How to choose a wedding photographer
You know what you like, and why you want a wedding photographer in the first place (if you don’t, perhaps you need to read this article about what to think about before choosing a wedding photographer) and you know your budget. So, you’ve done a bit of searching… but how to choose a wedding photographer from the shortlist? Everyone’s photos look great, and everyone sounds wonderful and fun!
1. Look at their wedding photography portfolio
A quick scan of a portfolio will give you a glimpse into the best wedding photos. It will also show you what that photographer values – if all the photos are details, maybe they are best at details or value them above other things. If all the shots are group portraits, maybe that is what they value most. It can be a good glimpse into their work but by no means the full picture.
>> How to assess a wedding photographer’s portfolio in 3 simple steps <<
2. Ask to see examples of full weddings they have photographed
Maybe the wedding photographer didn’t even notice they only chose detail shots or group shots, it doesn’t mean they can’t capture the other types of wedding photos – have a look for an example of a full wedding album, or an extended blog with photos from only one wedding. Still see things missing? If so, then perhaps this is because they don’t photograph certain things. Is it important? You choose.
3. Choose an experienced wedding photographer
Experience doesn’t make a photographer good – but it does increase the chance they will be able to adapt to all sorts of tricky situations. Someone who has been photographing weddings for 30 years may produce photos that aren’t to your taste, but they will have seen pretty much everything, and they will have plenty of backups and insurance. A newcomer who has an amazing on-trend style may have stunning photos, but have they ever had to deal with equipment failure during the ceremony, are they used to 12-hour shifts, have they learned and improved from client feedback yet. You’ll want someone who is as experienced as you can afford, as long as you like their photos.
4. Choose a wedding photographer you get on with
The photographer will probably spend all day with you. If you choose an experienced photographer with a stunning photographic ability, but they are the most annoying person you have ever met – they will possibly ruin your wedding day! Maybe do a bit of Facebook stalking, or read reviews and see if people mention personality rather than just photos. Then have a chat and see if you get on.
5. Will your wedding photographer respect your guests?
If your main goal is that your guests feel at ease and you don’t want your photographer to make them pose, or wait too long for photos, then it is important to make sure your photographer will respect this. Sometimes photographers are so determined to build up their portfolio that they will photograph the way they want to produce the results they want to get – not thinking about what their clients actually want. Again, read reviews, and maybe even get in touch with past clients who have left posts on Facebook etc.
6. Choose a wedding photographer you trust
I have heard of so many scams over the years where photographers take large deposits from multiple weddings – even double booking – and then they run off into the sunset without a trace. You need to be careful and do your research before you choose a wedding photographer.
If a photographer doesn’t list their home address – ask for it. Try to find out a little more about their life – are they a real person or just a front? Do you have mutual friends? Have you seen fully delivered wedding albums? Has your venue met them before?
Choose me as your York wedding photographer!
I’m a York wedding photographer with over 10 years of experience. I focus on capturing moments between people, but I balance that by including a few detail shots and posed group photos to give a full story of the day. Usually, my clients are introverts who are not particularly fond of having their photo taken. I have called my York wedding photography business Happy Otter Photography because I bought my first SLR camera to photograph otters, but over the years as I’ve gained more experience with weddings, I’ve realised that my perfect wedding clients are a little bit like otters – they are fun and interesting, but also shy and elusive when a camera is around!