Get It Right – Top Tips For Hiring A Great Wedding Photographer

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We invited Emma Cake from “The Big Bouquet Wedding Photographer” to write a guest post for us. Here is her very helpful post on how to hire a great wedding photographer. Thanks, Emma.

Type in ‘Wedding Photographer’ and your location into Google and take a look at how many results come up on your screen. It’s a daunting challenge picking out a photographer isn’t it? Especially if you are easily confused by all the photographic jargon some like to rant and rave about. Being absolutely certain that you have picked the right one for your wedding is essential.

With so many different packages, prices, styles and approaches how do you go about finding a photographer that’s right for you quickly and easily?

Weddings

Well, here’s a Top 5 ‘Tip List’ to help you along your way:

1. Be clear on your budget
A lot of photographers like to act quite the car salesman, going for the hard sell and throwing in all sorts of extras at you in the hope you’ll get caught up in the moment. Before you even start to look for a photographer work out how much you can afford. Be wary of photographers who don’t have clear price listings and make sure the package you’re interested in includes any details you may be interested in, like bridal preparation photos or bundled books and prints. A £700 package may sound ideal, but if you’re only going to get basic ceremony shots and a few family photos out of it it’s not as good as it may initially sound.

2. Quick searching
To start with you may have to set aside a bit of time jotting down some potential photographers to get in touch with. If you haven’t had any recommendations from friends and family then the easiest way to do this is by using an Internet search engine. Don’t just type in your area – think of some additional keywords that neatly sum up the style of shot you’re interested in such as ‘Wedding Photographer London Contemporary Relaxed Fun’. Try and get your list down to around 10, making sure you jot down all the essentials like web address, phone number and package costs and your initial thoughts on their gallery examples.

Weddings3. Test the water
Meeting ten different photographers could be a hassle, especially if you’re out at work all week. Test the water by sending out e-mail enquiries. Don’t just ask if they’re available; feel free to ask them as many questions as you can think of. If they’re professional enough to be tolerant of your enquiries then this stands them in good stead. If they take ages to get back to you, or come across as abrupt then you may as well take them off your list straight away. If you decide to book them you will need to make use of their customer service later on so it’s important you can rely on them and they don’t make you feel like a burden.

4. Suss out the relationship
In order to achieve great wedding photos there has to be a good, friendly connection. The only way to see if one exists is to meet up in person. If your photographer makes you feel uncomfortable or would rather talk about their kit and how many letters they’ve bought to go after their name than find out about you and your wishes for the day, then chances are they won’t make you feel relaxed on your wedding day.

As well as asking about their packages and prices don’t be afraid to get personal and ask them questions about their background as a photographer. Do they come across as too nervous or pushy? Wait and see how they follow up your consultation – do they give you a detailed breakdown of your meeting or do they just hassle you to make a decision. If it’s the latter, don’t be afraid to let them know that they weren’t right for you.

5. The ins and outs
It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning out your style of shots and the run-down of your day, but what happens when if your photographer’s car breaks down on the way to the wedding, or your wedding changes date at the last minute? Make sure your photographer has a clear contract detailing all the circumstances you think of. Also, make sure they are covered for any mishaps with Personal Indemnity Insurance… boring admittedly, but you could be thankful for it later!

Finally, make sure you’re clear on the process after your wedding. Find out how long it would take for you to get your photos, and how easy it would be to buy additional prints and at what price.

If you think you need a bit more of a helping hand on finding a good photographer, The Anti-Bride Wedding Planner book from Abundance (£12.99) has a great selection of questionnaires for potential wedding florists, caterers, musicians and photographers.

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3 thoughts on “Get It Right – Top Tips For Hiring A Great Wedding Photographer

  1. Jamie

    Having been through this particular loop in the last year I can concur that most of the above makes aboslute sense. In fact you can apply it to many of the other additional (and wonderful!) expenses for your big day – I’m thinking band, registrar, driver etc. If I had any experience to share it would include; 1. Understand if your photographer shoots in digital or not? There is a notable difference in the final quality of the prints but with digital at least the photographer can shoot and shoot which often leads to some really unexpected beauties! 2. An assertive photographer for the day is a must. You don’t want a shrinking violet that is scared of approaching Uncle Bulgaria. You want someone that, in a friendly style, can direct friends and families and can make say a group shot of 100 people seem fun rather than a chore. 3. Make sure they know who your Best Man is and that they both then have a list of the group shots you want for the day in the order you want them. Your Best Man should round people up or prep them whilst the photographers clicks away. Good Luck!

    Reply
  2. Emma Cake

    Some good additional tips there, Jamie, especially assigning your best man to rounding up everyone for group shots. They’ll be able to shuffle along nattering relatives and spot faces among the crowd better than any photographer :)

    Reply
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