With so many suppliers vying for your business and a plethora of packages and prices to wade through, I thought it was time we asked the experts for their top tips. Meet Emma Cake, wedding photographer and owner of Bournemouth-based Big Bouquet. Emma has kindly shared her insider knowledge with us so that you are armed with the right info to find your wedding photographer…
An off-key wedding singer will cringed at – but tolerated. Cold potatoes at your wedding breakfast and drunken Uncles may an annoyance at the time, but you’ll soon forget all when you’re sipping champagne and dipping your toes in a pool under perfect blue skies come your honeymoon. Your wedding photos, however, will be album-bound forever so you better be sure you’re getting it right when it comes to hiring the right photographer for the job – no pressure.
With so many different packages, prices, styles and approaches how do you go about finding a photographer you can trust will do a good job on your day, and deliver the goods after your wedding’s over?
Work through this tip list and you can bag yourself a great photographer and tick another task off the list within the space of two weeks:
1. Work out your budget
A lot of photographers like to act quite the car salesman, hoping to catch a romantic bride and groom hook, line and sinker. Before you search for a photographer work out how much you can afford and stick to this budget. If a photographer doesn’t have clear pricing details available then make sure you get a costings summary sent over to you before you meet with them.
2. Get Googling
Don’t just type in ‘wedding photographer’ and your area – there are a lot of unhelpful directories clogging the search engines. Think of some words that are important to you like ‘fun’, ‘contemporary’, ‘stylish’, ‘relaxed’. If there’s a keyword you don’t want to appear in your results add a ‘minus’ sign before the keyword i.e ‘wedding photographer bournemouth contemporary -commercial’. Make a note of your favourite results and brief notes on your initial thoughts of their gallery photos.
3. Set up appointments
If you’re undecided as to which photographers to set up an initial meeting with, drop them a line with a tester enquiry. If they take ages to get back to you or seem too pushy, or abrupt then cross them off your list straight away. You should never be made to feel like a burden.
4. The consultation
Take your time to inspect your photographers’ portfolio and pay particular attention to styles and the expressions on the bride and grooms face. Silly poses may be a quick way of getting a few chuckles, but are you really going to want a picture of yourself jumping up and down pretending to be a plane in 30 years time? Elegant, natural shots will stand the test of time.
5. How do they make you feel?
This is the important bit. A photographer could have a stunning portfolio, but if they don’t bring out the best in you then chances are you wedding photos will look forced and you won’t feel comfortable on the day. A great way to work this out is to make sure the consultation is held at your home. If a photographer puts you a little on edge within the confines of your own surroundings then they will inevitably do the same on your wedding day.
6. Smaller details
Make sure you find out what happens once you have booked your photographer. Can you check your schedule details online, do you have to pay your fee all in one bulk sum or can you do this online in instalments? Will the photographer spend time making sure the images look perfect in post-production or just send them to you as they are? When will you get your final package sent to you? You won’t want to be chasing all this up three months after you come back from honeymoon.
About: Emma Cake – Big Bouquet Wedding Photography
Based by the seaside in sunny Bournemouth, Big Bouquet offers fresh, modern and elegant shots for all couples whether they have a big day planned, or something a little smaller and intimate. Lead photographer Emma Cake (previously Editor of Advanced Photoshop Magazine and Photoshop Editor for Digital SLR User Magazine) works alongside her soon-to-be husband and web guru, Ian Davenport to provide couples with the ultimate wedding photograph experience, from luscious albums to fully-interactive online book previewing and relaxed and informal day shoots.
All photography courtesy of Big Bouquet.
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