When it comes to choosing a wedding photographer, the rules you have used to choose your other vendors will quickly go out the window. Why? Because unlike music, bouquets, cakes or clothing, wedding photography isn’t something you can see, hear, feel or taste – you don’t really know what the finished product will be until after the wedding. This means that choosing your photographer requires a different research and selection process. Thankfully, with years of experience in wedding photography, we know exactly what you should be looking for.
Here are our top tips to help you choose your wedding photographer.
First and foremost, quality is of the essence. Photographers offer a range of prices but generally speaking, when it comes to photography, the more you spend the better the quality and service. While you may initially feel that finding a photographer is just another one of those things on your list, really consider its importance. After the wedding, getting your wedding album will quickly become the thing you are looking forward to the most. Unfortunately for many couples, this is the time when they begin to realise the true importance of good wedding photography. If you find a photographer whose style you love but who is a little out of your budget, perhaps reconsider if you are willing to invest a bit more to ensure good quality photos you’ll love.
Make sure your personalities match
It’s essential to meet with your photographer in person, or if you’re getting married abroad, arrange a Skype call. Get a feel for the person and whether you click. You will be spending your wedding day with them and putting the responsibility of capturing your memories in their hands, so make sure you get good vibes only. A great way to find this out is with an engagement photo shoot. This will allow you some time together and you can evaluate the end result.
It’s important to openly discuss what you want from your photographer and to understand exactly what you are getting. If you have certain shots in your mind, inform your photographer so these can be added to the schedule for the day.
Samples of work
It might sound obvious but carefully view samples of your photographer’s work. This is the best way to gage a feeling for their style of photography. Furthermore, if you are getting married in winter – for example – ask to see photos from a wedding of this season. It’s also good to view a complete album from start to finish to give you an idea of layouts and how the photos flow. Find out if your photographer has shot at your venue before and view this to give you an idea of locations you’ll be using on the day.
A good photographer can capture good shots, whatever the weather so ask him or her if they have a plan B for bad weather. Bad weather may mean outside shots are off limits so have a look at photos taken inside your venue.
Ask for a rough estimate of timings. Enquire how long group shots will take and how long you and your partner will be away for those newly-wed photos. A professional photographer can capture stunning photos in a timely manner, allowing you to spend plenty of time with your family and friends, which is what a wedding is all about. Discuss what photos will be taken at what stages of the day so you know what to expect.
Member of a professional association
A great way to engage the quality and standard of a photographer is whether they are a member of a professional association. The Professional Photographers Association of Northern Ireland (PPANI) is home to some of Northern Ireland’s best photographers with each photographer being a specialist and qualified in their respective chosen fields.
Your perfect wedding collection
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you are clear on exactly what you would like included in your wedding collection. If there are options for wedding albums, which one will you go for? Do you want to add access to digital copies to your wedding collection? Will the photos be available online for your friends and family to view and purchase? Is a second shooter important to cover groom prep in the morning? Would you like to extend coverage to cover the first dance? Would you like to add on a engagement shoot? Or can your photographer offer you additional services like a photo booth?
I, like many other professional photographers love to look after our couples and want to make sure you get exactly what you’d like, so make sure to let us know your wish list of services and products to build your dream wedding collection.
If you would like to enquire about Donal and/or Tom’s availability for your wedding day, click here to get in touch.