When you are planning your wedding and starting to contact different suppliers, you’re bombarded with so many different options. But what do you need to know before booking your wedding photographer?
When it comes to wedding photography, you’re probably going to be looking at photographers from all different areas, with many different styles, and quite possibly across many different price points. So how do you pick the right photographer for you?
Should you pick the one that fits in to your budget even or should you pick the one that you just love their style and way of capturing the day?
Of course there’s not really a right or a wrong answer here, as every couple has different expectations. But in my honest opinion and experience both as a bride and as a photographer working with different couples over the last 2 years, there are some questions that you should ask yourself before you book a wedding photographer.
What Do We Like (Photographically Speaking)?
Start with a few different wedding blogs and have a look at some of the different photography styles. Some blogs feature lots of fine art photography which is light and airy, other feature photography that is more documentary style and perhaps a bit more bright and vibrant. Or perhaps you love the dark and moody style or pictures that are a bit more fashion forward and edgy. Also ask yourself if prefer more colour or more black and white images. Take a note of what styles you like, and also what styles you feel match your wedding day style and vision and look for photographers whose work aligns with these.
What Is Our Photography Budget? Is It Realistic?
Most people who are planning a wedding have never been married before. And have therefore no idea what all things wedding related are likely to cost. As with any industry, not just in weddings, you’ll find people offering their services for a wide variety of prices, from €500 to €15,000. And as will anything in life, you usually get what you pay for, if you know what I mean.
Have a serious look at your overall wedding budget, decide what aspects are the most important to you and decide how much of your budget you want to allocate to each area.
For our own wedding, we spent 1/3 of our total budget on photography because we knew exactly which photographer we wanted, and even though we looked at cheaper alternatives, we knew that if we were going to go over budget on anything, it was going to be the photography, as that was the only part that we’d have to keep after the wedding day.
So you’ve found a few photographers who have made it to your shortlist, and it’s usually the case that some are within your budget and some are over. Now is the time to ask yourself:
Do We Love This Photographer’s Work?
I’ve read too many stories of couples booking a photographer and then asking them to shoot images in the style of another photographer. Or even more crazy, to recreate images from a number of different photographers that a couple has seen on Pinterest. When you book a photographer, you need to like, actually LOVE the work that they produce. Have a look at a few of their most recent wedding galleries. Is this the style of photography that you imagine for your wedding? If your answer is no, then it’s definitely a good idea to keep looking until you find someone that you do love.
When it comes down to a budget issue, this question is still just as relevant. Going back to our own wedding, we found out that our first choice photographer cost almost double what we had budgeted for. So we started searching for cheaper alternatives, and we did find some who were in our budget. But their work just didn’t connect with us the way our photographer’s did. So in the end we decided to forego some of our other items and booked the photographer that we loved. And it was the best decision we made!
Do We Connect With Them On A Personal Level?
When you are hiring a plumber, you’re not looking for someone who’s going to become your new best mate. You just want someone professional, capable and trustworthy. But when it comes to wedding photographers (and videographers and planners too), you need to feel like this person is someone that you would get on with in an everyday situation. Their work might be great, but if your personalities don’t match, neither of you are going to come away from the experience feeling great.
Wedding photography is a collaborative effort. Yes, the photographer needs to have the skills to take good pictures, but so much of what makes good wedding photography is the relationship that the photographer has with the people around them.
A wedding is a very personal, emotional day, and your photographer is usually the person who you’ll spend the most time with. Having someone with you who feels more like a friend than hired help will allow you just be yourselves and forget there’s someone around taking pictures.
Are you still looking for your perfect wedding photographer?
If you think I might be the right person for you, click the link below to contact me and we can arrange a free Skype consultation to have a chat about you and your wedding and to see if we connect.