Written by Agnes Los Last updated: September 8, 2012
You’ve got the dress, booked your dream location and the flowers are on order. Now you need to find a wedding photographer. Given some of the high costs some professionals charge for capturing the precious memories of the biggest day of your life, you want to be sure that you’ve found the right style, price and package. After all, your wedding is one day, but the photos will last a lifetime.
There are loads of amazing wedding photographers out there, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for you. Wedding fairs will give you the opportunity to meet different photographers and get a feel for their style of photography, as well as a sense of their prices. Look at full albums by different photographers as you narrow down your search. The sign of a skilled photographer is consistently good photos from a whole wedding, so make sure their portfolios aren’t full of single shots from 20 different weddings. If they’re skilled at high-quality portraits and traditional wedding photography you should be looking at good lighting, impressive background settings and perhaps some soft focus effects for close-up shots. With reportage photographers it’s really important to look at complete albums. Anyone can get a couple of natural shots, but it takes real skill to capture the magic of the entire day this way.
Try and find a photographer with a timeless style – you will want to feel happy with the pictures for many years to come. Don’t be bamboozled by gimmicky effects in some modern photography, they can date very quickly. The photographer shouldn’t rely on Photoshop or other retouching software; it should just be used to enhance the natural light in the photographs.
Meet the photographer
It’s important to meet your photographer in advance – not only to give you the opportunity to talk through your requirements but also to give you time to feel comfortable with the photographer. It’s worth noting that the photographer you are comfortable with takes the best photos. Also, if you are booking one for the whole day (i.e. bridal preparations to first dance), he’ll be around when you’re in your undies, so keep your comfort in mind for this as well.
After finding your photographer for the day, it’s time to talk cold, hard cash. The last thing you want is for extra costs to show up on the bill. Most wedding photographers offer a variety of wedding packages, depending on how many images you would like and how long they will be at the wedding. Always ask if they will do a free engagement shoot, or a trash the dress/rock the frock shoot after the wedding if you want these. An engagement shoot is always a great idea to get a little preparation before the wedding, and is a lovely occasion you may never have again.
It’s a good idea to provide the photographer with a list of shots you require so you both know what’s expected from the day. A good photographer will suggest some options, but they should also be able to create a bespoke package for your needs. A list will help the photographer, but will also speed up the time it takes for the formal photographs, leaving you to enjoy the rest of your day.
How should the images be supplied?
Many couples prefer their photographs to be supplied on disk rather than in wedding albums. Perhaps you could host the images on your own website so friends and family can access them easily? Maybe you’d like a combination of both prints and digital images? Ask the photographer which online options they offer. Remember to ask whether you will retain copyright of the images, and make sure the images won’t have a watermark so you can print off your own images. If you do want a traditional photo album, ask to see some examples so you can approve the print finish. Check the delivery times too – you don’t want them sitting in the post office while you are on your honeymoon!