Tips for Choosing a Wedding Photographer.

In order to savour the memories of your big day, you will need photos or video of the event.  I was fortunate to have a very talented family member who took some fantastic photos of my wedding, but how do you choose your photographer?

On this occasion I thought I would hand over to one of our suppliers, Sam Lane Photography to get her to give us some tips on choosing your wedding photographer…..

 

SLP1(1)

OK I’ll show my hand straightaway, I am a photographer and I love weddings, choose me!  (If only it was as simple as that).

I’ve been really trying to work out the keys to success in an increasingly competitive world – where everyone’s a photographer and everyone has a camera in their pocket – and answer the million-dollar question: How does a bride (and/or groom, and/or mother of the bride) choose the perfect photographer for the perfect day?

Are Wedding Fairs effective? Do Wedding Directories or Bridal magazines help point you to the perfect supplier; or is Word-of-mouth the best option?

I’ve put together some thoughts on what I think should be key considerations when selecting a wedding photography package.

1 Decide how important photography is for you

I’m working with a couple who want a two-hour photo session of just them on their wedding day – dedicating time to get really beautiful photos that mean something very special to them; and then, at the other end of the scale, I’m hearing stores about how ‘we don’t want any formal photos’, and, ‘we’re just putting out some disposable cameras on the tables for the guests to take pics’. Ask yourself how important is photography on our wedding day? And this will determine how much time, effort and money you spend on it. Many of the items on your wedding checklist are for one-day only: the hair, the make-up, the dress, the suit hire, the venue, champagne, catering, flowers, car, disco… whereas the photos last forever. Some say about 10% of the overall wedding budget should be dedicated to photography. At the end of the day it’s the choice of the budget holder(s) and a balance with the other elements that works for you.

Check out The Knot and WeddingPhotographerIndex has a simple calculator.

2 And, don’t scrimp on the budget

Consider what you are asking your photographer(s) to do: have one, two or more pre-wedding planning meetings and correspondence; 10+hours on the day, plus travel to and from the venue(s); possibly double or triple those hours to edit through and prepare the images; and also their experience, insurance, equipment… Make sure you truly value what you are asking for.

3 Experience matters

Don’t settle for your brother’s mate’s cousin who’s got a nice camera and takes nice pics. Paying a Professional means that you will have a dedicated person focusing on the job of documenting your wedding from start to finish, working to an agreed plan and not distracted by friends and family dynamics etc. Wedding Photographers do this for a living, week in, week out; Pro Photographers that ‘do Weddings’ have experience and many successful stories to tell. Amateurs and willing friends may well have all the gear and some idea but be warned you get what you pay for… and I for one don’t chose a dentist that’s watched a few YouTube videos or a plumber that’s watched someone else fit a new shower…

SLP2

 

4 Ensure you see ‘real’ work

Many photographers will only showcase their ‘pretty weddings’ or a couple of ‘perfect’ commercial shots (which may actually have been taken on a workshop rather than at a real wedding). To get beautiful, dramatic couple shots you will need to allocate time to set these up, they don’t just happen by accident and most people do not have the perfect OK/Hello Magazine wedding. Get testimonials from actual couples that have experienced the photographer on the day – and remember there’s a lot more to wedding photography than the photos – there’s directing, people management, project management, time management and quality control that goes on to make the day work

SLP3

Photo taken on a two-hour photo shoot – not a real wedding:

 

5 You’ve got to like them

To be honest this is really critical for me. The photographer you choose will often be with you all day, privileged to be witnessing private moments, capturing memories that you will keep forever… We start as strangers and become friends and almost members of the family. We go on a journey together from the moment we first have contact until handing over the album and beyond… And trusting your special day with a new supplier is an emotional decision not just a financial transaction. Meet them face to face and decide if you actually want them in your life!

 

Of course I am happy to meet you face to face and discuss your requirements! sam@samlanephotography.co.uk ;0)

 

OK I’ll show my hand straightaway, I am a photographer and I love weddings, choose me!

 

(If only it was as simple as that).

 

I’ve been really trying to work out the keys to success in an increasingly competitive world – where everyone’s a photographer and everyone has a camera in their pocket – and answer the million-dollar question: How does a bride (and/or groom, and/or mother of the bride) choose the perfect photographer for the perfect day?

 

Are Wedding Fairs effective? Do Wedding Directories or Bridal magazines help point you to the perfect supplier; or is Word-of-mouth the best option?

 

I’ve put together some thoughts on what I think should be key considerations when selecting a wedding photography package.

 

1 Decide how important photography is for you

I’m working with a couple who want a two-hour photo session of just them on their wedding day – dedicating time to get really beautiful photos that mean something very special to them; and then, at the other end of the scale, I’m hearing stores about how ‘we don’t want any formal photos’, and, ‘we’re just putting out some disposable cameras on the tables for the guests to take pics’. Ask yourself how important is photography on our wedding day? And this will determine how much time, effort and money you spend on it. Many of the items on your wedding checklist are for one-day only: the hair, the make-up, the dress, the suit hire, the venue, champagne, catering, flowers, car, disco… whereas the photos last forever. Some say about 10% of the overall wedding budget should be dedicated to photography. At the end of the day it’s the choice of the budget holder(s) and a balance with the other elements that works for you.

Check out The Knot and WeddingPhotographerIndex has a simple calculator.

 

2 And, don’t scrimp on the budget

Consider what you are asking your photographer(s) to do: have one, two or more pre-wedding planning meetings and correspondence; 10+hours on the day, plus travel to and from the venue(s); possibly double or triple those hours to edit through and prepare the images; and also their experience, insurance, equipment… Make sure you truly value what you are asking for.

3 Experience matters

Don’t settle for your brother’s mate’s cousin who’s got a nice camera and takes nice pics. Paying a Professional means that you will have a dedicated person focusing on the job of documenting your wedding from start to finish, working to an agreed plan and not distracted by friends and family dynamics etc. Wedding Photographers do this for a living, week in, week out; Pro Photographers that ‘do Weddings’ have experience and many successful stories to tell. Amateurs and willing friends may well have all the gear and some idea but be warned you get what you pay for… and I for one don’t chose a dentist that’s watched a few YouTube videos or a plumber that’s watched someone else fit a new shower…

4 Ensure you see ‘real’ work

Many photographers will only showcase their ‘pretty weddings’ or a couple of ‘perfect’ commercial shots (which may actually have been taken on a workshop rather than at a real wedding). To get beautiful, dramatic couple shots you will need to allocate time to set these up, they don’t just happen by accident and most people do not have the perfect OK/Hello Magazine wedding. Get testimonials from actual couples that have experienced the photographer on the day – and remember there’s a lot more to wedding photography than the photos – there’s directing, people management, project management, time management and quality control that goes on to make the day work

 

Photo taken on a two-hour photo shoot – not a real wedding:

5 You’ve got to like them

To be honest this is really critical for me. The photographer you choose will often be with you all day, privileged to be witnessing private moments, capturing memories that you will keep forever… We start as strangers and become friends and almost members of the family. We go on a journey together from the moment we first have contact until handing over the album and beyond… And trusting your special day with a new supplier is an emotional decision not just a financial transaction. Meet them face to face and decide if you actually want them in your life!

 

Of course I am happy to meet you face to face and discuss your requirements! sam@samlanephotography.co.uk ;0)