It’s time to choose The One. No, not the man – if you’ve ended up on these pages, I think you’ve probably managed that – and I don’t mean the dress of your dreams, either. Much as I love poring over a wedding magazine (or twelve!) and calling it ‘work’ – ha! – I’m a big believer that dress decisions should be left to the lady who’s going to wear it…
Of course, I’m talking about your photographer; the wedding supplier many couples place most emphasis on, the most time discussing and invest a significant amount of money in. Of course you do: your wedding photographer is charged with delivering the photos of your dreams from the day you’ve dreamed of for months – years, even – and so it’s fair to say that a lot of responsibility weighs on her or his shoulders.
There isn’t one set standard in wedding photography, no single agreed Holy Grail of the Aesthetic that we’re all pursuing. And that’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned – after all, where’s the fun and creativity in shooting weddings if we’re all ultimately aspiring to the same finished product? But of course, it’s also the bit that makes choosing a photographer such a tough decision. There’s a wealth of talent out there, all offering different deals, services and styles, and so it’s not surprising that the whole process can feel a little overwhelming.
However, I’m hoping that I can simplify things a little for you. You see, putting aside your stylistic preferences and ignoring budget restrictions just for a moment, I think there are three key considerations you need to have in mind when deciding who gets the photography gig.
Ready? Here we go…
Do a background check. Less sinister than it sounds in that what I really mean is do some online snooping. As I said earlier, there isn’t one set standard in wedding photography, nor is there one agreed route or set of qualifications that leads into the business, so keep an open mind. But do ask questions like ‘How long have they been in business?’, ‘Are they full-time?’, ‘How consistent is their work?’ and ‘What do their reviews from real couples look like?’ Of course, a photographer’s website is a marketing tool, but if there’s a distinct lack of kind words about their work from couples they’ve worked with or their portfolio is thin or of variable quality, alarm bells should ring…
Next, dig deeper on their work. The best photographers have a particular style that means their portfolio feels cohesive and slick. Look at a whole album for a single couple if you can, as well as examples of their work in different lighting and weather conditions. You need to look further than the edited ‘highlights reel’ that likely dominates their homepage or Instagram grid (this isn’t photographers being deceptive, by the way – they’re just doing what we all do and highlighting the breadth and quality of their work!) Consider your preferences carefully; so if you know that in your heart you love light and airy portraits, stay true to yourself. Don’t be swayed by a dark and moody photographer, however beautiful the images are – you need to think about what feels most ‘you’.
And then last but certainly not least, once you’ve narrowed down a shortlist or a likely contender, you need to meet. Once you’ve invested the hours in drooling over their website and scrolling back several years on their social media accounts, it’s time to pick up the phone and arrange a coffee – after all, the internet can only take you so far. At this stage, you’ve really got to trust your gut – ask yourself will they slip easily into your day? Can you imagine them bringing out the best in your friends and family? If the answer is yes, then you’re onto a winner!
Want to arrange a conversation about your wedding? I’d love to hear all about it. You can send me a message here .