How to Hire a Wedding Photographer
How to hire a wedding photographer – When making concrete plans for your wedding photographer, you will invariably need to book well in advance to secure the services of a professional with a good reputation, as they tend to have pretty full order books, sometimes months into the future.
Andrew often gets booking around 18-24 months in advance. If you want to find if Andrew is available on your wedding date is available click here.
Securing a wedding photographer is only part of the picture (no pun intended!), as you still need to have certain aspects clear in your mind to ensure that you get what you’re really after on your big day.
How to hire a wedding photographer you love
So, what else is there to consider in hiring a wedding photographer?
Wedding Photography Style – Whilst not an absolute necessity, it will be really helpful if you have some sort of idea of what you want to achieve with your wedding photos.
You might want a particular style or feel that needs a lot of natural light, so you need to convey this to your photographer or they might not bring the right equipment with them to achieve your desired effect if they don’t know about it.
One of the many things wedding photographers tend to dislike doing is a group or family photographs. Many don’t like it because they can not control a large group of people (the average size of a wedding is around 80 guests) so avoid this, blaming it on their style of wedding photography.
Ask yourself this question – “When do families get together?”. The answer is at weddings and funerals. So taking family photographs at the wedding is pretty important. Check the wedding photographer you are looking at does this, and will agree to a full range of family wedding photographs, e.g.:
- Mums & Dads
- Brothers, Sisters
- Nieces / Nephews etc
Additionally how about the “stags” and “hens” or school/work colleagues?
Play to the strength of the photographer – Whichever professional you opt for, they will have a favourite style that they are better at. If after looking through their portfolio of past clients, you think “I’d like mine like this”, then you know that you’re after an end result that matches their talents.
Don’t assume that a photographer that excels in bright and fresh settings with loads of natural light, will be able to replicate those same effects in a dimly lit wedding venue because you might be disappointed.
Andrew commonly jokes that he carries enough wedding photography lighting equipment to be able to set up an emergency runway for 747 jets when he is at weddings. He is a great lover of evening and sunset wedding photography (see some of the wedding photographs below) and doesn’t believe that wedding photography should stop when it get’s dark.
Additionally, this also means that if the weather is bad you can stay inside and STILL get amazing wedding photographs (or brave the rain under an umbrella?!).
Preview the work of your wedding photographer
Make sure you have a chance to look through several samples weddings, the full set of wedding photographs, not just a select few. Many wedding photographers can attend workshops where everything is set up and all they need to do is take the photograph. This isn’t how real weddings are!. Ask to see all aspects of the wedding:
- Bridal preparations
- Wedding Ceremony (church and civil service)
- Wedding breakfast details
- First dance
- Evening/Sunset/firework photographs at the end of the evening
Many wedding photographers will offer you a selection of different albums. Make sure you go through the albums and look at the printing quality. There are wedding albums and there are wedding albums if you catch the meaning. Don’t believe that the best come from one country either. The printing technology is such that high-quality wedding albums can be made in any country.
Know Your Budget – If you know your budget for your wedding photos, then you will only look at photographers that come within those parameters. It’s easy to become ‘invested’ in someone’s work, only to then realise they’re far too expensive for you and then it’s that much harder to start over again.
Andrew’s wedding photography prices look cheap on the face of it, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the work Andrew produces is cheap. Whether you want him for just 8 hours in a Winter (low season) wedding or for 14 hours in a June wedding (high season) the quality and service you get from Andrew remain exactly the same. His wedding photography prices can be found by clicking here
Meet Your Wedding Photographer – The best results are achieved when your photographer has a rapport with both the bride, groom and the wedding party. The vibe of the day will very much be determined by the energy between the people involved and if your photographer’s outward personality creates a ‘buzz’ when they’re working, this will carry over into the photos themselves.
As a side note, Andrew really prefers to meet with clients face to face if at all possible before continuing to book. If not face to face then via Skype or FaceTime.
Andrew is one of a rare breed of Bristol wedding photographers (he also covers other locations around the UK and the world by the way) that likes to get to know his clients before the wedding. He finds that it helps in getting that sparkle in the eye during the wedding photographs.
How to hire a wedding photographer – In Conclusion
It’s important to ensure that you don’t leave plans for your wedding photographs too late, aim for a realistic budget, know what you want and make sure that you meet your photographer nice and early in the process.
Leave it too late and you’ll just end up having to ‘make do’ with whoever is available at short notice and on your big day, that’s just not something anyone wants to do.