How to choose your wedding photographer

Ah, the joys of planning a wedding…if you’re in the throes of organising your big day, you’ve probably realised by now just how complicated even the simplest wedding can be when it comes to choosing and booking suppliers. Fear not, for I’m here to help you choose the most important person of the day – your wedding photographer!*

Back in November I married my gorgeous wife Bea, and while we were planning our wedding we decided to keep everything as simple as possible. However, the path to a magical wedding doesn’t always run smoothly as they say, especially when we spent days deliberating what size and shade of orange the roses should be in Bea’s bouquet and on the cake. I mean, an orange rose is an orange rose, right? Apparently not…

You’ll have to make a similar decision when choosing your wedding photographer. I mean, let’s not beat around the bush here – there are lots of us about, and there are lots of supremely talented photographers out there too. So how will you know who’s the right one for you? Well, simply follow these tips and you’ll book your dream wedding photographer in no time at all!

1) Meet them first!

I know plenty of couples who never meet their photographer before booking them, and that’s fine. I also know plenty of photographers who never meet the couple they’re photographing until the wedding either. That’s okay too – whatever works for you. However, think about it. You’re going to be spending all day with this camera-wielding stranger, so what happens if you meet them on the morning of your wedding and you find out you don’t actually like them? Maybe they’re too brash for your tastes? Too quiet? Perhaps their inappropriate jokes are upsetting various members of your family? It could be that you don’t like they way they carry out their work?

I can’t recommend enough meeting your photographer first, especially if it’s over a coffee and a slice of delicious cake (make mine carrot, please). That way you’ll soon find out if you “click” (pun intended) with them. Also, taking part in a pre-wedding session is also a good idea. You may initially baulk at the suggestion, but it’ll give you an insight into how your photographer will go about his or her work on your wedding day.

2) Ask to see a whole wedding from start to finish

When it comes to wedding photography websites, most photographers will only display their very best work. That’s understandable – we want to market and promote ourselves in the very best way imaginable, so we’ll select the cream of the crop from each wedding we photograph to display on our sites. Also, no-one (except the bride and groom themselves) won’t be too keen on trawling through hundreds of photos when visiting the photographer’s site (can you imagine your data usage bill? Shudder…)

To give yourself a better idea of what a photographer is capable of, ask to see a gallery of a wedding from start to finish. That way, you’ll see a full range of getting-ready photos, detail photos such as the dress, buttonholes, cufflinks, rings etc, the ceremony in all its glory as well as the reception. You’re investing a decent amount of money, so you need to be confident that your photographer is adept in all the situations a wedding day throws at them. Speaking of investment…

3) Don’t base your decision solely on price

“Well, you would say that!” I hear you cry. Well, hear me out…it’s very tempting to dismiss a photographer as soon as you hear or see how much they’re charging, but I’d implore you to think carefully about exactly what you’re looking for. For example, a couple of years ago my wife and I bought a house, and we had a checklist of things we definitely wanted the house to include, and some things we weren’t that bothered about. As we’d previously lived in London, I really wasn’t fussed about having a garden, but after viewing a few properties we found the house we loved. And guess what? Yes, it had a garden. And yes, it cost a little more than we’d planned on spending. But it didn’t matter, because we still love the house as much as we did the day we bought it, so spending a little extra was definitely worth it.

That’s why number 1 above is so important – always meet your photographer before the big day if you can, because you’ll have a clearer picture of what he or she offers, which will result in you receiving the photographs of your dreams!

*I’m joking, of course. Actually, you and your spouse are the most important people of the day. Your photographer comes in third :)