How to Make Sure You Book a Great Wedding Photographer
— By Esther Dawson
16 March 2016
You've searched Google. You've picked up a wedding magazine or two. You've browsed the directory onwellingtonweddings.co.nz. It can feel overwhelming – there are so many options! So many different photographers. How do you make sure you select the best photographer for your big day? It all comes down to these 3 things:Style.Personality.Price. Simple, huh?
Every photographer has a unique and individual style. Look through their blog. Study their recent weddings. See how they capture an entire wedding day.
Look at the way they capture moments. Are they simply lining up a pretty shot, or are they pressing the shutter at the right moment too? Does their work show plenty of smiles & laughter? The odd tear?
Look at the way they use locations. Are they creative with their surroundings? Are they using the light in a flattering, beautiful, way? Look at the way they collate and present images, are they telling a comprehensive, emotive story? Your wedding day is a story.
Ask yourself: can you see yourself in these photos?
You’ll spend a lot of time in the presence of your wedding photographer - one bride once mentioned she realised she’ll spend more time with us than her husband on her wedding day!
The best compliment we can receive after a wedding is, “It felt like we were being photographed by our friends”. Ensuring your photographer’s personality is a fit for you, and your guests, is vital to ensuring you enjoy your entire wedding day. And your photos will always be better if you’re enjoying yourself!
Meet your favourite photographers, have a coffee with them, visit their studio. Don’t be afraid to meet a few. Spending an hour in the presence of a photographer will give you a great indication of what it might be like to spend 10hrs with them.
Every couple has a budget. As with many things in life, photographer’s prices are quite often supply & demand. The price you’ll pay for a particular photographer is the cost of stopping them shooting someone else’s wedding (i.e. if you don’t pay their price, someone else will).
There might be a lot of expenses on your wedding day; only you know how much you want to allocate towards your photography budget. Some couples allocate 5%, some allocate 25%.
Decide on the importance of a photographer. These are future memories, memories to be shared with children and grandchildren. Only you can decide on the importance of these.
Bonus tip: Referrals
Whether word-of-mouth or word-of-mouse, suggestions and referrals are such a good clue to a great photographer. The best photographers will constantly be referred by others, and will photograph brother’s and sister’s and groomsmen's and bridesmaid’s weddings.
Sometimes we’ve seen the same family 3 or 4 times over the years! It’s an honour to be asked back to photograph a sibling or cousin.
Seen a photographer in action at your friend’s wedding? Had a recommendation? Someone given you a tip? Follow it. It might just lead to a great photographer!