2/16/2017 2 Comments
You're engaged, eeeeek!!! Congratulations!
You've put the ring photo up on Facebook, totted up a crazy number of likes, your best friends are turning up with armfuls of bridal magazines and dropping not-so-subtle hints about how much they love you, and the phone is off the hook with friends and family wishing you well and asking the all important question, "When's the wedding?!".
Enjoy it. Bask in it. It's a glorious time, and you've no need to rush just yet. Sit back, relax and just enjoy the fact that you and the one you love are preparing to commit to each other for the rest of your lives. Be happy! Snog each others faces off! Snuggle on the sofa, this is your time.
At some point though, a date will need to be set and planning will need to start, and there are definitely some elements of the wedding more pressing than others. The first, obviously, is the venue. You can't really decide much else without that sorted. The second, surprisingly, is the photographer.
You might think I'm only saying that because I am a photographer, but I'm not. It's absolutely true. The best wedding photographers get booked up very very fast, up to two years in advance sometimes, especially if you're getting married on a Saturday in Summer! So it really is never too early to start searching for your perfect Tog.
To make it a little easier, I've compiled together a list of things I like couples to have considered before booking so they can be sure they're making the right decision. And make no mistake, it's a very big decision! As that old saying goes, the flowers will wilt, the cake will be eaten, the dress will never be worn again. All you'll have left after the last thank you card has been sent, is your wedding photographs to look back on.
1. Get Inspiration
You've probably already started scrolling through Pinterest looking for flowers, dresses, cute table decorations, everything! But have you considered who takes those photographs you're looking at? If you've started making an online mood board of the things that make you go 'oooh', chances are you'll already be starting to piece a picture together of what kind of photography style you really love, especially if you're collecting images of people. Are you drawn more to images of the traditional line-up of wedding guests? People jumping in the air? Completely un-posed moments? Once you discover which style suits the way you want to look back on your wedding day in years to come, that will give you a great starting point.
2. Browse, Browse, Browse.
No two wedding photographers are the same, so once you have an idea of what kind of style you love, start looking for a photographer who matches it. Most photographers will post blogs to showcase weddings they have recently done, or have online galleries you can browse through. Has anyone you know used them? If so, ask them about their experience and would they recommend them?
Where it's possible to see a full wedding day and not just the picked out highlights, make sure you see how a photographer works from start to finish. Do they capture the day how you would like? Would you be happy if they were your wedding pictures? Note also what time of year they were shooting at and what kind of light conditions they had to work with. You need to look through a lot of different people's work and not just fall for the first one you see, but once you have a few that you would like to investigate further, move on to the next step...
3. Say Hello!
All wedding photographers will be willing to meet up with you and your fiance to chat about your wedding and your ideas, even if you're not sure you want to book them. This is because we want as much as you to make sure you're making the right decision, and that we can make the best work we possibly can for you. Photographers are creative people and we take great pride in what we do, and at the end of the day if we don't get on, it shows in the photographs. The photographer can make or break a wedding, because you spend so much time with them on the day. So make sure you are able to have a relaxed informal meeting, with a cup of tea and a biscuit, and take your time getting to know them and their work. This is also the right time (if you haven't already) to ask some very important questions, such as:
- Do you have insurance?
- What do you do when it rains/ do you have a rainy wedding day I can look through?
- How does the payment side of proceedings work?
- Do you have back-up equipment?
If you come away from a meeting feeling chilled out, confident, and with a smile on your face, you might just have found the one.
So, you've found the one. Yippee! What happens next?
4. Be Prepared
In order for your photographer to do the best job they can, they will need all of the nitty gritty details from you, such as the order of the day and any group photographs you need. We also like to know if anything unusual is going to happen so we can be ready for it! For example, in the photograph above I was required to go up 120ft in a cherry picker, can you imagine if that was suddenly sprung on me and I had a fear of heights?! So do your best to keep your photographer informed, we don't like surprises!
5. Ask Questions!
An experienced photographer will have spent years working alongside many different suppliers and will have been to many different kinds of weddings, so if you're looking for make-up artists, florists, table dressers, whatever, why not use that fountain of knowledge? Not only will they be able to tell you which ones they think are the best, they will be able to show you how their work looks when photographed too. Any question you might have about anything to put your mind at rest your photographer will be happy to answer and keep you looking forward to the day instead of stressing.
5. Trust Them
The whole point of hiring an experienced professional, is so you can take advantage of their experience! You need to sit and back and relax on your wedding day and let the photographer do what they do best, their job. You don't need to give them a huge list of 'essential photographs' to take, they know what's going to happen before it happens! Every single wedding is vastly different, so don't try to force 'Pinterest-worthy' pictures or re-create something you have seen online, because the really beautiful moments are the ones that you never expected, or ones you didn't even see on the day itself. Believe me when I say your photographer will be doing their absolute best, because they know full well the weight of the responsibility put on their shoulders, so just concentrate on ENJOYING YOURSELF on the best day of your life, and leave the hard work to the people you have hired to work hard for you.
So there you have it, the essential guide. If you have any useful hints and tips for choosing your wedding photographer, why not add them in the comments below?
Thanks for reading! And happy wedding planning.