Ask anybody in the wedding industry what the most important element of your big day should be and you’ll probably get a different answer each time. However, if there’s one supplier that everyone will agree should be a top priority, it’s your photographer.
So much of your wedding day is about the here and now. It’s the atmosphere, the emotion and the feeling. A lot of elements at your wedding are designed to be enjoyed for that one day. So once the band have finished their final song and your guests have had their last sip of champagne, what’s actually left from your day?
Well, of course, there’s the incredible memories that you’ll hold onto forever. But when it comes to tangible items that you can cherish, the most important thing is your wedding photos.
Photography is such a diverse industry and an incredibly personal choice. A small amount of research and you’ll quickly discover how many options there are when choosing your wedding photographer.
Your photographer should be one of the first suppliers you book after securing your wedding date, planner and venue. So, to help you on your way, here are five questions to ask when choosing your wedding photographer.
Let’s start with the most important consideration – do you like the style of their work? Each photographer will have their own unique way of editing their images. Whilst you might really appreciate what they do, you need to make sure that their style is exactly what you’re looking for from the photos of your day.
One easy way to do this is to look through your recently saved photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Generally, the majority of things you like/pin are in the photography style you gravitate towards most. In other words, don’t choose a photographer who specialises in abstract photography if you have a Pinterest board full of fine art shots.
Photographers spend years honing their skills to establish a style that works for them. It’s important that you fully understand and appreciate their craft before you book them for your wedding day.
Wedding budgets are hugely important and they should be carefully considered with every supplier that you book. Bear in mind, however, that the cheapest option is rarely the best option.
Request quotes from your favourite photographers and, if the price is more than you were hoping to pay, spend some time looking into why this might be. Perhaps the price of one package includes an album, whereas another photographer charges for these separately. Perhaps the photographer you are considering shoots film – a much more expensive medium than digital photography. An experienced photographer will happily chat you through a breakdown of their fee.
Ultimately, your wedding photographs are one of the few elements of your day that will truly last a lifetime, so it is always worth investing in a photographer who will capture your day perfectly. If you do spend more than you were hoping to on your photographer, your wedding planner will be able to recommend other areas to save on and keep your budget firmly on track.
Your photographer plays an incredibly intimate role in your day overall, so it is imperative that you get on well with them. From when you’re getting ready in the morning until your first dance in the evening, your photographer will witness every excited smile, emotional tear and nervous laugh. Therefore, make sure that you are fully comfortable spending the day with them.
Before you wedding, arrange to meet with your photographer and ask them any questions you have about the way they work. Although the quality of their work is a key factor, it is also so important that you get on well. They will feel more like a trusted friend by the end of your wedding day!
It’s impossible for photographers to share a full wedding day album on social media. The reality is, the images you’ve been swooning over on Instagram will be just a small handful of the full galleries that they create for their couples.
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer to see a full album from a real wedding they have photographed. This way, you can make sure that they capture all of the elements that are most important to you.
Each photographer will work differently – some may focus on group shots and images of your guests whilst others will be more detail orientated or especially focused on portraits. A full album will give you a better impression of their work overall and help establish the images that are most important to you.
Every photographer will have different services that they offer so take some time to consider exactly what is included and what additional services matter most to you and your fiancé.
Firstly, establish how many hours their coverage includes and check that this will allow them to capture every important moment within your day. Additional services could include anything from an engagement shoot (a great option if you are nervous about getting in front of the camera), a beautiful album of your favourite prints or a second photographer to capture even more of your wedding day. All of these are wonderful add-ons, so be sure to take some time to chat with your photographer about whether they are right for you and your wedding.
Overall, I can’t shout loudly enough about the important role your photographer plays on your wedding day. There are SO many different wedding photographers out there, so make sure that you find somebody who perfectly suits what you are looking for.
All of the images used in this post are from real weddings and editorial shoots that I have planned and styled as part of my Rachel Dalton Weddings portfolio. I have worked with the photographers credited personally, and I can vouch that they are all incredibly talented at what they do. If you are looking for a UK wedding photographer, why not check them out?