Guest Blog

Wedding Planning SOS – Picture Perfect? How To Choose A Wedding Photographer

16th February 2012 | Julia Braime

View our Whitebook to find more suppliers we love

.

Karen McGowran

.

.

As a , I receive many, many submissions to my inbox daily.  Mostly, I love what I see – gorgeous images, pretty details and a happy bride and groom.  Sometimes, not so much.  Very rarely I’ll be so disappointed to receive a submission (always from a “photographer” I’ve never heard of before) with poor lighting, accidental composition, could-do-better-yourself sort of stuff.  The sort of stuff you won’t see featured on these pages.

.

One of the main things my readers tell me that they love about this blog is the chance to see real weddings from the real life photographers in their area – people that they might actually book to shoot their wedding, given the local focus of the blog.  Certainly, seeing a photographer whose work you like turning out excellent images on a regular basis is going to help your decision making process.  The point is – it’s your decision, your wedding and YOU who has to like their work, I can only put it in front of you.

.

So, if you are having trouble with the decision making process, my guest blogger Helen of Bash is here with her handy hints for choosing a wedding photographer.

.

We’re not saying this is the only way to make the decision, but Helen’s checklist might come in handy!

.

Helen would like to thank Peter Slaney of Zero Eight Photography for his valuable insights which helped her to create this article.

.

HEART

.

Over to Helen: If you’ve been following this series avidly, you’re probably smiling contentedly having nailed your priorities and found a fabulous venue, and might even be wondering what all the fuss is about. Surely there’s not that much left to do? The rest of the planning will be a piece of cake, right? Hmmm. In actual fact we’ll get our teeth into cake in another post, but not before we’ve considered how to find the perfect photographer.

.

One thing’s for sure. You will be spoilt for choice. There’s a market place awash with photographers who are all as keen as mustard to capture your day in the most imaginative and memorable way. No sooner have you googled ‘Wedding Photographer’, than you’ll find an array of boys and girls willing to wow you with their classic, contemporary, reportage, modern, capture the moment magic, not to mention pre-wedding shoots, trash the dress and this, that and the other. With an album? Without an album? Bronze, silver or gold? From a few hundred to a few thousand pounds. What’s it to be?

.

So many of the couples we speak to simply don’t know where to start and with this in mind, we’re here to offer some friendly advice.

.

Despite anything anyone might say to the contrary, your photographs are really, really important. A great photographer will capture the unique moments that make YOUR day; the emotions and glances you might not see, which might otherwise be lost amongst the euphoria and excitement that inevitably prevails. Stop and think about that for a moment. Done well – and we mean really well – this collection of images is so much more than an ‘account’ of your day! This is the stuff you’ll want to come back to, time and time again, and will cherish FOREVER.

.

The best boys and girls will be booked very quickly and are often spoken for up to two years in advance. Be prepared to invest some time and put the leg work in. Trawl the web, read interviews and look over real weddings on blogs like this one, visit wedding fairs and ask for word of mouth recommendations. But if Auntie Mary suggests that Uncle Bob brings his camera in order to save you some money, think carefully. Think very, very carefully.

.

This is your story. How do you want it to be documented? The styles of wedding photography available are evolving. These days, traditional staged and group shots are less popular and whilst there’s still a desire for honesty, there’s also an increasing demand for more fun, natural, funky, reportage styles.

.

Unless you involve a wedding planner, who should be able to recommend a selection of photographers who meet your criteria and (this is VERY important) who they believe you will get along well with, you might need some pointers. So we’ve pulled together eight Ps, for ppppppppractically perfect photography;

.

.

Karen McGowran

.

.

HEARTPrice it up

.

Be aware of what’s included in the price and consider the value of the overall package. Some photographers will stipulate that they’re only available to spend a limited amount of time with you, whereas others will be dedicated to working with you all day.  What elements of the package are most important to you? It there an option to receive images on a disc?  What about albums?  Are there any hidden extras?

.

HEARTPersonality

.

With an idea of your preferred style and a budget in mind, it’s easy to draw up a shortlist. Call two or three and book consultations. Ask to see samples of their albums but first and foremost, expect them to make the effort to understand precisely how you envisage your day and encourage you to talk about the most important aspects of it. Are you confident that they have the experience and the attitude to ensure you get the best result for your budget? Do you like them? Many good photographers offer a pre-wedding shoot and a venue visit as part of their package. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know one another and develop a rapport before the big day. Do they inspire you with confidence or is your inner voice telling you to beware? Be wary of anyone who wants to talk only about their awards or the letters after their name. At this point in the process, the conversation should be all about you! If you trust your instincts, you won’t go far wrong.  Remember – the choice is yours!

.

Portfolio

.

Expect to see a varied portfolio containing a selection of recent, complete weddings. Are the images attractive, in focus and does the use of light and the composition draw you in and make you look twice?

.

Plan B

.

Expect them to have one! Do they carry spare equipment? How many cameras will they bring on the day? Two digital and a medium format film camera is always a good start. If the digital camera malfunctions, the film won’t let you down. How will they cope with sudden changes in weather or conditions which adversely affect the distribution of light?

.

Paperwork

.

All practising photographers should have Public Liability and Personal Indemnity insurance, ask to see these certificates. Many venues will not allow uninsured photographers on site.  Insist on having a contract, read it top to tail and query anything you’re not 100% happy with before you sign on the dotted line.

.

Products

.

How will you receive your images? Do the albums or books you’re offered fit your style?

.

Payment

.

Ordinarily, you should expect to pay a booking-fee in order to secure a date. The remaining balance is then usually payable within a month or so before the big day.

.

And finally…

.

Perfection

.

By all means look for it – search the web, the wedding blogs and the magazines for that perfect shot, but please consider one thing: ‘What do you want to remember from your day? The cake, the flowers, the dress… or do you want to focus on that moment between you two? The boy? Who fell in love with a girl?’

.

.

Helen is owner and wedding planner at BashClick here to read an interview with Helen

.

Previous guest posts by Helen:

.

Your Move! Wedding Planning SOS- Where On Earth To Begin?!

Wedding Planning SOS- Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn- Wedding Venue Rescue

.

.

Would you like to be a guest blogger for Brides Up NorthContact me

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2012 Karen McGowran 

Bash is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, but this is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

.

.

Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

View our Whitebook to find more suppliers we love

join the northern revolution

Would you like to see your real wedding, love story, styled shoot, forthcoming event or wedding business featured on Brides Up North? Contact Brides Up North for real wedding and features submissions or details of our sponsorship packages.

Contact us to be featured on Brides Up North

have your say

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *

Latest from Instagram