Your wedding photos will be a tangible memento of your big day that will last a lifetime, so choosing a photographer who will take those amazing, emotional, and poignant shots is very important. To help you make the right choice, here are our top four tips for picking your perfect wedding photographer:
Decide Your Budget
The cost of photography varies greatly, so you’re sure to find something suitable for your budget. If great wedding photos are important to you, don’t scrimp on your photographer. One area you could save money on is a wedding album – quality ones are costly, and if you’re more of a digital lover you might be happy with some selective prints as opposed to a whole album. Alternatively, you could always opt for an album later on once your bank balance has had a chance to recover. The money saved from not having a photo album, could be contributed to ensuring you have a great photographer instead.
Different wedding photographers have different styles – ask to see a sample portfolio of their work so you can get a feel for the kind of shots they take. You should find their work appealing – do you want your wedding photos to look like that? Would you be proud to show them off? Would you frame one and hang it on your wall? When considering the style of photography you would like remember that photographers who are great at taking natural in-the-moment shots may not be so good at the traditional group photos, so decide what’s more important to you – impactful and candid memories of the day, or more traditional photos from the more obvious significant moments. Where possible, ask to see a photos from at least one entire wedding (most photographers should be happy to do this) to make sure the sample shots in their portfolio are typical of their overall quality, and not just a selection of “best bits”.
Ask the photographer if they are happy to provide you with contact details of some couples they have done wedding photos for – that way you can ask some probing questions you might not otherwise know the answers to – did the photographer get in the way at the wedding? Were they able to handle stressful situations? Were they able to get all 150 guests in to a group shot? These must-have qualities are easy to overlook, but it’s important you know how experienced and professional your potential photographer is, and it’s best to hear it from someone who knows.
Know Your Rights
Most contracts will stipulate that the photographer owns the rights to all photos taken, even ones of you. This means the photographer can use them to promote his or her services, for example on their website and social media, and it also means you may only be able to share watermarked images online. It can also mean if you want to print the photos yourself or order an album at a later date from another source, you may have to buy the rights to the images. The rights can be negotiated early-on, but make sure you ask about them, or you could be in for an unpleasant surprise.