One of the best ways to remembering your special day is to have a stunning photo album, full of perfect shots. Needless to say, a lot of this comes down to choosing the right photographer, which is why we’ve put together this list of tips on getting this key decision right:
Make it an immediate priority
The best professionals in almost any trade tend to have schedules booked up months in advance. Therefore, anyone seeking the genuine masters of their craft needs to start their research as early as possible, especially if their wedding day isn't too far away, or if it's in what is deemed the 'peak season' for photographers: Saturdays during the spring! The earlier you start searching for your photographer, the more likely you are to get the one you really want.
Consider searching everywhere
There are a lot of different options to take in terms of where to look. The first (and often most effective) method is to simply ask around and look for word-of-mouth recommendations. Whether they’re friends, family or work colleagues, anyone who's already been married will usually be happy to offer feedback. If that option is exhausted, you can then move on to other areas: wedding fairs are often useful, and there's always the option of hunting around the web: most modern photographers will have a website that displays some of their best work, as well as contact details that will allow you to get in touch with them.
Always look at the portfolio
In the end, results matter. It's all very well finding a photographer that you really get on with, but if they can't produce great shots then they're not going to be the best choice; long after you’ve stopped talking to them, you’ll still have to look at the album. Fortunately, it's easy to judge a photographer, as their portfolio is all you need. Ask any photographer you're considering to provide sample shots from a range of different weddings, preferably ones from different situations (i.e. some outdoors, some indoors, some sunny, some rainy) to make sure that they're capable of adapting to things like a lack of light or the weather.
Gauge their style
Professional photography is a genuine craft, and as with all other styles of craft (music, drawing, baking, etc) the photographer is likely to have their own unique style. It's therefore important to ensure that their style suits the sort of photographs you'd like to have. If the photographer has a tendency to create romantic, intimate photos then that would be ideal for those that want their album to be in that vein. However, those that want shots of everyone laughing and joking might think otherwise. When glancing through a portfolio, you'll usually be able to tell what style the photographer will adopt, and whether or not it'll mix well with the end result you’re after.
Remember to trust them
This is more a point for on the day, rather than when choosing your photographer, but it's still worth remembering: trust your photographer. When you make that final choice, the chances are that you absolutely love the work that they've produced previously, so it's important to trust them to do the same for you.
(Of course, it is still important to let them know if there's anything in particular that you think is extremely important. If you desperately want a shot of the first clinch in the first dance, then it's important to let them know, as is the case if there are particular people you'd like shots of. Trust your photographer, but do keep them informed!)
In the end, a lot of these tips come down to one thing: preparation. All professional booking for a wedding should be researched and made well in advance, leaving a little bit of wiggle room available in case of any emergencies!
About the Author
Simon Carr is the founder of his very own wedding photography business based in Essex. He works closely with couples to bring them modern, original images that perfectly capture their wedding day.