Choosing can be tough!
It's just after Christmas, and all the newly engaged brides (and grooms) are asking about wedding photography. It is the age-old question, that comes up time and time again: "How do I choose the perfect wedding photographer?" Here's a simple 9 step guide that will hopefully help you find your answer:
1. DECIDE HOW IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHY IS TO YOU
If photos are not that important to you (and there's nothing wrong with that!), you're not that bothered about styles and art, and you just want a few simple, nice snaps of your day, choose based on price alone. There are literally thousands of photographers of every skill level marketing to couples at every price point. Find the cheapest - why not!? If photos are important to you though, read on!
If photos ARE important to you, then it's really key that you set a BUDGET first! A good guide is 10% of your overall wedding budget. So if you're looking to spend £10k on your whole wedding, you should be looking at around £1k for a photographer. This is not a hard and fast rule, (bear in mind that the average price for good wedding photographer in the UK is £1,500), so you can budget as much or as little as you want, or can afford! Even if your budget is £400 or £500, that's fine, as long as your budgeting! Once you've set your budget, put it to one side in your mind and forget all about it for now. Trust me on this one!
3. LOOK FOR WORK YOU LOVE
Next, start looking for photographers who's WORK you LOVE! Do a google search for photographers in your area, or in the vicinity of your venue. Check your venue's recommended supplier list, too. Search on Facebook or Instagram. When you get to their website or page, forget price, don't even click on their 'packages' or 'invest' pages for now, just go straight to their portfolio and look at their pictures. If their work makes you drool, take a note of their name or website. I can't emphasise how important this bit is - you need to focus on how much you LOVE their work - we'll come back to price later.
4. CREATE A SHORTLIST
The ones you've made a note of are your SHORTLIST of dream wedding photographers. A good number would be between five and ten, but don't worry if you've got more (or less). These are all photographers who's work really tickles your pickle and you would absolutely love to have capture your day.
5. GET IN TOUCH
Now you have to make contact with them. Send them an email or message and tell them about your day. Important info you need to include is your date, venue, and what you're looking for (e.g. a full-day, half-day, ceremony-only, etc.). Include a little bit about your day, let them know how much you love their work (we photographers love it when people praise us!), and most importantly, ask for a quote.
6. NARROW DOWN
Very soon, your shortlisted photographers will start to respond to your enquiry, and it's time to start narrowing down your list. First, the easy part - If they are not available on your date, scratch them off the SHORTLIST. Next, if their quotes are over your BUDGET, ask them if they can meet it in any way (e.g. - either a discount, or if they can give you a smaller package, etc.). If they can't, or won't, scratch them off the SHORTLIST. It's really important to be CHEEKY - You never know - a photographer may be looking to fill their last few remaining dates, or they may really want to shoot your venue and in which case, may be prepared to offer a discount. Shy bairns get nowt!
7. MEET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHERS
After narrowing them down, you should now be left with 3-5 whose work you LOVE and are within your set BUDGET. It's now time to MEET them! Some photographers like to meet at your venue, others at their studio or home, some in a cafe or bar, or even your home. When you meet with them remember: If you don't LIKE them, or you like some more than others, scratch the one's you don't like off your SHORTLIST! A wedding photographer is going to be with you all day. They'll be interacting with you and your guests. If you don't like them for whatever reason, it's best not to have them there! Liking your photographer is absolutely essential - there should be a click. If there's no click, scratch them off the SHORTLIST.
You should now hopefully be left with 1-3 perfect wedding photographers. They are all within BUDGET, you LOVE their WORK, and you LIKE them as people! If there's only, one, well done! If there's more than one, you're going to have to choose the old fashioned way, but at least you know they are all perfect for you.
Ignore steps 1-9 and choose me instead, as I'm awesome! Hahaha!