Looking for your wedding photographer? Our 12 top tips will help you find the perfect one for you!
Can you tell us a joke?
We know you want someone to take great pictures and not a comedian but it is important to feel at ease around your photographer. Usually it’s as much to do with the personality of the person as it is with the portfolio when it comes to choosing who you want.
What’s your style?
It sounds simple, but make sure their work fits in with the style of photography you like. Be sure to mention whether you want a selection of candid shots as well as the usual staged and group photographs.
Can we see some of your pictures?
OK, nobody is going to choose a wedding photographer without seeing their portfolio, but you need to make sure it’s the photographer’s own work. There’s a world of difference between pictures taken while assisting an experienced professional and their own unaided work.
Can we see a whole wedding?
Asking to see your photographer’s top work is essential, but no single day is going to match their 10 best-ever shots. Ask to see a whole day, preferably in a sample album just like it would be delivered to you. This should give you a better idea of what you do and don’t want from them.
Will YOU be our photographer?
This is only really a question for the big studios but it’s definitely worth asking. They can show you the best photos in the world, but it’s a waste of time if they’re going to send somebody else on the day.
How would you describe your approach?
Another obvious one – if you tell a photographer that you want someone who is hands off and lets everybody do their own thing then it’s pretty likely that will suddenly become their speciality. If you say you would prefer someone who knows how to take control of groups, then hey presto, they’re an instant expert! Ask them to describe their approach before they find out what you want to get an honest answer and see how that matches your expectations of them.
Everyone’s wedding is different because we all have different expectations. If there’s something that’s important to you then don’t be afraid to ask. It’s the photographer’s job to capture your special day exactly how you want it, but they aren’t mind readers! If you don’t ask, you probably won’t get.
Do you have another job or are you full time?
A lot of great wedding photographers balance their work with another full time job. It’s always a good idea to check with them first because if they do have another job, then you might want to make sure that they aren’t over committed and your pictures will get 100% professional attention. And if they are full time, it’s still worth asking about their commitment to your big day – a photographer that shoots 100 weddings a year may be great because they’re popular and in demand, but it may also mean that they are overworked and will rush putting your photos together.
Do you work on your own or as part of a team?
This is a tricky one. Some photographers prefer to work alone and some prefer to have an assistant and a second photographer with them. Some pretty much have their own entourage! Whether they work alone or in a team, both approaches are fine (unless you’re planning a quiet intimate affair, then you might not want a six-person team!), but just be aware that other photographers brought along could be trainees! Making requests for just an individual photographer is a risk worth taking if you feel it will get you the best pictures possible.
How long will it be before we see our wedding photographs?
There is little worse than coming back after a two-week honeymoon and being told that it will be another month or two before you see your pictures. Even a busy photographer should be able to show you the images within three weeks of the wedding. Let your photographer know before you book them that you will want your photos by the time you get back from your honeymoon, then there’s no reason for them not to be ready!
What do you do if it rains on the day?
Or snows, or your camera breaks or a herd of llamas invades the wedding? A professional should have an answer to these (except maybe the llamas). Back-up cameras (and lenses), planning for wet weather, extra lights in case of bad light, file backup strategies and dry clothes are a must.
Are you hungry?
They will really appreciate some grub. When you plan the catering for your reception, you can either include your photographer in the wedding breakfast, or ask for a separate hot meal to be provided.