Six Simple Steps on How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer
Choosing your Wedding Photographer is not as hard as you think!
You’ve done it! You’ve popped the question, there’s a ring on a finger and now you’re starting the wedding planning process. Your venue’s booked, now it’s time to start searching for your wedding photographer. But how do you choose? Well here’re my six simple steps for choosing your wedding photographer. I promise it won’t be a painful experience.
Step 1 – Set a Budget
Being clear on how much you want to spend on a photographer from the beginning will help you decide on which to look at and speak to.
According to One Fab Day, the average spend on wedding photography here in Ireland is around €2000-€4000. That number may surprise you, it may not. Either way, figure out how much you have to spend on this area of your wedding, not what you think you should be spending.
Do try to be realistic though. Expecting 12 hours of coverage from two wedding photographers and a high-quality album all for €400 might be pushing things a bit! But there are photographers that will suit every budget. It helps to consider what you’ll sacrifice for the right photographer. Perhaps reducing hours or forgoing the album are considerations you’d be happy to make.
Step 2 – Photography Styles vs What You Like
Truthfully, it’s only us photographers who care about terms like ‘fine art’, ‘reportage’ or ‘alternative’. You don’t need to worry about that.
What you should do is look at different wedding photos and see which appeal to you and why. Maybe they’re colourful. Maybe they’re all black and white. Perhaps you prefer the ones of people laughing and pulling faces, or the formal family line ups are more to your liking. Whatever you prefer, that’s quite alright. Recognising your preferences helps when choosing photographers whose work you like.
Despite photographers “niching” themselves as ‘documentary’, ‘traditional’ or ‘relaxed and natural’, for the most part, they will capture many of the same things. The documentary photographers will tackle some formal portraits if asked. The traditional photographers will manage some candid shots. So, focus more on a photographer’s shooting style. Do they get into the heart of the action or shoot from a distance? Look at their editing style, too, and how they come across as people.
Step 3 – Time to dip your toe in!
Here goes nothing! It’s time to get on Google and fall down the wedding photography rabbit hole. Are you ready?
When you first start, do broad sweeps. Check out a photographer’s online galleries, ‘about’ pages and packages if they’re published. Make a note of, or bookmark, the ones that stand out.
Take your time. Don’t try to squeeze it all into one sitting. You’ll go wedding photography blind if you try!
Once you’ve seen enough and you’ve got a good list, start shortlisting. Go back through their websites and spend more time reading and exploring them. Get a list of around 10 that appeal to you the most.
Step 4 – Meet the photographers
Send an enquiry to each of those shortlisted photographers. Include details like your wedding date, location, number of guests and any exciting details worth mentioning. Ask if they have a brochure if you want specific pricing. Giving some information at the enquiry stage will help them to know if they’re available for your wedding. If they’re already booked, they can let you know and no one’s time will be wasted with lots of back and forth.
Most photographers offer a consultation – whether in person, via video chat or in a phone call. It’s worth doing to get a feel for their personality. That doesn’t always come across in the words on their websites. Remember, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with this person on your wedding day. It helps to like them!
Try to both attend each consult, as you might have different opinions or feelings about a person.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask the photographers questions. We’ll be more than happy to answer them. We want you to be happy and confident in our abilities and knowledge. It’s important to us that you trust us!
Step 5 – Reviews and testimonials
Once you’ve met with all your shortlisted photographers, go back online and look at their reviews. See what other people have to say about them. There’s nothing better than a recommendation from someone else. You can check out testimonials and reviews on the photographer’s websites. But also look at their Facebook and Google reviews if they have any.
Step 6 – Decision time!
Talk it all through with each other. This is a joint decision, after all. Maybe you both have a favourite photographer or a few you both like. Weigh up all the pros and cons and decide together.
Then, get in touch with your chosen photographer and let them know it’s them! But don’t forget to let the others know you’ve gone with someone else. It’s ok and they’ll be happy you let them know so they won’t be forever left wondering!
And there you have it, you’ve booked your wedding photographer – as easy as that. By the way, if it’s me you’ve chosen, “Sláinte”! I’m excited to be working with you!