Wedding Photographers Advice to Picking a Wedding Photographer!
If you are searching for your perfect wedding photographer but don’t know where to start, or struggling to pick between 2 then here are some tips and advice from professional wedding photographers on how they would choose their own photographer for their wedding day.
24 Tips on Choosing your Photographer from 24 Professional Wedding Photographers
Two things, style and connection.
Style – do I like the Photographer’s style? If I want moments captured at my wedding I’d want to go for more of a documentary Photographer. If I’m really keen on portraits and more formal pictures then I’d want to go for more of a traditional or posed Photographer. Do I like their edit? Is it light or dark? Are their colours saturated or faded?
Connection – do I feel a connection with the Photographer? They’ll be the person that’s around me most on my wedding day so do I think that they can put me at ease and can I see them getting along with my family and friends? Am I after more of an organised Photographer who can round people up and tell people where to be or am I looking for someone who can blend in and not be the loud voice?
My way of Photographing at weddings is really to blend in like an extra guest with a camera and capture moments. You have to choose the right Photographer for you.
My photographer would have to be unobtrusive and friendly. They’d need to almost be like a guest with a camera! In terms of photographic style, I like a mostly reportage style, but they’d must be able to direct me and my fiancé gently during the portraits. I love B&W images, too.
Clearly, it’s important that you love their work. However, I think it’s even more important that you love their personality too! Your wedding photographer is one of the people that you’ll spend the most time around on your wedding (something that people don’t often consider!) so you need to find someone who you just ‘click’ with as they’ll practically be your new bridesmaid or groomsman!
There’s a huge difference in the photos of couples who get on with their wedding photographer and feel relaxed over those who just don’t quite have the right ‘fit’. Wedding photographs are one of the very few things you’ll have left after the big day, so it’s the most important thing to get right (though I know I’m a tad biased here!)
The quality of their work would always come first however, being a easy going & relaxed person would be a very high priority. I would ideally like someone who we could have a joke with and can put us at ease.
It’s sounds obvious, but you need to really resonate with your photographer’s style. So if I was looking, I would want a photographer a bit like me! Mostly documentary, with a keen eye for capturing people sympathetically and at their best. But also a photographer who’s great at carefully considered couple portraits with a killer sense of light and composition. Ultimately it’s all about creating memories or friends and family in the most sympathetic light.
The most important thing is the vision of a wedding photographer, I hire a photographer that will aesthetically record spontaneous action according to his way of seeing that, which will eventually meet my preference. I believe it is possible to understand what kind of person one can be just by looking at his photos.
It may sound obvious but primarily a photographer with high quality photographs. I’m talking more about photography fundamentals here: well exposed photographs, skillful composition, good colour, good use of light.
I’d then be looking for good credability. A wide selection of photographs from ‘Real weddings’ as opposed to photoshoots. To tell the difference, can you see that same couple amongst many other guests at the wedding? I’d want to be convinced they’ve done plenty of weddings.
Finally I’d be looking for someone who’s got the right personal attributes: professionalism, genuine, good sense of humour, relaxed, an all round good person. Someone who’s a pleasure to have at your wedding day.
I always say to my couples there are 3 things that should be important to you when choosing your photographer and they are:
1. You like the style and overall look of the images
2. The packages are within your budget
3. Meet your photographer. Everything might be great for points for 1 and 2 but when you meet the photographer you might not gel. It’s important that you gel and you feel comfortable with that person. Personality is everything. If you feel relaxed and comfortable with that person then you will relax in front of the camera.
I would follow these points myself if I was looking for a photographer
I would look for the photographers ability to capture images consistently well throughout the day, from the morning prep shots, the candids, through to the party shots. I would want them looking cohesive and exceptional throughout the day. (Top tip on this, spend time looking through the blog pages and real weddings for images from the entire day. If you don’t see any, or they are all couple portraits, ask for a gallery link. Look deeper than the Portfolio page of images the photographer heroes)
I also want someone that I feel relaxed around and that I know would get on with my guests and make them equally relaxed. This will ultimately help in delivering natural and authentic wedding day images.
I would definitely meet the photographer before the big day, as he or she is the one person that you will be with you other than your partner, all day, so it’s important to have a rapport and understand completely how the photographer will approach all the key moments and that they will not get flustered or over bearing.
Connection! Great work is great work, but if that photographer doesn’t put you at ease and make you laugh and relax then it’s not going to work. I`d be after a photographer that understands my needs and gets exactly what I’m after – everybody is different!
The most important thing for me in choosing a wedding photographer is their style, the way they shoot images, the feel of the image, the overall look and feel of their portfolio. Are they Creative does it come across in their photographs? Ultimately do I connect with the photographs, see myself in them, have I fallen in love with their work, if so, they are the person to photograph my marriage. Then I would consider testimonials and pricing but if I really connect with the photographs and it is apparent through their work I will get the wedding photographs I wish, I would be looking to speak with them.
Everyone wants beautiful images. I truly believe, to create a good photograph, you must have a real connection with your photographer. In turn, this will always create a fun and relaxed atmosphere, and will enable the photographer to deliver not only beautiful photographs, but natural photographs.
