How to find your ideal wedding photographer
Guest Blog Series: by Laura, Laura Grace Photography
With technology becoming more affordable than ever before and more and more people finding themselves owners of DSLRs, why would you pay for someone to capture your day when someone you know has all the gear to do the job? Whilst in some cases the pictures can turn out fine, it is a very big risk to take and all too often I hear the devastatingly immortal words “We wish we’d hired a professional”. Whilst it will no doubt yield far better results (and the wedding guest can enjoy being just that) the official photographer will be more familiar with the rapidly changing situations of a wedding, not to mention their knowledge of lighting, composition, back up gear and post production editing.
So where do you start? Wedding fayres are a great way of getting to meet us and seeing our work without having to search too hard. Your wedding venues may be able to recommend suppliers as well as the more obvious avenues such as online searches and Facebook or Instagram. The majority of my clients though, find me through word of mouth recommendations from past brides and grooms, which really does mean the world to me. If you have attended any weddings recently and liked how the photographer came across, ask who they were – I’m sure the couple will be made up, and more than happy for another excuse to show off their wedding photos!
But what about the right photographer to suit you? It all comes down to three things: style, connection and for most people, price. Imagine twenty years from now, your photos are perhaps all that’s left as a physical reminder of those once in a lifetime memories. What do you want them to look like? Dark and moody? Clean, crisp and vibrant? The editing style should be the main thing that influences your decision. When you look at your images it is without a doubt the overall presentation of the photograph that you will be left with. The moment captured, the composition, the styled finish, all proudly present on the walls of your home. The memory of your photographer will hopefully be a happy one, but the price will be long gone. By all means, don’t waste time meeting with someone who is wildly out of your budget, but equally don’t meet with someone who is affordable, but whose work or approach doesn’t suit your vision.
Websites, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts are a brilliant way of seeing someone’s style and best work, just remember that they are a highlights portfolio though; a select few frames from the hundreds, possibly thousands of images that were delivered to the couple. You will always need to see complete weddings in the form of wedding albums or online galleries to get a real feel for what the photographer is likely to produce for you.
Find someone who has passion (for weddings, people and stories, not just photography) and whose company you enjoy. Apart from your spouse, your photographer is the person you will spend the biggest part of your wedding day with. It’s absolutely vital that you like them and feel at ease in their presence. The more relaxed you are, the more natural your photos will look.
Finally, it’s so cliché, but go with your gut instincts. If you are happy with them, book them, or someone else will!