I like to think I know a fair bit about wedding photography. Over the years I’ve interviewed many wedding photographers for photography magazines. Actually photographing weddings is not for me, but I love to look at the photos! But how to choose your wedding photographer can seem like a mystical process at times! It’s full of unknowns if you’ve never done it before. So here’s some thoughts about how to go choose the photographer and get pictures that you’ll hopefully treasure for the rest of your life.
Find A Photographer You Like
No, I don’t mean their work, I mean them. You’re potentially going to be spending an awful lot of time with this person on one of the most important days of your life. They’re going to be there from the moment you’re sitting there is a dressing gown, to potentially as late as when you get in the car and go home. They’re going to spend time with your friends too.
You want someone approachable and fun, and who’s style fits the setting of your wedding. Ask what they wear as their ‘photographers uniform.’ If you’re going for something really relaxed do you want someone in a stuffy, old fashioned suit? Equally someone in a cute swing dress might not be what you’re after for a formal cathedral wedding…
They need to fit your style as much as you need to fit theirs. They won’t perform their best if they’re not enthused about your wedding and your style. Meet as many photographers as you need to in order to choose your wedding photographer.
I’m also going to suggest that you consider how comfortable you are likely to be with your photographer during your prep. I know that if I was having a photographer in my home while I’m having my makeup and hair done and while I’m getting ready, well, I’d probably want a woman. There’s nothing wrong with that either – it’s your day.
Fall In Love With Their Work
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? You want a photographer who takes pictures that you love! The pictures are ultimately what you’re going to be keeping forever, so you do need someone who takes pictures you love (as well as someone who is fun to be around).
When you choose your wedding photographer make sure that you also see a couple of full albums. Any photographer can stage a shoot in a nice location with attractive models. Any photographer can take six hours shooting the perfect bridal portrait. That’s why you want to see a whole wedding album from a single wedding. You want to see how their work looks when they’re working under pressure and on the fly. It’s important to choose your wedding photographer based on a couple of whole albums rather than just a few choice portfolio shots.
Even if you choose your wedding photographer very carefully and they’re great at their job, they don’t always catch the little personal moments. For that reason I’d urge anyone getting married to also sign up to a service that allows you to collect your guests memories of the day too! They can work as a beautiful, informal memento from the day alongside the formal album from your photographer. Websites such as Wedding Photo Swap can allow you to collect and share wedding photos from your special day with ease.
Some photographers don’t like this approach and ask that guests put their cameras away during the wedding. However if you’re a young, digitally connected couple who embrace technology… why shy away from it at this important moment?