Your wedding photographs are the lasting images of your special day. They could be the most beautiful and most momentous photos of your life, so it’s important to find the right person to entrust them to.
Be aware that asking a friend to take on the photography could lead to disaster. You probably know a friend who has an interest in photography, they have a big camera, some books, and some impressive technical garb they learned online, but unless they have some experience or training, you are playing with fire entrusting them to capture one of the biggest and most important occasions of your life. If you do decide to ask your mate to take a few snaps on the day, make peace now with that fact you could be left with no decent lasting photographs of your big day, huge regrets and a friend in the dog house.
It’s wise to check whether your photographer is a member of the MPA (Master Photographers Association), BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photographers) or Guild of Wedding Photographers before you book him/her. These bodies are accredited full time photographer associations and have reliable codes of conduct so you know you’re in good hands.
Recommendation is by far the best way to find a good photographer, and one that’s right for you. Log on to the Confetti forums and request recommendations or testimonials from other girls in your area. Before you make your final choice, try to meet at least three photographers and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Before meeting a photographer, ask whether they are available on your wedding date and check that they cover your area.
When you meet, ask the following questions:
Can I see a portfolio or a couple of examples of complete albums to make sure I’m happy with your style?
Would you describe your style as traditional, or reportage, or anything else, and are you able to shoot our wedding in the style that we want?
Do you take photos in black&white, colour, or both?
Would you be able to accomodate any ideas we may have in mind?
Is the album included in the price? (If not, you might be able to save money by buying your own album from the Confetti shop!)
What is provided as part of the service? How many pictures will be taken and how many will we get to choose for our album?
Do you charge a flat fee or work by the hour?
Can we keep the negatives and if not, is there an option to buy them?
Do you know the venue, and if not are you prepared to travel there before the wedding to familiarise yourself with it?
Will you be photographing the wedding yourself or sending an assistant?
How soon after the wedding will proofs be available?
How much is the deposit and when is it due? When is the balance due?
Do you have public liability insurance and indemnity? (All good photographers should be insured)
What happens if you are unwell and unable to make it on the day – do you know a photographer with the same style who could step in if necessary?
What happens if it rains?
Can my guests take their own pictures?
What is the cancellation/postponement policy?
What spare kit do you take – what happens if your camera breaks on the day?
Can you provide references?
Will my wedding be the only one you are shooting on that particular day?
Do you charge overtime fees?
Confirm costs in writing before booking and remember that if the price seems high it’s because wedding photography does not simply include the time that you see the photographer. It is more than a few hours work and usually involves two to three days work in total.
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