10 Essential Considerations

1. Find your style

Different wedding photographers work in different styles. Some are amazing at traditional portraits, while others prefer to move around and capture your day reportage style. Find a photographer who shoots and edits the style of photos you think will best reflect the essence of your wedding. You may want a combination of both, but speak to the photographer and view lots of complete full albums to ensure their style and work matches what you want and how you want your special day to be captured and told.

2. Budget accordingly

You really do get what you pay for with wedding photography. If you want the full package, with 10 or so hours of coverage by two photographers, expert editing, and fast delivery, you’re going to have to pay for it. Talk honestly to your photographer about your budget so they can suggest ways you can get the most for your money. If possible look to save money in other areas to maximise your photography budget, you photos will be one of the only things you have left after your special day so make sure you get the best story captured in the best way possible.

3. Family shots

Let your photographer know if you want any specific family shots you want, including a list of any group shots and perhaps assign a guest to round up those people on the day for you. It is important to note this point is family shots and important people that you want a photo with in a more traditional style. This is not about telling your photography you would like a shot of you and your husband on the bridge in the garden, or on the steps in front of the venue, let the photographer that you are paying for use their expertise and experience to find and suggest great places for a shot. Trust them, they will have years of experience and may have even shot at your wedding venue before too.

4. Have an engagement shoot

Photography is an up-close-and-personal service and both you and your photographer need to feel comfortable working together. Not only will an engagement photo shoot enhance your wedding album, it works like a dress rehearsal for photography on the day to make you more relaxed and natural in front of the camera.

5. Unplugged wedding

Smartphones can be an absolute nightmare for wedding photographers. It’s almost like having paparazzi to compete with for key shots, like the bride walking down the aisle. You’re paying a lot of money for your wedding photos so follow a growing trend for unplugged weddings by asking your guests to leave their cameras alone and enjoy the experience first-hand rather than through a lens. We covered this topic in more depth in a recent article Unplugged Weddings: Ensure your Guests are ‘there’.

6. Allow enough time

This is especially true for group shots where it can take time to track down key people you want in photos. Let guests know in advance when and where they need to be for group photos. On the flip side don’t let this dominant your day, you want to enjoy it and have fun, you don’t want to have memories of your day stressing about a hundred group shots.

7. You need to like your photographer

You don’t need to like all your suppliers (though it helps) but you do need to like your photographer because they will be photographing your naked emotions. Choose a person you will be happy to spend 8 to 10 hours with on one of the most important days of your life so your smile says “I’m so happy!” rather than “how long until this is over?”.

8. Look at pre-edited shots

Editing is about enhancing a great shot, not fixing terrible photography. Ask to see some pre-edited photos before choosing a photographer so you can see if they are skilled professionals or amateurs with a good editing package.

9. Have a “first look” photo

First look photos, where the bride and groom have a private moment to see each other before their ceremony, provide some of the most beautiful and emotionally charged images of an entire wedding.

10. Book early

The best photographers get booked up way in advance so book early to ensure you’re getting the one you want. Many professional wedding photographers will be taking bookings up to 2 years in advance, and sometimes more! So be warned and don’t be surprised when getting in touch with photographers a couple of months in advance that they are not available for your day. If you want the best make sure you book as soon as you can.

Keith Marrison