After you’ve got the engagement ring on your finger, celebrated, set the date, and booked the church or Registry Office, the next service that you need to research is your photographer!
Unlike most other wedding services, major wedding venues and the photographer are the only ones that can only do one wedding PER DAY – So, if you have someone in mind, you need to check that they have your date available and book it in as soon as possible.
In the past, I have felt extremely honoured to have had some of my couples book their wedding date around my availability. If that doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings, I don’t know what else will! I asked one of these brides, who is also now a fledging photographer and a good friend of mine – why? Why would you book your date around me?
“Well,” she replied. “A long time before I got married someone invited me to like your photography Facebook page. I’d always loved photography, so I readily liked your page! Your stuff kept popping up on my newsfeed, and I absolutely loved, loved, loved your style! It was different from everyone else’s stuff. It wasn’t posed or cheesy – it was natural, capturing real and moving moments. That’s the type of photography that I adore! I had said to myself, long before I was even engaged, that if I ever eventually got married, I would want you to be our wedding photographer. When Si asked me to marry him, I had no other plans for my wedding except that I wanted you to photograph it. Then, when you eventually arrived at my house, I was doubly reassured that I wanted you to be at our wedding. I just clicked with you. You were full of bubbly energy. That’s why I hired you, darling!”
Gosh, I love this girl!
So, what are you looking for in a photographer? On most occasions, he or she will be with you from bridal prep to around the time of the first dance. That is ALL DAY! So you definitely need to like and get on well with them – yes? Having a really good portfolio is also very important, but your couples will not offer up that special magic for you if you don’t click as friends on the day.
It is so important to have a really good chat with your prospective photographer. Face to face – in person is favourite or, failing that, I have had skype chats with overseas or long-distance potential clients. At the very least, a decent length phone conversation. You should know quite quickly if they are right for you or not.
For MY perfect couples – they need to not take life too seriously. I’m a naturally very bubbly, vivacious worker. I absolutely adore cracking jokes and getting belly laughs or chuckles. I will, usually, call the Bride’s mother, ‘Mum,’ and give out hugs, wipe tears, and generally ‘be involved’. Consequently, I have made some awesome, lasting friendships at weddings!
You will also have to bear in mind your financial investment in your wedding photography. If your images are important to you, this service is likely to rank as one of the top three expenses of the whole day. When it comes to this, you should consider that these images will last you for far, far longer than just the day of your wedding or even the honeymoon period. Your photographer is creating a historical reference for you- an important time stamp – something to be passed down through the ensuing generations. Far too many times, I hear that people wished they hadn’t skimped on their photographer. You should always try and get the best photographer that you can afford. Push the boat out. Believe me, that will be the one thing that you will never regret.
Long before photography was even on my radar, I married my soul mate – on a beach in Florida. We booked a destination wedding package, and after looking at the photos on the website, we just included one of their photographers. No research, no request to see a portfolio of one of their photographers in that particular area, NADA!!
I looked slim (!), it was sunset, my husband looked gorgeous in linen slacks and flip flops. The memories are perfect. Unfortunately, the photos were not. I can’t redo that day – and that dress will never fit me again.
Ask your friends about who they have seen working a wedding. What were they like?
Ask fellow brides if they were happy with their images. Did they feel the investment in their photographer was fully justified? Check for reviews – ask to see full wedding sets. We are always very happy to show off work that we are proud of. If someone cannot or will not show a full wedding set then I strongly recommend not pursuing that particular candidate any further.
Finally, please don’t haggle. Your photographer vehemently WANTS to give you the very best service that they can provide and has probably spent hours sweating over the prices and packages in an effort to reflect their true worth. Show a little respect.