Choosing your wedding photographer.
This one was an easy(ish) one for me. Den knew that I'd have a wealth of favourites and was quite happy to take a back seat to let me shortlist a couple to enable us to make a decision together.
Working in the wonderful world of weddings allows me to work with some incredible suppliers. I will only ever recommend suppliers to my lovely couples that I have had the opportunity to work with* (*Unless specified on occasions where a couple may be looking for something unusual that I've not had the chance to explore.)
Sometimes suppliers will collaborate together to create beautiful bridal inspired photoshoots (see some of my other blogs and gallery for inspiration). It's also allowed me to understand how others work, and in some cases realise that our styles of working don't match. (You can't always get on with everybody, but the wedding industry as a whole has pleasantly surprised me in its general sense of camaraderie and team spirit. It's not all bit*hy women with clipboards and head sets, it's a whole world of incredibly talented individuals fighting for their place in a very saturated market all wanting the same thing! I have met some amazing people along the way, some of which will be helping make our special day that little bit more magical.
So where to start when choosing your photographer? You might have visited a couple of wedding fayres, maybe spent some time researching, looked at who did your friends wedding - their photos were kinda cool, right? Holy moly, they spent HOW much?! And how did said friend even find that one, there are literally hundreds of wedding togs out there.
Firstly, start getting a feel of your favourite style of photography.
Some offer a documentary feel: (Otherwise known as candid, reporting, photojournalistic) - the photographer will capture your day and all its events (not just the key moments). No posed shots, think more capturing Aunt Mable at the bar downing the shot with your best mate thinking no one noticed....or that moment when your beloved nephew spills his bright coloured juice on your dress by accident....
Fine Art or artistic - achieved with specific angles, lighting and editing for an ultimate look/vision. Images are intended to to be enjoyed as visual art rather than capturing every scheduled moment. Imagine a piece of art whereby every little detail has been seriously thought out. Andrew Miller explains it much better than me here.
Editorial - think images of allll of the pretty details you tirelessly put together, and sunset shots straight out of your fave bridal magazine.
Dark and Moody: very dramatic, artistic compositions with dark colours. Think lots of shadows, perhaps windswept, rain, moody lighting.
Yep. Money. Again.
I know plenty of people who haven't considered photography as a particular important factor and have had a friend with a 'decent' camera or student photograph their big day. That's fine, each to your own. Your hard earned pennies are paying for the photographer's wealth of experience, knowledge, editing skills, lighting, composition ability, equipment etc etc. There's no such thing as a free lunch, and I'm a big believer in GOOD wedding photography.
Having said that, just because you find the world's most expensive photographer that they're going to be your perfect fit. Check out their portfolio, their blog, their social media pages, testimonials before you make a decision.
If you can, try and meet your photographer before committing. It's incredibly important that you all get on well and will work seamlessly together on the day.
Key questions to ask:
- do they have a back up plan? What happens if batteries die, memory card fails etc. They should ALWAYS have back up equipment and a contingency plan.
- do they have Insurance. (This should be the case for ALL of your suppliers.) At the very least, like me they should hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance.
- do they have a contract? If they don't....run. Run away now. Every supplier should ask you to sign some form of formal document. Understand it and make sure that you are all singing from the same hymn sheet. You should know how many hours they'll be working, how long editing will take, how your images will be delivered and when you can expect to receive them.
So who have I chosen?
Only one of my faves from the above selection...you'll have to wait and see!
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