Where should your search actually begin? Well, if someone’s looking for a builder or plumber, what’s the first thing they usually do? Ask a friend if they’ve used anyone recently who they can recommend.
This is the best way to start your search for a photographer, because not only can you see their work, you can find out how well your friend got on with them. Personality is a huge part of wedding photography – you have to get on well with your photographer!
Then, being photographed will be fun and group shots won’t be the ‘necessary evil’ that most people see them as!
But most of the time I believe photographers should blend into the background and go unnoticed. This is definitely the key to capturing the best reportage shots.
Personal recommendation counts for a lot (most of my weddings come through word-of-mouth). If you can look at your friend’s wedding album and think, “wow, I want an album like that!”, that’s a good sign!
After that, there’s the Yellow Pages and the internet. But most photographers do tend to say the same thing and offer the same services. So here are my five suggestions for choosing a wedding photographer:
Find a photographer who’s willing to meet you for a no-obligation chat, so you can see his work and see if you get along. Are they enthusiastic about their work? Do they love wedding photography?
It’s a pretty good idea to have an engagement shoot before the wedding, to overcome any inhibitions of being photographed. This should also speed things along on the day as you’ll be used to posing;
Are the photographer’s packages all-inclusive, or is he hoping to make more money in after-sales? Ask him what you should expect to pay in total.
Does he use pre-made or bespoke albums? If pre-made, how many photos does it hold and how many cover types are there? If bespoke, how does he charge for extra photos and pages?
How will you first get to see your wedding photos? In a proof album, on a disc, online or at a viewing session with a digital projector? A good rule in life generally, is never to go with the first offer, but use it as a benchmark to assess a second, third or fourth offer. The same applies to choose a wedding photographer.
At the end of the day, if you’ve met with a few photographers, you’ll probably have a gut feeling about whom to go with. And it will probably be the person you connected with the most. The person who was passionate about his work, excited about your wedding and who you would happily have at your wedding.