How NOT to Book your Wedding PhotographerMay 20, 2020 Expert advice
This post is for couples that want to have awesome wedding photos that honestly reflect how beautiful their wedding day was. We want to help you think through some of the common mistakes that couples make when booking their wedding photographer so that you can avoid them!!
Here are top 5 mistakes to avoid when booking your wedding photographer.
1) They’re running an enticing sale
Tempting I know, you’re on a budget and everyone loves to save money (as much as Peppa Pig loves jumping in muddy puddles- or my one-year-old boy for that fact). But wedding photography is not an area you should cut back on.
Your wedding photos will be the only enduring keepsake you and your family will have to remember your wedding by. After your wedding day is over, your cake will have vanished, your flowers will have wilted and your family and friends will have returned home. How disappointed would you feel if your wedding photos failed to capture the energy and excitement of the biggest day of your life?
Don’t let a ‘great sounding’ offer be your deciding factor. Before you make ‘savings’ on your wedding photography spend, ask yourself where they cut corners.
It would be helpful to ask yourself:
- Do they invest in the best equipment (will back-up equipment ready to go)?
- Will they assist you in your wedding planning to help you maximize the photography coverage and make the day stress-free for you and your guests?
- Will they have the time to invest in working through your ideas with you to bring out your best?
- Do they offer an engagement shoot to make you feel camera comfortable prior to your wedding day?
- Will they make time to plan for every weather situation?
- Do they include a pre-wedding consultation, or will they just turn up on the day after receiving your wedding schedule?
It might be better to save money on other areas of your wedding budget- it’s just a question of what your priorities are and what you value on your wedding day.
2) The venue recommended them
Venue recommendations are a great place to start in the search for your wedding photographer. They will have worked with so many photographers that their endorsement is important. However, you may find that their preferred suppliers work in a style that you don’t see your day being captured in.
The way your photographer approaches your wedding has to suit your style and taste. You might want a photographer that edits their photos in a light and airy way or a moody way. This is not to everyone’s taste if you prefer the work of photographers that edit in a less intensive way (more timeless look), as presets and filters fall in and out of fashion.
Also, some wedding photographers work purely in a documentary fashion and do not really interact with guests on any level – focusing only on capturing candid moments. Whilst others will provide direction to almost every shot. The best wedding photographers, in our opinion, are the ones who balance the two perfectly to tell your wedding story.
It’s all about finding the area of the spectrum that you love. So, you might want to look beyond your venue’s recommendations.
3) I have a family member with an awesome camera!
You may know a keen photo enthusiast with the latest camera who’s prepared to help out. But before you say ‘yes’ to your family member or friend, think very carefully.
Wedding photography is the most challenging type of photography there is. You have to be able to shoot in a very wide range of settings, often in challenging lighting conditions, and you must be able to adapt continual changes in lighting on the fly. This only comes with experience and understanding your camera settings inside out.
One minute you’ll be in a very dimly lit church for the ceremony, the next you’re contending with harsh mid-afternoon sun. After that, you’re at a reception venue that requires an extra kick of lighting for the first dance, oh and you absolutely need to know how to make the most of golden hour (it’s the most gorgeous light of the day)!
Added to that, and this can’t be understated, is that the pace of weddings is really FAST. Seriously, you have to be on the ball all day. What if your photographer friend ended up missing key shots because they were faffing with their camera settings? There are shots that you cannot retake! (arrival of the bride, first kiss, reactions of guests and all the spontaneous moments that occur throughout the day). Why risk having shots missing from your wedding story or having unusable photos due to technical difficulties? Worse still, it may even put so much strain on your future relationship with your friend.
Need more convincing? Click here to read our article “Why even bother having a professional wedding photographer”
4) Their portfolio is amazing!
Photographers will only show their best work in their portfolio. It will have been carefully curated to show you what they want to shoot and to convey their style.
Wedding stories are about so much more than the ‘wow’ moments. It’s all the in-between moments that tell your wedding story. You’ll want your wedding photographer to be adept at capturing the tears of joy, tears of laughter, dancing your heart out and all the cheeky smiles and outtakes (all things that don’t make it onto their home page).
There’s so much to take in on your wedding day that one of the exciting things of seeing your wedding photos for the first time is getting to see all the cool things that you didn’t even know were happening! Great photographers live for this!
Bonus tip- View a selection of whole weddings
It’s relatively easy for a wedding photographer to gather a set of images for their website home page or blog post that will impress. When a wedding is being shot, many hundreds of frames will be rattled off the camera, so a photographer can get lucky and come up with a few solid images that are worth sharing at the end of it all.
What’s far more difficult is capturing a whole wedding where the photos look great from start to finish. Ask your wedding photographer to show you a couple of weddings that they have shot recently IN FULL. That way you’ll be able to truly judge the quality and consistency of their work.
You’ll quickly discover if their wedding photos are jam-packed with great moments and creative compositions, or if most of them are pretty average with a few exceptional ones here and there. You’ll also be better able to see if their style will work for you.
5) We don’t like the photographer as much as their photos
‘It doesn’t matter that we don’t feel a personal connection with the photographer, we simply just love their work and that’s all that matters!’
Your photographer will be a guest at your wedding, so you need the person that you hire to feel like a friend rather than a hired hand. This is SO important because your wedding photographer will share in your WHOLE day. They’ll witness some of the most precious moments in your life, not to mention they’ll be shadowing you all day. The more comfortable you feel with your photographer, the more natural and relaxed your wedding photographs will look.
I always recommend meeting with your wedding photographer. So go on, let them take you for a coffee to chat through your wedding plans so they can understand firsthand what is most important to you on your wedding day.
Bonus tip- Questions to ask yourself when meeting your wedding photographer:
- Does the photographer get excited by my vision for the day?
- Do they make helpful suggestions?
- Are their mannerisms off-putting? (You don’t want them to annoy, or even worse offend, you and/ or your guests)
- Are they a good listener?
- Do they seem confident or shy?
- You need someone who is assertive enough to seek out great moments and to keep proceedings moving, but also calm enough to be a positive force in a fast-paced day where things might not always go to plan…
- Do your personalities gel?
Above all else, go with your gut (it’s hardly wrong), as to which person you feel would be most suited to shooting your day.
Still searching for your wedding photographer? Contact Nathan Walker; Nathan provides relaxed wedding photography for fun-loving couples planning laidback weddings in Nottingham, the East Midlands and beyond.
You can also use Confetti’s directory to find photographers in your area.
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