Now that I’ve photographed over 300 weddings, I’ve a pretty good feel for what my couples like about my style of photography. But I’m also acutely aware that photography skill alone is not a good indicator of what your photographer will be like on your wedding day. Consider this: your photographer will be with you ALL day – longer than even some members of your family!
It’s essential that you actually kind of ‘like’ your photographer. If they’re a bit of a git, you simply will not enjoy being photographed by them and this will show in your photos. Try and find someone of whom you could say, “They ‘got’ us – we felt like we were friends.” Your guests will thank you for choosing someone who’s friendly and approachable.
It’s also important to check their business skills as well – are they insured, both for Private and Public Indemnity? Are they well reviewed online? Do they have backup equipment? Are their prices reassuringly expensive? If they’re cheap, beware – this generally indicates lack of experience which in itself is not a bad thing – we were all there once – but do you want to risk your wedding memories to someone who might not really know what they’re doing?
Their photography obviously is extremely important and should reflect their style and artistic eye but we also feel that having trust in your photographer and his/her experience as a wedding photographer (not just a photographer who specialises in landscapes for example) will help you enjoy your day more. Their knowledge of how a wedding day unfolds will help capture all the key moments seamlessly. They should know when to step in to help if you’re not sure what happens next and help organise without being bossy or dominating.
It is important that you get on with your photographer/s, after all they will be part of your day and should feel like a friend at your wedding not just a photographer. Always read testimonials to get a good insight in to how they worked on the day!
Firstly off experience, I would ideally want someone who had at least 5 years as a full-time professional photographer. It has to be their full-time job, then consistency with their style and editing. I want to know that their portfolio is reflective of what we would receive.
And finally somebody who is smartly dressed, polite and professional. I don’t want a scruffy photographer who shouts at my guests or has cheesy jokes or makes anyone feel uncomfortable. I would want my guests to either compliment her/him on how professional and friendly they were, or not even notice they were there and then be blown away by the photos.
Being friendly and approachable, taking the style of photos that I like with a broad range of images, no wooden posing, offering the right overall package for me.
Quality and personality. Firstly, you want your wedding photos to be good. The definition of a good photo will very much depend on personal preference, so that’s up to you to determine.
Personality is also a personal preference, but equally as important. Your wedding photographer(s) will be with you for a lot of the day, so it’s absolutely worth getting to know them beforehand to ensure you’re relaxed around them and happy for them to be an honorary guest! It’ll make for better photos and a more enjoyable day (very important!!).
Always have a chat with a potential photographer before booking them. Get to know them. Ask them questions. We don’t mind!
We would always say pick the photographer whose work you love the most! In the end that is what really matters – you’ll be looking at those photographs for the rest of your lives, they’ll be passed on throughout your family. They will, without sounding too grand, become a part of your family history. So invest in a photographer whose work you really, really love. That’s what really matters.
- Obviously that their style of photography & price suits what I am looking for
- That they are concerned about what I want to achieve and willing to do everything they can to achieve this
- That they are professional & experienced – so they can deal well with any situation that arises be that bad weather, challenging light, tight time constraints etc
- That their track record speaks for itself – plenty of past customer testimonials will give me a flavour of the way they work
- That they are personable and respectful so I can relax and know that they will fit in with all my guests & the venue staff
- That they tell me in advance when the pictures will be ready to view
Obviously to like the style of shots they take. Arrange to meet up to look at portfolio and albums of previous weddings to get a better idea of what the full day looks like, but just as important is to get to know them, be comfortable with them as you are all going to be together for the whole day. Look at reviews from previous couples and If the budget allows, do an engagement shoot. Share any ideas of specific shots that are important to you.
Delivery of the photographs after the wedding within a reasonable time and an online gallery to order prints and to share with family and friends.
If I needed to hire a wedding photographer the most important thing to me is QUALITY OF WORK! The first thing I would want to see is a full day wedding from start to finish. Some photographers have portfolios FULL of beautiful portraits which can be easily shot in gorgeous lighting. But what are they like shooting in a dimly lit church with space restrictions, how do they handle orange lighting in the wedding venue, are they adept at documentary photography, what is their flash work like when it gets dark and the guests are flooding the dancefloor. Portraits are an important component, of course, I love them – but they only make up about 10% of the day.
ALWAYS pick the photographer that makes your heart sing! If that means you have to forego buying favours or designer shoes, do it. Favours and shoes are nice, but wedding photos are forever. I never hear of couples complaining 10 years after their wedding that they didn’t like their shoes, but I do still hear people talk about how they wish they had this photo or that photo… but they scrimped on their photographer so… whaddyagonnado!
I’d try and find somebody whose work I loved and that resonated with me but also someone who I knew I was going to get on with and enjoy having around on the day. You do spend quite a bit of your wedding day with the photographer and you want to make sure you get on with them!
I think one of the most important parts for me is personality, I think of myself as a people person (and talk slightly too much!) but if I was choosing a photographer I would want them to be relaxed, approachable and like a good friend to me.