When choosing a wedding photographer you need to decide first of all how important those photographs are going to be to you as the years go by. For most couples photography is one of the first things they book after their wedding venue because they want to be sure to secure someone they can rely on to capture the moments they will look back on forever. But it can be a minefield looking at websites and social media accounts so hopefully we can give you an idea of some of the things to look out for.
So how do you know you are choosing a wedding photographer that can do what you want?
Social media is a great place to see what wedding photographers can do for you. However how can you tell if the photos they are showing were taken at a real wedding.
Training and Workshops
Most photographers will undertake training in the form of workshops where they are able to take photographs of a couple that would appear to be a real bride and groom. Unfortunately some photographers will use these photographs to advertise what they do. Now that is absolutely fine if they can reproduce what they are showing on a real wedding day with a couple who don’t know how to model and with the time restraints of a wedding day. But what if they can’t.
Many photographers also undertake what we call in the industry “styled shoots”. These are shoots that are arranged so that many different wedding suppliers can get professional photographs of their products. It may include a florist, decor company, bridal shop etc. They mock up wedding scenarios across a venue and usually include models for bride and groom. These are commercial shoots not wedding day shoots. There is no pressure on the photographer to keep to a timescale. There is no pressure to get it right if something doesn’t work. Models know how to stand and pose to make a perfect photo too. Again the problem you may have is that you don’t know if the shoot is real or not as the photographer may fail to point out that certain photos haven’t been taken on a wedding day.
What to look out for
Are you seeing photos of just a bride and a groom?
Are you seeing photos of a couple mixing with other guests?
Look for photos of the various parts of the day so photos of the ceremony, speeches and first dance as these should give you more than just a bride and groom.
Look at the online portfolio of the photographer to see if the photos that are being used as profile pictures on social media etc are of the same standard as the rest of the portfolio.
We would clearly show the first photo as being from a styled shoot, with the second one you would be able to see more photos of this couple and their guests on our website/social media.
What to do next?
Ask to book an appointment to see your photographer face to face where possible (or via a video call if face to face isn’t possible). Hopefully the photographer will be able to show you sample albums of full wedding days where you can see that there is a consistency in quality throughout the wedding day.
We have lots of samples of albums in our photography studio in Warwickshire so if you are choosing your wedding photographer you can see lots of weddings in print. Click here to read more about this.
Feel free to ask the photographer about photographs that you have seen in their portfolio. Pick out some of the wow shots that you like and ask about them. We love to tell you the stories behind photos so you should recognise some enthusiasm from the photographer when they do this.
Ask about what would happen in bad weather and ask to see examples of photos taken when the weather hasn’t been great. If you see a gorgeous rain shot ask to see more from that wedding so you can be sure the photo was taken at a real wedding.
Believe you me when it is raining and you have equipment to keep dry, a couple to keep comfortable and a dress to keep clean there is a lot that is going on to capture the perfect wedding photo in the rain!
Note that the photo below is the same couple featured in our album photo pictured above.
So we hope we have given you a few pointers to look out for when you are choosing a wedding photographer.
We would love to talk to you about becoming the photographers on your day so feel free to contact us. Click here.