Choosing a wedding photographer be can one of the toughest decisions you'll need to make when planning your wedding. I'd like to give all future bride and grooms some pointers on choosing a photographer to cover their big day.
I guess the first starting place for most wedding couples is Google. This is perfect, it will give you a huge selection of wedding photographers in your area and it will allow you to view their portfolio or blog.
View each wedding photographers website, if you like their quality and style keep the window or tab open, if you immediately don't like the quality or style close the window and move on to the next website.
Does their website contain a Blog
A blog allows a photographer to show you a brief overview of a clients wedding, showing the full day as a story. This not only shows some of the exceptional photographs from the day it also shows some of the normal photographs.
These are great, it allows you to view the photographer at his or her best. Remember though, these portfolio images are the best images from any given wedding, they do not show all the other photographs which went on during the day.
Friends and family
Ask the people closet to you if they have any recommendations, they'll always give you a truthful reply.
Take a look at the photographers social media feed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on. This will sometimes give you a behind the scenes view of your photographer and can often allow you to get a feel for their personality.
Meeting your photographer
Once you've narrowed down your search it's time to arrange a consultation with your chosen photographer.
Email or call them and ask their availability for your chosen wedding date. If the dates available perfect, arrange to meet them.
First impressions are important, remember they'll be spending a huge amount of time with you on your wedding day and it's important that you feel comfortable around them. If you are comfortable with your photographer your wedding photographs will show this.
Albums and photographs
Ask to view at least one sample album from a real wedding. As mentioned previously, it's very important to view a full day coverage as this will give you a great idea of what the photographer can do for you.
Ask if the photographer has photographs they could show you from a previous wedding at your chosen venue as this will give you a great opportunity so see what is possible.
Important questions to ask.
• Are they a member of a professional photography association
• How long have they been a wedding photographer
• Are they insured
• What happens if they're ill and can not attend your wedding
• Do they have back up equipment
• How soon after your wedding are the final photographs available
• When will my balance be due
Don't feel pressured to book your photographer during your consultation. Some photographers offer a 'holding period' which is usually 7 days so take full advantage of this but remember, after this holding period your chosen wedding date could be made available to other clients.
Booking your photographer
You've viewed their work, met with them, asked them questions and made the decision to book the photographer to cover your wedding.
All professional photographers will present a contract for you to sign. This contract is a mutual agreement between yourself and the photographer and is there to cover all aspects of your day.
Read over this document, if you are unsure of any part ask them to go into more detail about the specific section. If you'd like a copy of this agreement the photographer should be able to accommodate this.
What happens now
Your photographer will confirm the booking via a letter or email, once you receive this check and double check all details are correct such as, ceremony date, ceremony time, special arrangements etc.
Your wedding photography is now confirmed and you will not hear from your photographer during the coming month. It may be an idea to ask them to add you as a 'friend' on a social media network, this will allow you establish a rapport with your photographer and in turn give a little behind the scenes of their daily activities.