There was one piece of advice from a married friend that stuck with me: “don’t scrimp on your photographer!”
I suppose we already knew that anyway though – as someone who appreciates a good photograph, I knew that we had to make sure we found the right person to capture our day.
Choosing your wedding photographer can be an extremely overwhelming process. There are SO MANY out there, it can be hard to narrow down. To make things easier, we searched blogs for ‘real weddings’ in the East Midlands, and if we liked their photography, we’d take a note of it.
We had a list of five people who were all within our budget, and we simply had to narrow it down to ‘the one’. Then one day, I found myself browsing through the photos of a gorgeous rustic wedding in Leicestershire, and the photos were stunning. They captured the wedding so well, I felt like I was there. Everything from the emotion, the rawness, and the completely candid photos that looked like a scene from a movie.
So I Googled ‘Amy Shore Photography’, and found myself on her Instagram account.
I was a little confused at first, because I expected to see lots of wedding photos, but instead I found myself looking at (very gorgeous) pictures of cars. As I scrolled I realised that not only was Amy a wedding photographer, but she also photographed classic cars. It seemed like fate, giving Rob’s line of work, and so I sent him the link.
It turns out, he was already well aware of her lovely photos, as she often attended the same kind of racing events as him; capturing cars of some of his friends and colleagues.
Well, that’s it then, isn’t it?! So we arranged to meet up for a coffee, and after chatting to her (mostly about cars to be fair), we booked her.
I instantly felt relaxed around her, and so did Rob, which was a big tick on our checklist. We explained that we love candid photos, and didn’t want too many ‘posey’, styled-out photos. She asked us questions about the wedding, and asked us to make a list of ten shots we definitely wanted, i.e. Rob’s reaction as I walk down the aisle, or a picture of my Dad crying. You know the drill.
A photographer can cost anything from £100 to £5000. Our budget was £1500 and that’s exactly what we ended up paying. For this, we get Amy and her assistant all day to capture all the precious details, and I really couldn’t be happier with our decision.
When you’re on the hunt for your photographer, there are a number of things you need to take into account:
· How long do you want them for? Although most photographers typically stay from the getting ready right up until the dancing begins, that might not be your preference. See if they offer a reduced rate if you only want them for part of your day.
· Will they have an assistant? Amy will be with me whilst I get ready, whereas her assistant will be on the boat with Rob. When my sister got married, I remember really loving looking back on what the boys got up to whilst they were getting ready!
· Shooting style: do you want candid photos, or more traditional photos?
· What is included in their basic wedding package? This can vary: Amy will give us a digital copy of all our images so we can select which ones we want to print. A lot of photographers will give you the digital versions on a disc but also print out a photo book of a selected number of images. In an ideal world, we would like to get ours printed, but we’re more than willing to pay the extra cost to do this ourselves.
When you begin your hunt, an easy way to narrow it down is by searching in your area. If you get your heart set on a photographer who is based miles away, you’ll find yourselves having to pay for travel expenses and accommodation too, which can make those figures go up, so finding one in your area would obviously be the ideal.
Again, get yourself an Excel spreadsheet and write down five that you absolutely love. List pro’s and con’s and compare prices, then slowly begin to narrow it down. Heck, you can always meet and have a coffee with all five if you want, as meeting in person will give you a better indication of their working style. Plus… we all love an excuse to go for a coffee.