How to choose a
wedding photographer

Choosing a wedding photographer to capture your big day is no easy decision. It’s likely you’ve found yourself looking at your fiancé, during moments of despair, asking “do we really need a photographer?” The short answer is yes (I’m biased, I know).

If you’ve decided to opt for hiring a professional to capture your wedding day, you’ve made the right decision – now’s the time to award yourselves five gold stars (you’ve earned them!)

However, deciding who you want to hire is a whole other kettle of fish! After all, how do you choose between your Uncle Phil who claims he’s “a pro” and that photographer you saw on Instagram a couple years ago?

Well, fear not you lovely people – I’ve got you covered!

I.

WHY DO YOU NEED A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?

Firstly, you need to ask yourselves why you’re actually hiring someone in the first place. What was it that made you want a wedding photographer? Perhaps it’s because photography has always been important to you, your best friend had one at her wedding or maybe it’s because you live for the ‘gram and want some killer photos to go on your feed!

Once you’re able to answer ‘why’, it’s likely that you’ll be one step closer to narrowing down the search.

II.

WHAT'S YOUR wedding BUDGET?

Perhaps one of the most important things you need to consider initially, as with booking any suppliers for your wedding day, is your budget. Wedding photographers range dramatically in price, so it’s crucial to get a budget in mind that you’d be willing to spend on hiring someone – even if it is only quite general for the moment.

To give you an idea, the average price of hiring a wedding photographer in the UK is £1,590 according to a survey carried out by ‘Your Perfect Wedding Photographer’. It’s important to bare in mind, though, that this is just the average; it wouldn’t be surprising to spend upwards of £5,000 for your wedding photographer and, thus, having a budget in mind will help narrow your photographer search down even further.

If the budget is particularly important to you, consider hiring a wedding photographer with less experience in the industry – it’s likely that their fees will be far lower than someone who has been a photographer for a few years.

III.

What style of wedding photography do you like?

So you’ve asked yourself ‘why’ and ‘how much’, it’s now time to get onto the fun bit: what kind of photography do you both like? Wedding photographers all specialise in different approaches, so gaining an idea of what wedding photography style you love is the best aspect to focus on during the choosing process (provided you’re not too restricted on budget, of course!)

Wedding photography is a huge umbrella for thousands of different approaches, but a few popular choices include the following: candid, romantic, traditional, fine art, dramatic, documentary, creative and modern. As I said though, the list really does go on!

If you already have an idea as to which approach will suit you both and your wedding best, great! If you’re a little stuck, I’d recommend resorting to something we all do everyday without even thinking: Google it!

It goes without saying that Google is beyond helpful when it comes to everyday activities and even more so when planning a big event like a wedding day. Simply Google some of the terms above and see if any of the photographs take your fancy!

Iv.

how much of your wedding do you want captured?

This part should be relatively quick to answer, but the length of coverage you want to hire a photographer for is also an important factor to consider.

It’s likely that you’ll opt for full-day coverage (morning preparations through to your first dance and party) to ensure your entire wedding day is captured, but most photographers will usually offer customisation to other packages if there are some elements of your wedding (e.g. morning preparations) that you don’t want captured.

If you’ve found a few wedding photographers you like at this stage, go through their wedding details with a fine-toothed comb. What does their package actually offer you? Very often wedding photographers will claim “full-day coverage” but have this under the expectation of 8 hours coverage, for example.

Whilst this might still work for you, I’d air on the side of caution when hiring a photographer for a set number of hours; being a wedding photographer myself, I’ve never captured a wedding where something hasn’t overrun on the day. This is the reason that I offer unlimited hours on your wedding day, as opposed to fixed.

Definitely something to look out for so you don’t have any pesky hidden costs later down the line!

v.

Do you want a wedding album?

As mentioned above, knowing what’s included in your opted wedding package is very important.

If you’re both interested in having a wedding album, check with your photographer if this is an option. Often, wedding photographers will offer wedding albums as an additional extra to be purchased after the wedding day. Gaining a price list to their photography extras, prior to booking them, is a sensible idea if you’re thinking of getting your wedding photographs printed professionally.

Of course, you can always get your photographs printed yourself, but I’d always recommend asking your wedding photographer as it’s likely something they do full-time.

vi.

Do you want a pre-wedding photography session?

Pre-wedding photo sessions are a fantastic way to get to know your wedding photographer more as well as gaining more confidence in front of the camera without the pressure of your wedding day.

Most photographers offer pre-wedding sessions as an additional extra (ie. added fee) to your wedding packages, but you can grab yourself a few gems (like myself!) who offer complimentary pre-wedding photoshoots as part of your wedding package. Although this is entirely optional, I’ve always found that the wedding photographs are so much more relaxed, fun and natural-looking than when my couple’s decide to opt out of having the pre-wedding shoot  Plus, you’ll receive some lovely photos of the two of you before your wedding day…What’s not to love?

vii.

Does the photographer click with your personalities?

Finally, easily the most important consideration to make is whether you actually like your potential wedding photographer. Believe it or not, but your wedding photographer is the person you’ll spend the most time with on your special day. Crazy, isn’t it? This makes it even more important that you love not only their work, but their personality too.

Of course, personality preferences are unique to every individual, but I’d recommend finding someone easy-going who you both feel comfortable and relaxed around as this will really show in your overall wedding photographs!

If you’ve made it this far, I’m hoping you’ll have gained a few tips on how to choose the best wedding photographer for your big day. Planning a wedding can be very stressful at times but it’s so undeniably rewarding once your day has arrived and you are flicking through your wedding album from years to come!

Best of luck with your search lovelies and, if you’d like to enquire about my availability for your wedding day, you can do so by filling out the form below.

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Suffolk Wedding Photographer covering Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, the UK and destination weddings | @ 2020 Charlotte Wotton photography