So, you’re on cloud number nine – you’re getting married!
You’ve both decided upon a date. The church is booked, as is the reception venue. The next thing to organise is the wedding photographer. But where to start? Nowadays there are so many places where you could find your ideal professional – and before you go any further, yes they should be professionals, trained in the art of wedding photography.
A friend or relative with a digital camera may offer to shoot your big day as a wedding present. This is very kind and thoughtful, but unless they are a professional wedding photographer it would definitely not be a good idea. You may think it is going to save you money, but believe me it would be a false economy. Don’t forget – when your wedding day is over, the guests have all gone home, the food is eaten, the dress is stored away in the loft, the flowers have wilted and the honeymoon is over – all you have left, apart from your rapidly fading memories, are your photographs.
If they have been taken by an amateur (even a very well-meaning one), and do not live up to your expectations, it’s too late now to retake them. That’s why it is so vital to find someone who knows what they’re doing, as a wedding is the one day which cannot be recaptured.
There are various methods of finding your wedding photographer. You may know someone who has recently got married. Have a chat with them, and ask to see their photos. Or you may look in your local high street or yellow pages. But the route taken by the majority of couples is to look on the internet. There you will be spoilt for choice! And simply because you have such a wide selection of photographers to choose from, you should be able to find exactly what you want – as long as you know what to look for.
You will want someone who is flexible regarding time. Many wedding photographers charge more if they stay with you for more than their set number of hours. Ideally he should remain with you for an unlimited period of time, at no extra charge (yes, they do exist!).
Good Wedding Pose by Photographer
A husband and wife team, both professional photographers, is also a very good idea. The female half of the team can take early shots of the bride getting ready, and having her dress laced up in her bedroom, without any embarrassment. At the same time the male photographer can be capturing the groom getting ready. These preparation shots are important, for it is the only part of the day when the bridal couple are not together – so these photographs are fascinating when the newly-weds come to view them.
Having two photographers is also extremely useful at other parts of the day. For example, during the ceremony, one photographer will be at the front of the church whilst the other one will be at the back. You will therefore get photos from two angles. And throughout the whole day you will get double the coverage, as your photographers can quite literally be in two places at once!
It is important to discuss with your prospective photographers any special shots you would like taken. They should be able to cope with virtually any request. And it is vital that you establish a rapport with your photographers. If you don’t feel comfortable and relaxed with them, then you will be somewhat tense, which will show in your photos. Don’t forget you’ll be with your photographers for a long time, and even if the photos are technically correct, if you are portrayed as not enjoying yourselves as much as you should, then you will not be satisfied with the pictures.
Even if your favoured wedding photographers tick all the boxes listed above, you should ensure that you see recent examples of their work. These should be albums of several complete weddings, not just their best shots. Ideally they should come to your home to show you their sample work, and spend some time with you. This also allows you to establish the beginnings of a relationship with them.
And lastly, the price. I’m afraid that you get what you pay for, so it is always advisable to pay as much as you can afford. Remember, you’ll still be cherishing these photographic memories for decades to come, long after you’ve forgotten what you paid for them. If you have to overspend on something, then let it be the photography – you won’t be sorry!