How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer can be a difficult task especially if you do not know where to start. Getting married is one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences you can have in your lifetime. Marriage is something that many people really long for and look forward to from the minute of engagement and all through the build-up to the big day. In most cases, a beautiful wedding is held to mark the start of a lifelong union between two people who love each other very much. So, it goes without saying that weddings are extremely important occasions that should be celebrated and documented for future generations and for your own remembrance.

Deciding On Wedding Photography Coverage

Who better to capture all the wonderful memories and highlights of your wedding celebrations with family and friends other than a professional wedding photographer? In this quick read, I’ll share a few tips on how you should go about choosing a wedding photographer for your special day. Before setting a budget you need to decide if you are looking for the whole day to be covered or just part. Many couples do not want the getting ready shots for example and just want the ceremony and a few family shots; others want the whole day from start to finish. I have captured many half day weddings and have very much enjoyed it and sometimes wish I could stay to the end. From a wedding photographers point of view capturing the whole story is the most exciting. The photographer is able to photograph and capture different personalities as they relax and enjoy the wedding day as it unfolds. Towards the latter part of the day when most have had a few drinks and relaxed into the day they soon forget the photographer is even there giving ample opportunity for all those natural and fun shots.  I am a Devon wedding photographer and live and work in beautiful North Devon in the southwest of the UK. We are lucky to have so many beautiful wedding venues in this part of the county. If you would like to see the many different venues on offer please follow: North Devon Wedding Venue

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8 Steps To Finding A Great Wedding Photographer

Setting A Budget For A Wedding Photographer

Like all other services you’ll need for your wedding day, you’ll need to set aside a specific budget for wedding photography, although a little flexibility is a good idea. This should be the very first step you take when searching for a wedding photographer. Why is this? Well, your budget will pretty much decide the type, scope and caliber of photography services you’ll eventually procure. Wedding photographers charge different rates and fees depending on the type and quality of services on offer. When setting your budget, you should consider your specific needs, size of wedding and quality of service you are looking for. Other things to think about are do you want a pre-wedding shoot, album or are you just looking for a digital package?

Wedding Photography Styles

The next thing you should consider when choosing a wedding photographer is your preferred style of photography. Depending on the overall theme of your wedding, you and your partner may want your wedding photographer to follow a specific style of photography like reportage, traditional, posed portraits, classical, and many others. There are so many styles of photography to choose from. However, most wedding photographers specialise in a particular style of photography so it’s important to check which style a photographer specialises in before hiring them. Reportage/documentary or candid is very much the desired style at the moment. This style of photography really captures the essence of the wedding day and gives a true reflection of your wedding story.  As a wedding photographer I am always complimented on my natural style. To learn more about the way I work please check out: My Approach

Photographer’s Portfolio

A photographer’s portfolio is basically their resume. This is what they use to prove their skills and expertise to potential clients. When choosing a photographer for your wedding, take some time to review their portfolio. A typical portfolio will have pictures of previous weddings that they have worked on as well as referrals to previous clients they have worked with. A portfolio may also include any professional certifications or qualifications that a photographer may have. These accreditations are worth considering as well. Have a good look at the photographers gallery and blogs as you will get a good idea of exactly the type of images you will receive and the experience of the photographer

Familiarity With A Wedding Venue

For some reason many magazines and wedding blogs think that its a good idea to hire a photographer that knows the wedding venue well. Although it does have plus points it really doesn’t matter. A good photographer will always come prepared. Plus, a fresh eye is a good thing and an experienced photographer will always find great locations. Why would you want the same pictures as countless other couples that went before you!? Many photographers will also meet couples at the venue to discuss plans and to get a feel for the place.

There are only so many venues you can choose to host your wedding at and it’s highly likely that your potential wedding photographer may already be familiar with your preferred venue, which is great but should not be the deciding factor. I travel to many different wedding venues for the first time, as do so many of my colleagues. Its not an issue! If you are getting married in Devon and need some help in choosing your wedding venue please check out: Devon Wedding Venues.

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Choosing The Perfect Wedding Photographer

Wedding Photography Testimonials

Client testimonials can help you make a wise and informed decision especially where you have limited time to search for a professional wedding photographer. By simply perusing through a photographer’s website, you can get a rough idea of how satisfied his/her previous clients were. Lack of customer reviews and testimonials should tell you that a photographer may lack experience or is not really good at their job. Plenty of positive reviews and testimonials are an indicator that a photographer has a good reputation among clients and within the industry as well.

Viewing A Full Previous Wedding

Once you identify a potential lead, you can request to view a full previous wedding to gauge their individual performance, level of expertise, caliber of shots and overall quality of work. A photographer should be able to sufficiently cover and capture all aspects of a wedding, basically from start to finish. No moment should be left out. Every crucial moment should be captured and documented with precision. A playback reel of a previous wedding should shed some light on this. When looking at a photographers portfolio look beyond the the front page and delve into website blogs and gallery. Make sure there is a good consistency of shots and captured moments from all aspects of the wedding day.

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Short Listing Potential Candidates

Short listing potential candidates helps you to narrow down your choice to just a few professional wedding photographers who have met your set criteria. There is no point in interviewing a long list of photographers when you’ll finally have to choose just one. So, the best thing you can do is narrow down your list of potential candidates to about 3 or 4. From there, you can carry out interviews, review prices, arrange phone calls or online video chats to narrow down your list further to just one preferred photographer. Remember to look for experience and consistency. At this stage, you can proceed to arrange a one-on-one meeting with the photographer.

Meeting Your Wedding Photographer

So, you have finally settled on a wedding photographer for your wedding. Congratulations! You have gone through all the above steps, done all the necessary due-diligence and research, and finally decided to work with a particular photographer. But wait, you still have not hired them officially.

You have to meet the photographer, get to know them, ask questions, share your ideas and expectations before you sign a contract or service agreement. Do you feel relaxed with the photographer? Are they friendly? Always go with your gut, you know if they are a fit or not! This is very important. You should never wait until the last day to meet your wedding photographer. The meeting can take place online, in person or if the photographer offers pre-wedding shoots, on location.  So, for all intents and purposes, it’s a good idea for you to meet your photographer at least once before the wedding day. This will helps enormously as the ice would have already been broken and if you have done a pre-wedding shoot you will see how the photographer works and built a relationship in the process. As a wedding photographer I find this process so important. Each wedding I photograph is very special and building a relationship with the couple before the wedding day really helps the couple relax and forget all about me being there. It’s really nice to already know the couple when I arrive at their wedding. I am greeted with a friendly face and vice versa.  Pre-wedding shoots can really help with this. If you would like to learn more about the process please follow: Pre-wedding Shoot in Devon

Conclusion

So, in conclusion, choosing a wedding photographer is not as straightforward and trivial as many may presume. It is a process that requires both patience and dedication from the organisers of the wedding. Remember, a wedding photographer is responsible for capturing one of the most memorable days of your life. Ideally, your wedding photos should be so good that they transport you back in time to that special day.

All in all, take your time when choosing a wedding photographer and everything will go just fine!

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about how I can help you please get in touch

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