Where to start?
The fact you have made it my website means you have made a start, so well done! In truth there is no right or wrong way as long as you do your research. What I will say is although recommendations are worth their weight in gold especially from friends and family don’t solely rely on them. A photographer who suits one couple might not suit another. In addition be wary of venue recommended lists as suppliers often pay to be on them rather than earn the right. This doesn’t mean they aren’t the right photographer (or supplier) for you but investigate further before saying yes!
Find work you love!
The best place to start, if you haven’t already, is to find work you love. Use Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Google, find photos and note down who created them using your own Pinterest board. Ask friends and family, and even other suppliers you’ve already booked for recommendations, then look at their portfolios to see if you love their work.
If searching it is natural to search for local photographers but don’t necessarily exclude those in other areas of the country as many will travel.
What style do you want
If you want those mind blowing couple portraits with perfect lighting, positioning, background etc the likelihood is the images are carefully manufactured with exact posing and lighting. These images are amazing but not suited to a couple who don’t normally like their photo being taken!
The other end of the spectrum is a documentary photographer who doesn’t pose or manufacture photos at all. It is wise to realise many that call themselves documentary photographers aren’t, they are in fact somewhere in the middle, which is where I sit!
The in between is a photographer who will prompt but not (or only very rarely) pose. For example I may ask you to stand in a particular location, or walk from one place to another, or ask you to do something to promote a natural candid reaction.
Choose a short list of photographers that match the style you would like and whose work you love.
Are they your kind of person?
On your wedding day the person you will likely spend the most time with is actually your photographer believe it or not, not your other half! It is vital therefore, especially if choosing a photographer who specialises in informal portraits like me, to make sure you get on with them at a personal level. They don’t need to become your new best friend, but you should be comfortable with them being with you at some very intimate moments!
The sensible questions bit…
Yes there are also many sensible business type questions that should be asked to ensure they are not just a nice person but also a good photographer. Jut some of these questions are:
– How would you describe your style?
– How do you put couples at ease?
– Do you use flash/lighting equipment or purely natural lighting?
– Can your equipment cope with low light situations without additional lighting? (very important for dark churches!)
– Do you have insurance? (If they don’t run away!)
– Can you show me some full wedding galleries?
– What is included in the package? (hours, image numbers, and delivery type(s))
– Can you provide a second shooter/photographer and at what cost?
– How long will images take to be finished?
– Do you have emergency back up plans? (If they don’t run away again!)
– What is the deposit and other payment terms?
– Do you have a contract? (If they don’t run away again!)
It’s decision time!
At this point you should hopefully have a very short list of one or possibly a couple of photographers who all tick the boxes you have covered above. The decision now could come down to a number if factors if all others are equal, and there are no right and wrong answers.
You could make the decision based on pricing, personal connection or even the fact one has previously worked at your venue and the other hasn’t. Personally if you are satisfied that all are good photographers and reliable I would always go with gut first.
Love this article?
Do you love what I’m talking about? Then please share the article using the below social media buttons. & follow me, if you haven’t already, on social media to keep track of my latest work. Also take a read of some of the below articles which are on similar subjects to this one