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How to find a wedding photographer

Many couples are surprised by how much wedding photographers cost. Therefore, it is vital to choose a talented professional to make sure that the spend is worth it and that you get pictures you will want to look at endlessly.

Below is a complete guide to finding the right wedding photographer for you.

finding a wedding photographer
Choosing a wedding photography style

Wedding photography has progressed a long way since the simple point and click, formal pictures. Modern wedding photography is much more artistic.

Below is a short guide to the different wedding photography styles to help you find the right wedding photographer for you.

Classic wedding photography

This style consists of mostly staged and conventional shots. This approach will ensure high-quality pictures, but these may miss more candid moments from the day. Classic wedding photography is best for couples who want a perfect set of photos with all guests looking at their best.

Related articles: perfect wedding photos 10 tips for finding photographers

finding a wedding photographer
Contemporary wedding photography

This approach is much more flexible and will capture more candid moments, light trickery and artistic shots. However, the subjects in the pictures may not always be looking perfectly poised. Contemporary wedding photography is best for couples who want exciting and diverse photos from the day with some staged but artistic shots.

Documentary wedding photography

As the name suggests, wedding photographers who use this style will be in the background snapping away as the events of your big day unfold. They will rarely disrupt the day (apart from taking some formal shots) and will just let everything flow naturally. Documentary wedding photography is best for laid-back couples who want to see an honest portrayal of their day rather than perfectly posed pictures.

finding a wedding photographer

Setting a budget for wedding photographers

Photography should not be scrimped on. Do remember while a dress, car, flowers are for a day the memory will live on in your photos forever. There is no way to capture lost moments after they have happened. It is recommended to budget between £1,000 to £2,000 for a wedding photographer.

There are cheaper packages out there, but these can miss out critical services, such as a USB or non-watermarked photographs. Sometimes newer start-ups may also be cheaper. If opting for a more economical option, make sure to check what the price includes and to examine the look-books of previous wedding work.

Wedding photography prices do tend to accurately reflect the quality of the service and final prints supplied.

finding a wedding photographer
How to find professional wedding photographers

Start by looking at recent friend/family wedding photos and find a style you like. From here, you can contact specific photographers and the consortiums they work within (most individuals will work closely with other similar-style photographers so that coverage can be provided in the event of sickness).

It is also highly recommended to Google winners of region wedding photography awards to get names of talented photographers that come highly rated by other newlyweds.

Do not limit this initial search to local photographers only. Those from other areas may be cheaper and may find photographing a new location more interesting and do an outstanding job.

Related articles: perfect wedding photos 10 tips for finding photographers

finding a wedding photographer
Shortlisting wedding photographers

When reviewing websites, you will start to get an impression of a photographer’s style, preferences and specialisms. It is worth viewing these along with their Instagram profiles – as these often contain more recent work and will have a more extensive, fast-loading selection. It is recommended to look for:

  • Good quality pictures in different lighting and weather conditions
  • Clear images of evening dancing and guests letting their hair down
  • Good compositions in formal shots
  • A balance between arty and formal shots
  • Positive comments from the previous couples
  • The clearly explains the extent of their service, costs and approach
finding a wedding photographer
Contacting wedding photographers

It is recommended to make a shortlist of 1-3 photographers who interest you. Send a broad email to each that specifies your wedding date, location and asks for a skype or telephone catch up to hear more about their approach.

All photographers appreciate how important the selection process is and true professionals will not be pushy so take your time in deciding on the right photographer for you.

Questions to ask wedding photographers

  • Why do they enjoy photographing weddings, and what are their favourite parts?
  • How many photographers will be present on the day?
  • What is their approach in bad weather?
  • What is their emergency plan in case of sickness/unforeseen circumstances?
  • What style of photography do they prefer?
finding a wedding photographer
Questions to ask wedding photographers continued
  • Ask them to give a walk-through of their general approach
  • Length of the day that they will cover
  • How will photos be processed and provided after the wedding (can these be freely printed/shared)?
  • The approximate number of prints you will receive
  • Full costs and a breakdown of timescales (do make sure that it is explicit if VAT is included or not)
  • Is a pre-wedding shot included?
  • How do they divide their time between the bride/groom before the ceremony?
  • How many formal shots they would recommend
finding a wedding photographer

How to choose a wedding photographer - questions to ask yourself

Did you like them?

It is essential to have personalities that match yours and people you will feel comfortable with when you are getting ready.

Did they seem excited about your wedding and plans?

If not, then your wedding could end up being just another job.

Did they seem flexible to the timescales and amount of time you would like them there for?

While much of photography is around the lead up to the wedding ceremony, some of the most fun, relaxed and humorous pictures can often be taken by photographers after dark.

Did they give you honest advice and listen to your ideas, but also provide guidance?

We all think we know the exact pictures we want, but from a decade of seeing photographs, the favourite ones are often unexpected and due to the creative ideas of the photographer. There is nothing wrong with selecting someone who will guide your day and give some direction.

finding a wedding photographers
Booking a wedding photographer

Once you have spoken to a few photographers and selected one you like, it is vital to secure the date quickly, and usually, a deposit will be needed. Photographers will then contact you closer to the day to arrange full payment and check logistics. Your next job is to have some fun looking for photographic inspiration.

Next stage: How to get perfect wedding photos

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