Trusting Your Photographer
When planning your wedding, you get to try on your dress, taste the champagne, sample the menu and see the venue all before your wedding day. When deciding on wedding photography, you don't get to see the final product until after your big day.
You need to know you can trust your photographer. It's always a good idea to ask to see photographs from several complete weddings. The portfolio gallery on a wedding photographers website is a good place to start but it's important to see complete weddings to get a real sense of how a photographer works.
Most professional wedding photographers, irrespective of their style of work will have sample wedding albums or books which will show photographs from a single wedding. It was a great opportunity at Brides The Show for visitors to look at photography by various photographers. It's important for me as a documentary wedding photographer to be able to show how I tell the wedding day story in photographs.
Knowing a photographer is experienced is important too. I have been photographing weddings for about five years and I choose to photograph no more than twenty five weddings per year. I find limiting the number gives me a fresh eye at every wedding. I'm a firm believer in providing quality over quantity. I would tend to be wary of big discounts and amazing offers and of those claiming to have photographed 200 weddings!
Before I launched Lyric Weddings, my job for fifteen years as a newspaper photographer was to 'tell the story.' Wherever I was, in whatever situation I found myself in, the story had to be told. At a wedding, I can draw on my experiences gained during high pressure news assignments. Whether it's having twenty seconds to photograph the prime minister or reacting to capture a goal being scored at a Premier League football match, moments happen in an instant and it's my job to capture them! There may be changes on the day, be it the timings, weather or other unplanned events occurring. You can trust me to remain calm and unflappable - there's not a lot I haven't had to cope with!
When you're talking to a photographer you should feel reassured and a level of trust in their ability to provide you with great photographs from your wedding, just be a little cautious of some of the sales patter!
When Should I Book my Photographer?
I'm often asked this and my advice is always the same. Once you find a photographer that you really, really like, it doesn't make sense to delay making the booking. Of course you'd expect me to say this, but a photographer in demand can only be at one wedding on a given date and if you're planning a Saturday wedding in spring or summer then this is traditionally the busiest time.
In the days before the digital revolution, wedding albums were a showpiece and the best way to show off your wedding photographs. Now it is slightly different and there are various options available. It's becoming more usual to include a CD/ DVD with the edited images within the package/ pricing structure. It's great to have the images from your wedding day to keep. Wedding albums and storybooks are now so versatile and no two albums I design are ever the same. I work with the wonderful Queensberry Albums of New Zealand and there are a multitude of options available to suit every taste.
Wedding albums and storybooks are worth the investment and are something to be treasured and passed down to children and grandchildren as part of family history. It seems like a great idea just to have the images on CD/DVD and have an album made later on, but all too often this doesn't happen.
A little word of caution. Beware of the family friend with a camera. 'Uncle Ron' may be a keen amateur photographer but is he the right man to trust to photograph your wedding? Whilst it may seem like a great idea to have a family friend take your wedding photographs, all too often it doesn't work out well. 'Uncle Ron' may be a great landscape photographer in his spare time but the skills required to photograph a wedding are totally different. As a full time professional wedding photographer, I work with brides, venues, vicars all the time and know where to be at any given moment during the wedding day to get the best photographs and in my case capture the fun as it happens.
These are just a few of my own thoughts to bear in mind when looking for a wedding photographer and if you would like any further information about what I do, then it would be great to hear from you.