Choosing the right wedding photographer for your wedding is very important, your pictures are going to be one of the lasting reminders of your day and you want to make sure that the photographer you choose, can deliver exactly what you want, and expect. Below are some of the questions I think you should be asking yourself, and your photographer.

1. What style of photography do you want?

Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to things and that extends to Wedding Photography, browse the internet, google, pinterest etc for styles of wedding photography that you like before you start looking for your photographer. Whether you want the traditional posed family portraits, relaxed reportage style photography or fine art portraits. You can’t start looking for a photographer until you know what kind of photography you want. Sadly I’ve seen a lot of people booking a photographer that wasn’t the “right” style for them, and then ultimately, not being happy with the results.

2. Who is available in your area? Which portfolio do you like?

There’s a lot of competition in wedding photography and you’ll probably have a wide selection of photographers to choose from, no matter where you are located. Prices will vary, and so will quality. And they don’t always match up! You can sometimes get great photographers for bargain basement prices and similarly pay through the nose for someone who won’t deliver the goods.

Make sure that the blurb on their website matches up to their online portfolio, if someone says they offer relaxed, informal, reportage style coverage of your wedding, make sure this is visible on their online portfolio. And remember that lots of us are happy to travel, if you see a wedding photographer who’s work you love, but they’re not local, it can still be worth asking them! Although, expect to have to pay for travel and accommodation if you go down this route.

3. What do you want from the photographer? Digital files? Prints?

Do you want a digital only delivery? Prints? an album? Make sure this is all communicated and the photographer prices their package accordingly, so there’s no hidden surprises later in the day. If you do get the digital files, then do you also have the right to print them yourself? Just having the files yourself doesn’t mean that the wedding photographer has given permission to get the files printed and you might find yourself having high print costs if you’re forced to only go through the photographer. (A: All of my packages include digital files and printing rights, but I can do prints etc too if you want)

4. Can we meet up?

One of the most important, if not *the* most important things, is to feel relaxed around your photographer. If there’s a clash of personalities and you just don’t get on with each other, then it’s going to be very hard for the photographer to do their job to the best of their ability, and as such, this will impact on the quality of the images you receive. If you’re not in a position to meet up face to face, then at a minimum have a good chat over the phone, skype, or regular contact via email.

5. Can I see a full wedding?

I say this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I’ve seen a couple of photographers use workshop images in their wedding portfolio (not local to me, I’m glad I say) and seeing a full wedding proves that the images were taken at an actual wedding. But secondly, every photographer, myself included, will put what they believe to be their strongest images on their website. Images with this strength will make up a portion of the images from the wedding day, seeing a full wedding from your photographer will show you that the quality of his work is reflected throughout the entire day and not just in the headline shots. (A: again, yes, of course you can )

7. Are the images edited before I see them? How long should I expect to wait?

Does your chosen photographer edit all of the images? or only a small proportion? How long will you have to wait to get your images? While these questions aren’t necessarily an important aspect of choosing a photographer, it’s still something that’s good for you to know. So you know what to expect after the wedding day. (A: Yes, no more than 5 weeks)

8. Is there a time limit to order albums?

Some photographers charge extra for albums if you take a long while to order them, make sure you know whether this is the case with your photographer. Or alternatively, if an album is included in your package, make sure that you don’t forfeit the album if you take too long to tell the photographer which photos you want in it. (A: Nope, I charge the same no matter what, the only way the costs will change is if my supplier puts their prices up)

9. Can you pick the photos to go in your album?

Some photographers insist on keeping the whole design process in-house and will therefore choose the pictures that go in the album for you. Others will let you select the photos, and some will do a combination of them both. Whichever way your photographer works, make sure you see a proof of the album before it’s sent to print (usually either online, or in PDF format) to make sure you’re happy with it. Be aware though, that it’s usual to be charged for changes to the album design if you change your mind more than once. (A: Yes you can, or you can leave it up to me, and yes I supply a proof. You can make 2 amendments then I’ll charge after that)

10. Can my other guests take photos?

Some photographers get a real bee in their bonnet about guests with photos, I’ve even seen some photographers trying to convince couples to have an “unplugged” wedding. (A: Personally, I have no problem with guests taking photos! I’m a huge fan of both photography and social media, your guests photos are as much a memory of the day as the professional ones. )

So there you go, in my view, that’s some of the questions that I think you should be asking yourself, and your wedding photographer. Lots of people have different views on this, and there’s lots of questions I disagree with, especially those that are around what equipment people shoot with, by all means ask, but as long as they have a camera, a backup camera, and a portfolio you like, I don’t see the importance of the equipment, they’re tools to do a job with!

If you do want to know what kit I shoot with still though, it’s on my FAQ page 🙂

Happy searching,

Andy