Morning!! It is Friday, tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!! Woooo. As we wind down on the blog, you may also be winding down your wedding planning. But if you are still looking for some tips on choosing your wedding photographer then the advice from Sandy, a wedding photographer in Bristol. I didn’t feel I had enough expertise (aside from, if it looks pretty go for it) on the subject so it is a good job I know a lot of photographers that can help you out. I hope you have a lovely Christmas, we will be back on Monday with a festive Weekend Edit and pretty weddings all week!
photography | Love in Focus
Do your research
There are loads of wedding photographers out there, most cities have hundreds if not thousands all vieing for your business so how do you choose? Luckily there are also loads of ways of finding them, ask friends for recommendations, search online, read bridal magazines and go to wedding fairs (btw, a quick tip for wedding fairs – if a supplier has a huge discount on offer if you book at the fair, it is probably not a real discount. They just add that amount to their price and then discount it to make it look like a better deal than it really is! Sometimes you can catch them out by checking their website on your phone).
Find a few who you like the look of and have a good look around their websites, check out featured weddings as well as their portfolio page as this will give you more of an idea of what the whole wedding will look like.
This should give you a sense of their style. You will probably find that you like a certain style more than others, most photographers will say what they consider their style to be on their website.
Pick your top 3
The level of choice can become overwhelming so try to narrow your options down to just 3 people who are your favourites and get in touch. Wedding photographers often book up a year or even more in advance so your first question should be to see if they are available for your date. If one of your favourites is booked add in the next person down the list.
The photographer will probably suggest you meet up for a chat, this is really important as it gives you a chance to see how you get on. You have already decided you like their work so while seeing some more of their work is great, the meeting is more about deciding if you want them to be at your wedding.
Ask the right questions
Other than talking over the practicalities of how they work and what they are trying to achieve there are a few questions you should always ask.
Do they have insurance?
Every professional photographer should have public liability, professional indemnity and kit insurance. Public liability covers them for if something were to happen to one of your guests and it was their fault, professional indemnity covers them for if something goes wrong and it was their fault (more on that in a minute) and kit cover protects their camera gear. You might think the kit cover isn’t too important but what if someone breaks their camera at the wedding before yours? Good kit cover will cover the cost of hiring gear until their replacement comes through allowing them to shoot your wedding.
What is their policy if they are ill or otherwise unable to cover your wedding?
They should have access to a network of other professionals they can call on to stand in for them if it became necessary. If the absolute worst happened (lets say they were in a cars crash on the way to your wedding) and they are unable to call on their network, this is where them having professional indemnity insurance becomes important, that will pay for the cost of you having to call on someone last minute. Most photographers have never missed a wedding so this is rare but it is important they have arrangements in place.
Can you see a whole wedding?
It makes sense that photographers will only feature their best work on their websites to give the best impression but this makes it harder for you to get a proper idea of their work. Asking to see a whole wedding should help.
How long until we get our photos?
This can vary hugely depending on the photographer and the time of year but it is worth asking right at the beginning just so you know what to expect. Processing a wedding is a time consuming activity so don’t be surprised if they say up to a couple of months at busy times. It will normally be much faster than that though! If they basically say you can have them the next day then this should ring alarm bells as this means they are not processing your images and you won’t be getting the best you can get.
Make a decision
There are obviously lots of factors that come into play but go with your gut. Liking them is really important as they will be with you throughout your wedding day.
Once you have picked someone and completed the booking just trust them and don’t worry. This will make your life easier and they almost certainly know their job better than you so just relax. Go with their ideas, photographers see the world differently and what might just look like a tree or a door to you could be the start of a masterpiece. Oh and if they say come now the light is great, go! Light changes really quickly and you can end up missing what could have been the photo that hung on your wall for the rest of your life.
So if you are still looking for a wedding photographer I hope these tips help. You can check out more of Sandy’s work on his website and whilst he is a wedding photographer in Bristol, he does travel nationwide, as do most photographers. Don’t forget that!