How to choose a wedding photographer Pt 18th May 2012 Our Wedding Memories
You have a huge number of decisions to make when planning your wedding, from the flowers to the all-important dress. Most of these decisions will only affect the day itself, but two of them will still matter in 20 years’ time: your choice of spouse, and wedding photographer.
Long after the flowers are dead and the dress packed away in the attic, you’ll still be taking out the wedding album and reliving the day through the photos. This is the reason it’s really worth taking the time to ensure you make the right choice.
There are three main things to consider…
Do you love their photography?
Wedding photographers vary tremendously in their abilities and styles. There’s no reason at all to settle for ‘acceptable’ when you can choose ‘stunning’ – and you may be surprised to find that the true cost of an extraordinary photographer is not much more than an ordinary one.
Take a look at their websites, but remember, they are showing you their favourite photos. Never, never book a photographer based on their web portfolio alone. Always arrange to see one or more complete wedding albums, so you can see the quality of photos they consistently deliver.
What will the true costs be?
There is an all-to-common con in wedding photography called ‘the upsell’. Photographers advertise something like ‘A GraphiStudio album with 60 photos for £299!’. It sounds too good to be true; that’s because it is. It’s only after the wedding you find that the album is 20x20cm, has only 10 pages (so those 60 photos will be crammed in, leaving no room for design), is printed on the cheapest paper and has only the most basic cover. The ‘recommended upgrades’ will be shown to you – 30x30cm, 40 pages, photographic paper and lovely cover – and you’ll want them all. Suddenly that £299 album costs £1347 – over £1000 more than the price quoted.
Always ask to see the photographer’s complete fee schedule, with all the options outlined, and ask them how much a couple typically spends all-in.
Do you like them as a person?
This might seem like an odd question, but you’ll be spending almost the entire day with your photographer on one of the most important days of your life. If you don’t like them as a person, you won’t be as relaxed, and the photos won’t be as good. Worse, a photographer who lacks charm may end up bullying your family and friends.
This is why it’s essential to meet a photographer before booking them. Ideally, meet them at their studio or home so that you get more of a sense of who they are as a person.
In part two, I’ll outline the 14 questions I recommend asking any photographer before you book them. These can mean the difference between wonderful photos, and possibly not receiving any photos at all!