While your big day will undoubtedly be unforgettable, it’s still important to have reminders that you can cherish forever. Everyone wants their wedding photos to be perfect so you’ll need to find the perfect photographer. It’s so important that you’re happy with your wedding photos. It can be one of the biggest wedding regrets for couples that they either didn’t capture everything they wanted or they ended up not liking the photographer’s style. So, we have put together a handy guide to choosing the right photographer, from the different styles of wedding photography to some steps to finding who will be the perfect person to capture your memories for you.
The Three Main Styles of Wedding Photography
If you are not familiar with photography, the different terminology can be somewhat confusing, especially how these words then affect your wedding photos. But, luckily it can be simplified! No matter how much you plan on spending, most wedding photographs will offer one of the three most common types of wedding photography:
Documentary photography is also known as photojournalistic or reportage photography. This means that your photographer can mingle with you and your guests in order to capture candid and spontaneous shots. This style is all about the authentic reactions and emotions of the special day so your photos can reflect the real wedding story. It is good if you want your photographs to feel genuine as there’s no posing. While this means you can relax more as the photographer will be as unobtrusive as possible, you may not get any posed group photos unless you specifically request them, so consider mentioning this when enquiring!
Traditional or formal wedding photography is the classic posed look, such as conventional group shots of the couple and the wedding party. This used to be the most popular style, which involves lots of direction from the photographer, but it also takes time and means taking a chunk of time out of your special day. But, while your photos might be a bit formulaic, they will be beautifully lit and shot. So you have to decide whether beautiful pictures that definitely include all your loved ones are worth the interruption to your day.
Contemporary photography is more in the realm of fashion or editorial photography combined with a documentary style. This means it is perfect if you want some fashionable couple photos and then an artistic approach to the other shots. But it is important that you find a photographer with the same creative vision as you as a couple, whether that’s street style, portraits, conceptual or nature-focused. If not, instead of dramatic and unique photographs, you might find that the photographer’s vision does not capture who you are as a couple.
How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer
Once you have decided what style of wedding photography suites you best, it's time to find the perfect photographer to make your vision a reality! Here are our top tips to guide you through the process of finding a wedding photographer.
Set a Budget
You don’t want to find a photographer you love and then discover that you can’t afford them! Make sure to discuss with your partner how much you can legitimately spend and always keep that in mind during your search. Most photographers will have starting prices on their website or you could ask a few for a quote to give you an idea. Don’t forget that your wedding photos are one of the most important things to invest in and you definitely get what you pay for!
Look at a Portfolio
Of course, seeing a portfolio is essential! Their website will have a highlight reel, but we recommend trying to get your hands on a full wedding album as three or four photos won’t tell you the whole story. Wedding photographs should flow throughout the day and not dip in quality at any point. By looking at a whole wedding shoot, you decide that you don’t like the way the photographer shoots group photos or in low-light, so make sure you have the full picture!
Ask for Testimonials
One of the best ways to find a photographer is to get recommendations from online reviews. A reputable photographer will have lots of testimonials from clients they’re happy to share with you or will put you in touch with previous clients.
Do They Know Your Venue?
It is always helpful if your photographer has shot at your venue before. Then, they can use their experience to shoot you in the best locations and lighting.
Arrange a Meeting
Your photographer is going to be spending a whole day with you so you need to make sure you get along! It is very important to meet them face-to-face, ask questions, go through their portfolio and see how you feel with them before you pick them. The more relaxed you are around your photographer, the more genuine your photos turn out.
Narrow Down Your Shortlist
It is probably a good idea to have a meeting with two or three photographers but you do need to pick just one! If you feel comfortable with all of them, it will come down to price and package options. Think about the number of hours of coverage on the day, a second shooter, prints or albums and how long the proofs will take to get back.