January 18th 2023
How to choose the right wedding photographer for you
As a busy North Wales and Cheshire wedding photographer, I have shot hundreds of weddings over the years. I constantly meet with couples who are planning their weddings and see the wealth of choices they have to make. To help, I’ve come up with 10 things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer. They are:
1) Know what budget you have for your wedding photographer?
Set a realistic budget and stick to it. There’s no point in meeting with wedding photographers that you know you can’t afford. A good wedding photographer will not be elusive about price. In fact, there should at least be some basic information about price on their website.
Remember to check what the costs are after the day. Some clients don’t factor in the cost of the creation of prints, frames and photobooks. Also, find out what will your closest family have to pay if they want to purchase images as well.
On my website, my prices are clearly explained so there are no hidden costs and everybody is clear on exactly what is covered.
2) Choose a wedding photographer who has a style that you like.
When you choose a wedding photographer choose one who’s style you are drawn to. Whilst a professional wedding photographer will always shoot your wedding the way you want them to, they do all come with their own distinct style so go for one who’s images really connect with you. Some people want reportage photography which is a storytelling style. Others want hi-end glamour shots like something out of a fashion Magazine. Choose a wedding photographer who has a style that you would like for your wedding photographs. To get a feel for my style, feel free to browse my gallery.
3) Read reviews about wedding photographers
We live in a time when reviewing is everywhere, which is really helpful when it comes to choosing a wedding photographer. A review can really show you previous clients experiences and it’s the little details in reviews that really can make a difference. Reading testimonials from previous clients is essential, as well as guest comments on social media tell you a lot of what you need to know about a wedding photographer. I have a reviews page on my website with testimonials from my previous clients and I also constantly receive kind words from couples and their wedding guests via Facebook
4) View your wedding photographer’s portfolio.
Start with their website. All professional wedding photographers have websites. Take a look at their gallery. Are the images of a high quality? Do they have sharp focus? Are they telling the story of wedding days? Do the images capture the emotion of the moment? Photography, like all art, is subjective so you have to trust your instincts on this. I always encourage potential clients to browse the pages of my gallery before making contact with me.
5) Meet your wedding photographer in person
If that’s logistically difficult at least talk via zoom. Check you feel comfortable with them. How are you going to relax in front of them on your wedding day if you don’t feel comfortable talking to them for five minutes? A good wedding photographer will build a rapport with you leading up to your wedding day. They’ll want to hear about your wedding plans, your expectations of them and any anxieties you have around being photographed. Then you can talk everything through so that by the time the wedding day comes around, you trust them and relax in front of the camera.
6) Don’t get pushed into booking your wedding photographer straight away.
Talking is free. Initial meetings are free. Take your time and don’t be pressured into signing with the first photographer you meet. You are not committed until you sign a contract, so take your time and make sure that you’re sure.
7) Does your wedding photographer know how to use flash photography?
Those glowing bridal prep photographs, romantic sunset portraits and lit up dancefloor antic shots don’t just happen. They are created by professional wedding photographers working cleverly with flash photography and available light. Wedding photographers have to capture images from morning to late night in several different locations and in whatever light and weather is thrown at them. They often work in spaces that have little or poor light like churches, castles and barns. You need a wedding photographer that fully understands flash photography so that they can use it cleverly to create beautiful images.
8) Book a professional wedding photographer not an enthusiastic amateur
I know you’re thinking; well he would say that wouldn’t he. But think about it, a professional photographer will come with a contract that protects you. They’ll have insurance, they’ll have plan B’s in place if anything goes wrong, they’ll have back up equipment if something breaks. They’ve probably captured wedding photography at your venue before. They will even arrange a backup photographer in case of an emergency on the day.
You really can’t put a value on the peace of mind you will have knowing that your wedding photography is in safe and experienced hands.
9) Get a good understanding of your wedding photographers delivery times.
You should get your wedding photos around 6-8 weeks after your wedding day. I usually get my wedding couple’s photos to them in half that time. Though I hear stories of couples waiting a lot longer than this, which can happen if your wedding photographer is doing wedding photography as a side gig. This can also happen when wedding photographers take on too many weddings, which causes a backlog in editing. I always take on a limited number of weddings each year. This is so that I can ensure that each wedding gets the attention it deserves. Both running up to the wedding and in the delivery of their photographs afterwards. This and other questions are addressed in the frequently asked questions section on my website.
10) Ask your wedding photographer if they offer pre wedding photoshoots?
Pre-wedding photoshoots are a great idea. Many couples tell me they feel uncomfortable being photographed or that they never like pictures of themselves. A pre-wedding photoshoot is an opportunity to fix all of these worries. So that it won’t be an issue on the wedding day. I love doing pre-wedding photography as it’s a chance for my couples to get used to me photographing them. So that when we meet up at the wedding it’s like seeing friends again. If they need it, I give them tips to help them to be more comfortable in front of the camera.
Many of my couples go on to use the images from the photoshoot in their wedding stationery and build their favourite images into their final album. I charge just £100 for pre-wedding photography and for that you get an online gallery with 10-20 photographs. You are welcome to bring along your children, or your beloved pets to join you!
So that’s my top 10 of things to consider when choosing a Cheshire / North Wales wedding photographer. I hope I’ve equipped you with some useful advice. It’s important to go into wedding planning organised and knowing what questions to ask. But it’s also important to make planning your wedding as stress free as possible. So have fun with it!
And if you think I could be your perfect North Wales / Cheshire wedding photographer then feel free to get in touch.
I’d love to hear about your wedding plans…