How to choose a photographer for your wedding
This one, for me especially being a photographer, was so hard! I knew what style of photos I wanted, the budget I had, and what output I desired (digital photos so I could print and share easily). Now I needed to find one to match.
I started with google and searched for photographers local to me.
I posted in various bridal groups asking for photographers to send me portfolios for the date.
(this one wasn't a great idea as I ended up with hundreds of messages and notifications on Facebook lol)
I asked friends for recommendations.
I looked at instagram.
Eventually narrowed it down to 5. Had meetings with 3 of them. Chose the one who fit our budget, had an editing style I liked...and lives in Wales (I'm in Kent lol - so much for local to me!)
So how do you choose? What should you look for? As someone who's been married twice (don't ask lol!!) and is also a wedding photographer, I've got the front row seat on what's most important on helping you to decide.
Start with your theme. Is it vintage? Is it classical? Is it 'every man for himself and bring a picnic'?! Ideally, your photographer's experience should match your theme with their editing and personality style.
Decide a budget. This is important. It's probably going to be a bigger spend for you than the wedding invitations or favours, and a good thing too as besides the bride and groom; I would say that photography is the second most important item of a wedding. How else will you remember what it was really like in 10 years time and have pictures of people who were there for the magic moments?! Average pricing in the UK is from £800 to £2500 for a full day.
Do the research I did above and create a shortlist. Whittle it down to 5 photographers. Then ask them if you can meet and view one full wedding of images. Most photographers will generally only show the 'best of' on their site and not a full wedding, so you want to see a full wedding so you know how consistent they are from beginning to the end.
Ask for a testimonial. I got this one from Nikki and I love it. Their wedding day was amazing. I was showered with lattes and water by the mums, we laughed alot, and I'm not ashamed to say that I did a big cry behind my lens when Nikki walked down the aisle!
Ask for venue experience. Now this one isn't a deal breaker as some venues restrict their preferred photographers lists and you can't get on it until a bride hires you to get in it! However, it's great if your photographer already has images from the venue you have in mind, so they know where the best light is etc. To be fair though, any photographer worth their weight will be able to get this from googling images of the venue, and if they're local, they'll be happy to go there to inspect it anyway.
Get a meeting in the diary. Preferably face to face or over video call. You can research and see testimonials and look at portfolios until you're blue in the face, but until you've met someone face to face...you just don't have the real measure of them. One of the photographers we met with just didn't suit our personalities at all, even though his portfolio was gorgeous and I'd have no trouble recommending him. Nothing was wrong, he was lovely and professional, it's just that well, we were 'not his people' so to speak! (he didn't laugh at our jokes basically ;)
Book an engagement shoot. Benefit for both the couple and photographer, as what better way to get to know each other! An added bonus is that you then can also get more comfortable in front of the camera, and get some fab pictures for your Save the Date cards!
That's just a starting point. If you have looked at photographers, and want my unbiased advice on what to look out for, just pop me a message.
Incidentally, I'm running a competition to win a free engagement shoot (it allows me to try some new techniques and get to meet awesome couples which I love). All you need to do is go to the competition page and enter your details: https://www.lemonfeatherphotography.com/win-free-engagement-session