How to find your ideal wedding photographer.
You have a lot to figure out when you start planning your wedding. Finding your perfect wedding photographer can feel like a bit of a minefield. I’m here to help you.
I will give you good advice and I’ll try not to be too self-promoting, but expect a little.
- Style ➢
- Budget ➢
- What to look for ➢
- Meet them ➢
- Social Media ➢
- Full wedding galleries ➢
- Staged Weddings
- Getting scammed ➢
- Contracts ➢
Decide what you want.
There is a style out there to suit everybody. Your perfect wedding photography style will not be the same as the next persons. Look around and see what catches your eye.
Pinterest really comes into its own here, either on Pinterest or as you are looking through wedding galleries.
Depending on your browser and or plugins, you should be able to right-click on an image you like and save it to aboard.
I suggest making boards for different categories so it doesn’t get too out of control. some suggested boards could be –
- Pictures I’d like.
- Wedding dresses.
- Wedding cakes.
- Venue decoration.
- Couples pictures.
- Group photos.
- Candid photography.
- Venue pictures.
- Pictures I don’t want.
The “Pictures I’d like” could be a shared album with your photographer for you to both add ideas and Pinterest will let you add comments and of course you can set the board up as private so only can see it.
It will be easier for them to understand a board of “pictures I’d like” and not sift through your entire “my perfect wedding day”
The last one “Pictures I don’t want” can be just as important. When I was training I worked with a photographer who specialised in getting couples to do strange things. At one wedding he asked the couple to do something unusual and they just looked at him and said “we don’t do that kind of thing”. It made things a little uncomfortable.
As with style, there is a wedding photography package out there to suit everybody.
You can find new photographers out there looking for experience and to build a portfolio advertising on Facebook for £150.
There are also many top-rated wedding photographers charging over £10,000 just for basic coverage.
As a guide, a study of 2019 weddings showed that the average UK wedding photography package was around £2,800. I’m not going to use 2020’s figures as that was a bit of an oddball year.
To put that into your budget terms expect to allocate between 10-15% of your budget depending on how photography sits in your priorities for your wedding day.
Things to look for.
Consistency in their work.
Wedding photographers like any other photographers will develop a style. Some are more obvious like always using a colour cast, vintage styling, or clean and crisp.
All are fantastic but pick somebody whose style suits what you want. A good professional will be able to recreate just about any style you want but they will do their best work in their own style.
Look for reviews.
See what other couples are saying about your photographer. Google reviews are getting more popular and unlike some other platforms, the photographer doesn’t get to choose which reviews are shown.
If somebody gives you a bad review it is there for all to see.
There is a slight caveat to that from my own experience. I gained a few 3 and 4-star reviews on Facebook about 6/7 years ago and I have no idea who the people are.
I messaged them to ask what wedding they were at and how I could have improved my service but they never responded.
Meet in Person.
I am a big fan of this for many reasons. Firstly your wedding photographer is going to be with you on one of the most important days of your life.
Work with somebody you feel comfortable with. It will show in the quality of your final images.
It will weed out some of the fake photographers out there and help prevent you from being scammed.
If you would like to make an appointment to meet me click here.
Look at some of their social media profiles.
Having 10,000 followers on Instagram isn’t the best way to judge the quality of their work but it’s good to get a feel and possibly weed out some of the Wedding Fraudtography sites out there.
Note to self, I really need to work on my Instagram account. My most established social media platform is Facebook and you can see it by clicking here ➢. My favourite platform is Pinterest and you can find me by clicking here ➢
I’m not going to list all my social platforms here but I would welcome you to take a look and follow me on your favourite, I have a link to the most relevant at the bottom of this page under the heading “Be Social”
Look at full wedding galleries.
Photographers like to put their prettiest pictures all over their websites. That makes sense, they are the images that should catch your eye.
But make sure you look at some full weddings. Get a feel of the sort of images they take of your guests, the venue and the flow of the day.
If you are looking for lots of candid photographs of your guests make sure they have them in their wedding galleries. It’s a good way to know the sort of wedding album you will receive.
You can see a selection of my wedding galleries by clicking here ➢.
The staged wedding photographer.
Sometimes when they are just starting out and don’t have a portfolio to show they will stage a wedding.
I think this approach is much better as long as they don’t try to pass it off as a real wedding.
I still do this type of shoot myself for personal projects or cherish the dress shoots.
The basic idea is you get a friend who has a wedding dress or pick one up from the charity shop. Add a man in a nice suit. Go to a nice location and take pretty pictures.
This is a great way to develop skills and technique. but the pace is nothing like a real wedding and if you don’t get the shots you wanted then you can just do it again. That’s not so easy with a wedding.
You can normally spot these a mile off because of the lack of other wedding guests.
Don’t get scammed.
There is a very scary trend at the moment of some “wedding photographers’ passing off other peoples images as their own.
Sometimes it is simply a con and you will find the website simply disappears after you have paid the final instalment and nobody turns up to photograph your wedding day. These are very rare but do happen occasionally.
Another trend is new wedding photographers who want to book some weddings but don’t have any experience and don’t have any portfolio images to show, so they simply steal images from other wedding photographers sites.
That is one of the main reasons photographers have most of their images watermarked on their websites.
Although it’s not too hard to remove a watermark if you know a bit of Photoshop.
I have even heard of cases where entire websites of some very high profile wedding photographers have been cloned. They then change some contact details and run a few Google ads then take your money and run.
The result for you can be either no wedding pictures, a last-minute panic to find a photographer for your wedding day or really poor quality pictures that look nothing like the beautiful portfolio you originally saw.
Some ways to not get scammed.
If you have gone through the steps above and followed your gut you’re probably good but remember we are looking for your perfect wedding photographer here so maybe consider a few extra steps.
Google the photographer’s name – Look for inconsistencies, Make sure their business is registered on google and there is some history.
Sites like stopstealingphotos.com/ keep a wall of shame of photographers who have been caught stealing other peoples work.
You could try a reverse image search on google or tineye.com/ to see if their images appear on another photographers page.
Sites like www.iplocation.net/domain-age will tell you how long the site has been around so you can avoid one set up just to snag you.
Check Your Contract.
Every photographer should have contracts that outline what you will get, what you pay and what responsibilities and rights you both have.
They shouldn’t be to long and are well worth reading before you sign on the dotted line.
You should always make sure your contract lists everything in your wedding photography package to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
‘A photographer I know spoke to a couple who paid roughly £850 for their wedding photographer and thought they had a bargain. The photographer had a lovely site with lots of beautiful images.
‘After the wedding, they were sent 300 ish mediocre images with a watermark running across the middle of every picture.
‘The couple asked when they would receive the non-watermarked digital images only to be told it would cost them an extra £7 per image, a little over £2,000 to have the photos they thought they had already paid for.
‘The photographer explained that the £850 was for him to attend the wedding, edit the photos but did not mention the cost of receiving the photos. This very rarely happens but sometimes does, so ask.
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