’ shoot. You could use a photo from this shoot on the wedding invitations. This will give you and your wedding photographer the opportunity to develop a working relationship and will better prepare you both for the actual wedding day. It will also help you to become more accustomed to being photographed and develop a relaxed relationship with your photographer.

 

Use a professional photographer

Don't leave this important day to chance

Use a professional photographer. You've planned your big day down to the finest of details; you don't want to leave anything to chance. So, make sure you get the perfect record of your wedding. You only have one chance to get it right. A professional will have the experience and knowledge to cope with all possible eventualities and still turn out a great set of pictures, that you can treasure forever.

Don’t use a friend or family member. The financial benefit may seem attractive, but it is very important to consider what experience they have; do they have professional cameras (and more than one as backup); can they take good photos in low light conditions without flash in church; how efficient will they be at organising people into groupings; have they got any experience in producing albums, DVD’s web galleries. Will they be totally focused just on taking pictures or will they be distracted by other friends or family? The chances are, they will end up being part photographer / part guest and at best, you will end up with only a partial set of photos. Can you trust them and do you want them to have that kind of pressure? A professional will obviously cost, but it will be one less thing to worry about on the day.

What about a part-time professional? Having ruled out a friend or relative, you may also consider a part-time (semi-professional) wedding photographer. They may be cheaper than a full-time professional, but there are loads of so-called photographers who bought themselves a decent camera and see weddings as a great way to boost their income at the weekends. Often they don’t have duplicate camera equipment in case of failure; don’t have enough experience; don’t spend enough time both before and after the wedding to make sure everything goes smoothly. You may be lucky, but be careful with part-timers (of course, they may not let on that they are not full-time professionals).

How do you know if the photographer is any good? You will see amazing, creative pictures that you like. This will jump out at you when you view their website. View samples of complete weddings, not just highlights of the best. This is very important, as most people would get one or two good shots from every wedding, but you'll want most of your pictures to look fantastic and make YOU look great on your wedding day!

Don't be fooled by wonderful presentation. Try to look at the pictures individually and judge them on their own merits and not necessarily on how they are presented. However, if a photographer has great pictures and you think they are presented, that may indicate a professional approach and good attention to detail.

Schedule some time. You'll want plenty of pictures that look great and took very little time to organise. However, please be aware that great photographs take time to be 'created'. Even the fantastic natural 'candid' shots you've seen in the wedding magazines are often 'set up' in some way by the photographer. Photography will involve some time in your schedule so discuss this before the day and make sure you and your photographer give each other the best chance for great photos.

 

The Wedding Photo 'Package'

How do you decide and how much can you afford?

Albums, packages and prices. How long is a piece of string! This can be really confusing. Some professional photographers attract you with a reasonable price but then you find the add-on costs really build up. Look carefully what is included and what will be extra.

Look at the price of prints or enlargements. Look at the price of albums – what size are they and how many pages. When comparing prices between different photographers it may be useful to make a list of what you want, then ask if you can have a price for that. Hopefully your chosen photographer can adapt to give you what you want.

Some photographers now offer digital 'montages' of several images on one page. This is a good way to create a ‘storybook’ of your day and can be a cost efficient way to include more photos where just one conventional print would have been. These digitally produced albums don’t have to be hugely expensive, but often are, so speak to your photographer before the pictures are taken, to make sure you are happy with how your pictures will eventually be presented.

Shooting Styles. Don’t be confused by all the terms used. What matters is that you like the style that the photographer shows you from previous weddings. Be absolutely clear, both to yourself and the photographer, which of his images you really like and any you are not so keen on. If you like what you see, that's the style you like, whatever they might call it.

Make a list of any particular shots or groupings you require. Identify at least one of your family or guests who can assist the photographer to get people into the right groups if required. Schedule time for some romantic shots, usually after the ceremony and before the wedding breakfast.

Make sure you meet/get the actual photographer you book. Some studios have 'wedding operators' who do some of the photography. Ensure that if you book a named photographer (make sure it is their work you have viewed), that it is they who shoot your pictures on the day. That said, in the unlikely event of illness, a professional can often arrange for cover by another professional at short notice.

After the pictures have been taken and the day is over, you'll be away on your honeymoon and the photographer will be preparing your pictures for viewing and selection for the main album. Some photographers may place all the 'proofs' online for you to view, some still use proof albums so discuss this before the wedding to make sure you are happy with what happens when it comes to the final stages.

 

Looking your best - getting great shots

Why do you think there is a saying about someone's 'best side'?

Finally – don’t think that you have to look at the camera and grin for every picture. Looking straight at the camera can be a bit harsh and often a more flattering look is when the head is turned slightly. The same applies to how you stand. If you stand square-on to the camera, it looks a bit confrontational. Try standing slightly diagonal and relax one leg - look at wedding photo galleries and models in magazines and analyse how they are standing. On a good photography website you should see some great photos where the photographer is capturing moments when people are relaxed, looking at each other, talking, laughing, enjoying the day. Sure you will want some photos looking straight down the lens and smiling, but just relax and let the photographer direct you a little. An album full of full-face grins can get very boring to look back on and does little to capture the mood of the day.

 

 

 

Reportage, Classic, Formal, Contemporary - don't worry about style, just decide what you like.