How to choose a Wedding Photographer

Professional Photographer or DIY Courtesy Of Friends & Family?

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One of the biggest days of your lives is being prepared for - months and months of preparation, research, Pinterest boards (!) and ploughing through magazines. The day itself will pass in a wonderful blur and once it’s over you will have your wedding rings, your dress and hopefully the most fabulous set of photographs which will forever be a reminder of the day itself!

So it’s a big deal to get the photography right and it needs to be thought about.

You’ll either be considering hiring a professional photographer or are thinking of asking your friends and relying on them to capture the day. Both of these scenarios require thought from you before the wedding arrives.

So if you’re wanting to hire a photographer then there are a few things to consider…

  1. It’s always good to meet your chosen photographer and make sure that you like them, that you have a rapport and that they are personable. You’ll be spending the best part of the whole day with them from getting ready through to your first dance possibly. You will respond to the photography far more if you get on with your photographer - you need to be yourself and enjoy being photographed. There needs to be a connection. Enough said!

  2. So with this in mind enquire who will actually be there. Will you be getting a member of the team or the ‘real deal’/’head honcho’. Will he or she be bringing an assistant? How long will they be with you? Will you want ‘getting ready’ shots? When will they finish? Will you want shots taken through your meal and speeches and on until your first dance?

  3. The price needs to be determined, and what will be included (album, copyright, USB stick etc).

  4. It’s so important to itemise your ‘must have’ shots that you want from your day. Ensure that names/groups of friends and relatives are there on a sheet of paper ready for calling. A good wedding photographer will know the groups that are important but it really helps if you can supply a list of specific people. And your wedding party will respond favourably if they are called by name making everything much more friendly and convivial!

  5. How and when will you receive your images and in what format?

  6. What recommendations have they had - read reviews and check out Facebook and Instagram accounts. Have they won awards? What’s their history?

  7. And remember - everything you discuss, decide and agree with your photographer should be confirmed in writing. Your wedding may be many months after you’ve booked your photographer so make sure that you’re going to get exactly what was discussed.

  8. And once again (I’m going to repeat myself) - make sure you like whoever you book!!!!

If you’re going to be asking your friends or relatives to take on the task then here are a few points to consider…

  1. Friends who agree beforehand may, on the day, be very distracted. Mainly because primarily they are there as a guest first and foremost. There is socialising to be done, drinks to be drunk and food to be eaten! So consider asking a few friends for different types of shots thus avoiding one person doing everything. Split necessary photos into small groups and ask certain people to be responsible for ‘must have’ shots. Nominate a few friends to capture the flavour of the day and the people there. Guests will naturally get into ‘friendship’ groups when the reception drinks are flowing therefore making it very easy to get everybody photographed.

  2. Group shots are important but are generally seen as a chore. A professional photographer will make this happen (hopefully) very quickly and effortlessly. Make a list and ask a couple of friends who know each side of the family help gather groups etc. DON’T be tempted to wander off yourselves and gather people. This will take so much time up - instead stay together in the one place, don’t move, look gorgeous and let people come to you!

  3. Think about the way you stand - a slight ‘v’ shape, angled in at 45 degrees, weight on one leg alters your hip and makes for a more relaxed stance. Standing flat on to the camera with weight evenly spread never looks relaxed - apply these principles to everybody in your group photos. Remember to keep shoulders down and heavy - not creeping up towards your ears. Same applies to your bouquet - keep your arms and hands low at your waist level (it’s not a microphone tempting as it may seen!) The family group shots are generally seen as the ‘formal’ shots but they don’t need to look stiff and starchy - relaxed, happy people is what it’s all about!

  4. How will everybody get their photos to you afterwards and how will they be edited? This will take more work on your part after the wedding than having a professional photographer do it so be aware. You will have hundreds, if not thousands, of photos that will come in thick and fast.

  5. Always be aware of what’s in the background of your photos - fire extinguishers, fire exit signs, bins etc.

  6. And remember bright sunlight is never good - tempting as it may seem. It is not flattering and will make you squint. Open shade is much more flattering and much kinder to skin etc.

    Whichever way you choose to capture your day, remember that you will have these photographs for ever. So enjoy being photographed, relax and let your happiness shine through. Simple!