A young wedding guest photographs the wedding photographer, at The Bear Hotel in Cowbridge.

5 Tips to Find the Right Wedding Photographer for You

Video, Wedding Advice

Looking to find the right wedding photographer for your wedding day? Well, I thought it would be helpful and useful to give you 5 tips on how to do so, and take some of the confusion and headache out of your wedding planning..

#1 Style

A young wedding guest holds up a button hole flower, during the wedding ceremony at the Bear Hotel in Cowbdridge 

Not all wedding photography is the same. Different wedding photographers have different styles and different approaches.  So you need to think about what kind of style and approach you want for your wedding photography.

Whilst there are a few different styles, it largely falls between a traditional approach and a documentary approach.

Traditional Wedding Photography is a more formal and directional approach. The traditional wedding photographer will guide you through different set ups and poses. They will make suggestions to get shots which are well composed.  They will also spend a lot of time setting up portraits and group shots, often using off camera lighting to get the perfect images.

Documentary Wedding Photography or wedding photojournalism/reportage, as it’s sometimes also called, is more informal and relaxed. The wedding photography using this approach won’t direct or set up moments.  Instead, they will unobtrusively document the real moments and emotions as they naturally happen.  Whilst they will also do some portraits and group shots, they’ll spend less of their time on these.  This more natural, storytelling approach is the kind of the wedding photography I specialise in.

There’s no right or wrong style.  It ultimately comes down to what style would suit you best.  However, it’ll help you to know what style you prefer when you start looking for the right wedding photographer.

#2 Personality 

The brides groom sticks his tongue out during the wedding at Crockwell Farm in Northamptonshire.

It’s fair to say that your wedding photographer is likely to spend more time with you on the wedding day than any other wedding vendor.  So in finding the right wedding photographer you need to find one whose personality is going to match yours too.

Just as importantly they’ll need to get along with your wedding guests and also be a compatible fit with your other wedding vendors and suppliers.

So it’s only sensible to meet in person with a wedding photographer before you book them.  I always recommend to any potential wedding couple that we meet up for a coffee (on me of course!) first, where we can talk through your wedding plans and how I would approach the wedding.  I also bring further examples of my work along and it’s always relaxed and informal.  So not only do you get to learn more about my approach, you get to know if we’re likely to get along on your wedding day.

I’m delighted to say that nearly every wedding couple I meet in person goes on to book me as their wedding photographer.  Watch me in action at a real wedding here.

#3 Experience 

An elderly female wedding guests dancing during the Putney wedding reception.

Wedding photography is demanding and challenging, and with it comes great responsibility. There’s only one chance to get it right – you can’t have the wedding day again.  So you need to make sure that your wedding photographer has experience in shooting weddings.

Just because someone takes nice landscape photos it doesn’t mean they will be able to handle the pressure of the quick moving, fast changing demands of a wedding day. Different venues, different lighting and different weather can all challenge a wedding photographer.

Other considerations here are whether the photographer has won any awards for their wedding photography?  But a note of caution, awards are everywhere these days, some which are simply paid for.  So ask about the awards, research them online if need.

I’ve won a number of awards for my wedding photography through the Wedding Photojournalist Association and its sister body the Artistic Guild of the Wedding Photojournalist Association.  These are qualifying bodies and well respected awards within the industry.

I’m also now into my 8th year of wedding photography and I’ve shot many different weddings, big and small, from Finchley to Finland.  That experience means the risk of something going wrong with your wedding photography is massively reduced.

#4 Passion 

A wedding guest dancing during the evening reception at Rowton Castle, in Shropshire.

You’ll often find wedding photographers talking about photography being their passion.  I actually believe that passion is something demonstrated rather than simply declared.

You need a wedding photographer who is passionate about getting the best photography from your wedding day, rather than simply seeing it as a job and means to get some extra cash.  So ask about other photography they pursue.  Do they show a love for and knowledge about the history of photography.  Is it something they felt compelled to, doing it as a hobby or for the love of its art form.

Or did they simply get a camera and saw it as a tool to start making money? Will they approach your wedding like a production line, joining the dots but lacking creativity and drive.

Find out more about my background and passion for photography.

#5 Cost 

The wedding silhouetted during the Rowton Castle wedding evening reception.

Of course, you’ll have a certain budget for your wedding, but don’t make the mistake of trying to find the right wedding photographer based on price alone – this is always a route to wedding disaster.

Professional wedding photographers will have invest heavily in their kit.  For example, I shoot every wedding with 3 professional camera bodies and at least a minimum of 5 lenses. This means if something goes wrong, I’m not relying on 1 camera or 1 lens.

Equally, professionals will have invested in insurance, which includes professional indemnity and third party liability cover – something that protects you as a wedding couple too.  They’re more likely to belong to professional bodies and a regulated in that way.

Whilst it may be tempting to go with a photographer offering cheaper prices, it’s likely they’ve cut costs somewhere along the line, be it cheaper, lesser kit, no insurance or don’t belong to a professional body.

Wedding photography is certainly one of those things where you get what you pay for.  In fact, wedding magazines often report that the number one regret of recently married couples is that they never paid more for their wedding photography.

The Right Wedding Photographer

The dancing mother of the groom during the Indian Wedding Sikh Maiyaan ceremony in London

I hope those 5 tips help you in making decisions in finding the right wedding photographer.  It can often be a bewildering and confusing thing to do, but just thinking about these different considerations will make things easier for you.

If you’d like to have a chat with me about your wedding plans and how my natural unposed documentary wedding photography would fit your plans, then drop me a message via my contact page or give me a call on 07920 422144.

Thanks for watching and reading!

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