Wedding photographs are a very important part of your wedding day. They capture the happiness, the atmosphere and the love that is involved in the day.......well they are meant to anyway! Photographers, in my opinion are one of the wedding suppliers you should choose very wisely, taking a lot of things into consideration and be willing to spend quite a bit of money on! I've drawn some things you must consider and you should bear these points in mind when you are making that big decision!
Timing & Costs
The best photographers get booked up very far in advance. This is one of the first suppliers you should be looking to book once you know your venue. If you are getting married in the Summer on a Saturday bear in mind you may not get your first choice photographer. Even if your wedding day is two years away there is no harm placing a hold on the photographer that you prefer.
Photographers are not something to scrimp and save on. The difference between a photographer who charges 500 Euro and one who charges 2000 Euro isn't about a bargain its about photography skills, experience and professionalism. When you are researching photographers ensure you know what your budget will allow for as packages are very varied and you will still get that same quality of photographer for what you can afford but may opt to make your wedding albums yourself to save some money for example.
Be informed about the photographer
Have a look on photographers websites and online galleries and read their blog. What feelings does this evoke in you? One of emotion and happiness? Do you like the way the photographs are taken and the finish of them?
Make sure you read some reviews about the photographer in question so you can get a sense of real life bride and grooms and what experience they had with them. Testimonials are one of the best ways to gauge if the photographer did exactly what the couple desired on the wedding day.
Check the photographers credentials. Check to see if he or she has won any awards, photographers win awards for good reasons! Also check how long they have been photographing weddings, weddings in particular as there is different skill involved in weddings vs. general photography.
Meet with the photographer you like the most before you make a final decision. A cup of coffee together whilst you look through some of their work and discuss what you would like on your wedding day is a fantastic way to see if you and your photographers personalities match as that is a must!
Packages and what you get
Each photographer will have designed their own packages for weddings taking into consideration time spent photographing on the day, how many images they will take or present to you finally, the type of album that the photographs will be presented in or if you would just like a CD with the images on it and whether you would like any extras added to the package. Don't worry if you look at the packages and find that they aren't exactly what you would like. These really are just a guideline and photographers are very willing to make changes for you when you have a discussion. Also ensure to talk to the photographer about who has the rights to the photography and how long it will take them to get everything together for you after the wedding.
The style of photography
Each photographer has their own unique style of photography. Some photographers shoot with a documentary aspect, others with a portraiture and some shoot like a fine art. It is up to you whether you want your photos to be relaxed and natural or very posed. There are photographers out there to cater for every style required.
Look through the wedding galleries on the websites and see does the photographer pay attention to detail, capture beautiful natural moments and also do they take detail as well as portrait shots.
Leaf through magazines and websites and make a list of the types of shots you would like from your wedding day. Wedding websites provide great photography inspiration. Discuss with your other half what you truly want from your wedding photographer.
I would always encourage a couple to have an engagement shoot (if budget allows). These shoots are a wonderful idea to get the couple more used to the photographer and be relaxed around the camera. You also get a feel of how things will run on the wedding day. Engagement shoots are also a lovely keepsake as 'your last photos as an unmarried couple'.
Photo credits top to bottom: Lucy Nuzum, Christina Brosnan, Eric Mollimard, Fiona Morgan, Laura Faherty.