Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

This is one area where doing your research will really pay off.  There are an awful lot of great photographers to choose from so finding the right one for you can be a challenge.  Here’s an idea of the questions to ask when doing your research:

What’s your style? – If you have already started researching photographers you will probably have noticed that no two photographers are the same.  Before finding out what style your potential photographers prefer, have a think about what you would prefer.  Do you like the vintage style that is very popular at the moment, how about a more fashion-inspired look, or maybe you just love unobtrusive black and white photography.  Also think about whether you would like lots of staged group shots, or if an informal relaxed style is more you.  Bear in mind that if you plan to have a lot of staged shots between the ceremony and wedding breakfast you will need to allow plenty of time for this.

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How will my photographs be presented? – There are two common options, an album or a disc.  In both cases, find out how many photos will be included.  If you go for an album, will you be able to have some input into how it is presented and how long will it take to received the finished product.  If you have a disc find out what usage rights you will have i.e. Will you have the rights to reprint, what size will the images be, will they be full resolution allowing you to print them any size, or will the size be limited.

What happens if you are unable to attend on the day? – It’s important to ensure your photographer has a contingency plan in case they are unable to attend.  For example; I am a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners which is a network of similarly qualified wedding planners across the country.  So if, in the unlikely event, I was unable to attend a wedding, there is a back-up network I can call upon.

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What happens if it rains? – Photographers should always have a contingency plan in the event of bad weather.  If they have not worked at your chosen venue before they will almost certainly go for a visit to look for ideal areas for photos inside and out.  It’s important to know if they have thought about this as the weather is something you can never guarantee!

I would suggest doing some online research so that you can look at examples of the photographers work before arranging to meet them and see if you click.  A lot of photographers offer an engagement or pre-wedding photo shoot.  This is a great opportunity to get to know the photographer and how they work – ultimately making you more relaxed on the day and producing some great memories.

Written by Caroline Gould and first featured in Essential Suffolk magazine Jan/Feb 2015 issue

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