Countless times, I receive an email asking for my packages and prices. I will always return the email quickly knowing in my head, I am not the only photographer being contacted. I find this quite exciting so I wait, refreshing my emails every hour or so between jobs to make sure to be the first to reply.
Choosing your photographer is tough. What style do I like? How much do they charge? Do I get along with them? What do I get after? Are there any hidden costs?
Every question you ask, must be answered correctly to your personal preference otherwise, keep on hunting.
From experience I have listed below what I believe is the most of important factors in choosing your perfect photographer in descending order.
- Do you like their style? If so, are they posed or natural? Natural can also be posed so if there is something in particular you have seen or would like to try then please ask the photographer what this involves. Some have to be timed perfectly or set up which can take time. Are you happy to spend a little more time away from your guests, putting 20-40 minutes aside for bride and Groom photographs to do this or would you rather document the day as it is and join in creating the natural smiles, tears and laughter.
- Do you like the photographer? It can be tough to read each other over email so don't be afraid to pick up the phone or arrange to have a coffee. This way you can find out whether you get along and will feel at ease with one another on the day. When you feel comfortable with the photographer, you won't notice them and they will capture you being yourself, not awkward and aware of the camera.
- Of course, price comes into it and if you have a set budget (like most do) then this may become 2 for you. But my personal opinion is, if they are £100 more expensive than the other photographer you think is OK then cut down on your 5 tier cake and only have 3 or write the name places yourself... memories and the photographs are what you will have for the rest of your life. You will forget about that £100 in 10 years ;-)
- Check their reviews. You check it for hotels so why not a photographer. Check their Facebook, google reviews, website reviews etc. Of course if there are 50 good reviews and one bad then I wouldn't be too worried about that.
- Know what you are getting and be clear with that right from the beginning. Get them to write up a quote and what is included. Is it the bridal/groom prep all the way up to the first dance or just the ceremony? How many photographs will you receive and in what format? How long does it take to edit them? Will you receive them in colour and black and white? What happens if time runs over (happens a lot) their departure time? Do they charge more? Will you have an album?
- Check their terms and conditions before booking. It's important to know what is non refundable, what are the payment dates, what happens if they cancel or are ill on the day and will your photographs be used elsewhere etc? You don't want any nasty surprises on the day or after.
Hopefully by now you will be happy with your choice and will get the best photographs that will suit you and your day.