Choosing and booking your wedding photographer is one of the key decisions you’ll make for your wedding and I hope you’ll get it right. As its engagement and planning season, you’re probably at the start of your wedding planning journey having recently got engaged so this post will come in handy for you.
In today’s world, images (and increasingly video) are fast becoming the currency of both the online and offline world. We are constantly bombarded with images from every corner. The world has become a whole lot more visual and getting those all important and beautiful images for your wedding is crucial because they are the memories you will look back on for years to come long after the wedding day is over.
Choosing your wedding photographer is part of what I call booking your essential wedding suppliers when planning for my clients as the quality of the images you get directly depends on the type of and style of photographer you choose so it’s quite an important decision to get right.
So much goes into choosing the right photographer for your wedding. Your style, budget and location all play a part and on top of that, knowing the right questions to ask in order to get the most out of your photography is key.
Think about what’s important to you and see if it is reflected in the photographers you have earmarked for your selection. E.g. do you care about the details of your wedding design alongside the feel of the day? Most of my clients love details, I mean the details of the day as well as the little details that make up the wedding design and this is one criteria I always look out for when choosing / recommending photographers to them for their wedding.
I ask a lot of questions when choosing wedding photographers for my clients based on their requirements, I focus on details like style, budget, personality and location as they all play a part in helping with the final selections. But then, I also look at the other little nuances that makes for great photography and these are the deal breakers.
I have taken the liberty of asking some of those questions here so you can take them with you as you scout for the right photographer for your wedding.
Questions to ask when choosing your wedding photographer
Ask yourself what type of photographer will suit your personality. They will be spending a good chunk of the day with you so it’s good they fit in with you. Do you want someone that is super professional and impersonal, they will treat your wedding like just another project (believe me, there are ones like that) or do you want someone who will be warm and friendly especially in the build up to your wedding day and offer you a personal service as opposed to run of the mill?
Knowing your wedding style will certainly help when it comes to the style of photographer you’re after. There are different styles of photography from fine art to documentary, light and airy to full of colour, film versus digital or someone with a hybrid style and can shoot both.
Another question is how do you want your day to be captured (intrusive or unobtrusive), do you want to feel their presence or would you want them to be almost invisible? What will your images consist of (formal, relaxed or a mix of both).
This is quite an important one especially for multicultural and fusion weddings. How do you want your skin tones to be captured I’m always careful when recommending photographers to my multicultural clients. I tend to scrutinise the photographer’s websites to see if they have a diversity of shots and look for ones that can capture the colours and vibrancy of the day as well as the various skin tones without it being too overpowering with colour or too washed out that you can hardly see anything there. It really is a fine balance to get right and some photographers do it better than others.
Every details tells a story I always say and as a wedding planner and designer, details are very dear to my heart. However, the question I have for you is, are your wedding details important to you? Would you like them captured well alongside the emotions of the day or would you much prefer the focus to be on your guests and the emotions? I’d imagine you’d want them captured beautifully on your wedding day especially as you and your wedding planner has spent time curating those all important details for your wedding design. If your wedding details are important to you then pick photographers that can capture them well.
In addition to all the above, I reached out to a couple of my photographer colleagues to share their top tips when choosing your wedding photographers and they had some very helpful pointers for you.
Parisian based photographer Lisa of Elizaveta Photography says:
My top 2 tips would be to ask to see a full gallery of a wedding that they have photographed (which will most likely be their best work, taken on a sunny day with gorgeous light), but also a gallery with lots of indoor photos or photos on a rainy day. This way you’ll know what to expect if you don’t have perfect weather on your big day. They can’t work miracles, but a good photographer can still create beautiful photos in less than ideal conditions. My second tip would be to ask about their process for being organised on the big day. On top of making sure you have a comfortable timeline (and many photographers will work with the wedding planner on that), there are also specific moments that need to capture, group photos, and details that couples have spend hours and hours planning.
Inna of And Your Story recommends 1) spend time really looking through the photographer’s work and their social media channels to make sure that you see consistency in their style and that it resonates with you. And 2) make sure you like the photographer personally. This is the person who will be following you around on your wedding day and you need to trust that you will be glad to have them around. I recommend connecting via zoom or meeting in person, if possible, for a consultation.
Fine art destination wedding photographer Kristin Sautter says: 1. Does their work speak to you? There are so many talented photographers out there that create beautiful work, but choose someone whose work moves you in a way other photos don’t. Photographs are works of art, and just as your favourite artist or musician can speak to you through their work, your wedding photographs should speak to you as well.
2. Do you connect with them as a person? Before booking your wedding photographer, be sure to meet them. Whether in-person or virtually, meeting your photographer gives you a chance to get to know them, get a feel for their personality, and see if you connect. Choosing someone you connect with and feel at ease around is essential to loving your photos in the end!
Lots of great tips and advice above for choosing the right photographer for your wedding. I know you’ll make the right choices armed with these top tips and questions to consider. Supplier selection is part of my wedding planning and design service so if you need some help and advise to narrow down your selections or do the legwork to get you the shortlist of those photographers who resonate with your style, then get in touch.
- Header Image Elsie Love Photography