How to Choose the Right Wedding Photographer for You
Updated: Feb 5
With Lorna Richerby Photography
Where to Start?
Ok so you've got engaged (congratulations!), you've found your venue and you've sent out your save the dates. What's next on the list? Usually the photographer! A top wedding photographer can be fully booked up to a year in advance. It's a scary thought, but don't despair, I've teamed up with the very talented Hampshire wedding photographer, Lorna Richerby, to equip you with all the information you need to choose a wedding photographer that's right for you.
Wedding Photography Styles
Firstly what kind of photography style do you like? You have probably never had to answer this question before or even thought about it. Wedding photographers usually fit into the following 3 styles:
Traditional wedding photography - these are your classic images with a balance of posed and observational photographs, these photographers will focus on group shots, family photos and traditional cake cutting, first dance etc.
Documentary (also known as reportage or journalistic wedding photography)- with emphasis on telling the story of the day. These photos will tell a narrative of your wedding. Often the photographer will be taking pictures of you and your guests without you even knowing you're having your picture taken. This can be a great option for those who feel awkward in front of a camera.
Contemporary or Fine-Art wedding photography- a focus on editorial and fashion style shots. These are the type of shots you want to hang on your wall. Beautiful, timeless images that are worthy of an art gallery. One downside to this style is you can often spend more time posing for photographs than partying with your guests.
Lorna recommends “ultimately, if you choose a photographer whose style you LOVE, has pictures that capture the way you’d like to remember your special day AND has previous client reviews which describe the sort of photography experience you’re after, then you’ll be onto a winner!”
Do Your Homework
Once you've found a photography style you like, it's time to get searching. You can find photographers using listing sites such as www.guidesforbrides.co.uk or www.hitched.co.uk. Of course, you can always search via Google for photographers in your area, for example, 'Buckinghamshire wedding photographer' or 'Wedding photographers in Bedfordshire'
Other places to find photographers are Instagram and Facebook. However, the best way to find suppliers is through recommendations from friends and family.
Lorna's Top Tips
"After you’ve found a few photographers whose work you love, then it’s time to dig a bit deeper! Do they have any blog posts or galleries that show a complete wedding? This way you can get an even better idea of their work.” says Lorna.
You want to look for consistency –
Does the style you love flow through the whole gallery?
Is the quality of the images consistent?
Do you love ALL the photos? Or, are there just a few exceptional shots and the rest are just ok?
Think about it – wedding photography isn’t just about a handful of stunning photos. It’s about a beautiful story and memories you will treasure for life, so it’s definitely worth spending some time doing your research so you get it right.
Arranging to meet your shortlisted photographers in person and asking to see a sample wedding album is also a great idea.
Photography Packages and Products
Finally, think about what package you would like and what you'd like to have as the final product. Lorna suggests asking yourself these 2 questions:
Which parts of your day do you want to be photographed? Everything from morning prep to dancing into the wee small hours? Or would you rather just have photos of the ceremony and a handful of group and couple photos after? Most photographers offer a wide range of packages to suit your needs perfectly.
Do you want a photo album as well as digital files? Just digitals may seem like a good idea if you have a tight budget, but in years to come are you really going to use that USB stick to view your photos and all the memories that came with the day? Never mind the fast pace of technology which may mean that your USB with all your amazing images becomes obsolete! Eeek! Wouldn’t that be awful? Most photographers also offer printed materials as part of their packages such as a wedding album or wall-mounted images, so you can enjoy your wedding photos for years to come, no matter how technology advances.
Let's Tick Photographer off Your List!
If you've found a photographer with a style you love, you've seen a full wedding gallery they have photographed and you've spoken to them in person and feel happy and comfortable around them, then it sounds like you've found your photographer!
Lorna says "when you know, like and trust your photographer, that’s when the photography magic really happens, resulting in lots of awesome images you’ll be so excited to look at and share with your family and friends."
Lorna is a Bake Off loving, pot plant collecting camper van owner, and more importantly a photographer specialising in relaxed wedding photography.