How Not to Choose a Wedding Photographer When all the cake has been eaten, the champagne drunk and the dress packed away, your wedding photos will keep the memories fresh for you. You should be putting as much care and attention into selecting your wedding photographer as you have invested in other major decisions like your dress, the venue and honeymoon destination.
To help you narrow down the wide selection of wedding photography services available, here are some tips on how NOT to choose your wedding photographer.
Busy, Busy, Busy
Popularity is a sign of a good service, but there are downsides to booking a photographer that boasts a high number of booking each year. Check the photographer is not attracting business with a solid reputation, then sub-contracting out work. Also beware of back to back bookings, which puts the photographer under pressure to finish with your wedding and move on to the next client.
One Day Only Offers
Don't feel pressured into booking a photographer just to take advantage of a 'never to be repeated', 'unbeatable', 'one-time only' special offer. Take the time to investigate their portfolio, customer reviews and reputation before committing to a booking. If you hate your wedding album, you won't be consoled by the knowledge it cost half the usual rate.
When searching for the right photographer for your wedding, don't feel restricted to your local area, as photographers are usually happy to travel. Some (like me) will even travel abroad to photograph destination weddings. I am a wedding photographer in Kent, but am happy to travel to weddings in London, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, or wherever else I am needed. A good working relationship and solid photography portfolio should take precedence over locality when selecting candidates to photograph your wedding.
Friends and Family Freebies
However talented your enthusiastic cousin / brother / aunt is with a camera, allowing them to be your wedding photographer is not a good idea. If you accept the offer of a family freebie, your wedding album will be at the mercy of someone who means well, but lacks experience. To get the photographs you want, you need to develop a working relationship with a professional photographer. If an amateur photographer does offer their services, you can let them down gently by insisting you want don't want them to be working at your wedding and instead they should relax and enjoy the day with all the other guests.
Your wedding venue will have experienced many photographers and they will have an idea of which ones have worked well at their venue, and who their customers have been pleased with. However, some venues charge photographers a fee to showcase their work on site, so don't take a venue recommendation on face value, check their reputation and portfolio too.
Once you've narrowed down the field to a shortlist of potential candidates, try to call or meet each of them. You will be spending a good proportion of your wedding day with your wedding photographer, which means their personality is just as important as their portfolio.