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How to pick your wedding photographer and why it’s important to go for a professional

By Andrea Petrou on December 14th, 2009 0 comments yet. Be the First

Many people today are shunning professional photographers and using friends to take pictures of their special wedding day. We don’t blame them, after all wedding photographers can be an extra burden to the budget and, if you’re friend can do just as good a job then there isn’t a problem, right? Wrong. While we were researching hints and tips on how to ensure you get the best photographs for your wedding we spoke to a range of photographers (not all specifically wedding ones) who told us why it was better to get a professional in on your big day.

Photography, Design, Illustration and Film specialist John Rourke said: “All I can say is that the photography is massively understated, after talking to 160 brides in the last wedding fair I was shocked at how many have uncles, or friends doing it for nothing.

“I went to a wedding a few months ago, as a ‘friend of a guest’. They were relying on the friends to supply images as they were sure every one had digital cameras. Well they were gutted with the results lots of fuzzy images, or images that missed the moments they were capturing.

“The memories and the photos of the day are the only thing you will have to look back on. You will never remember all the tiny details, the moments, the faces, You will be so stressed and busy on the day that the day becomes a blur, so thats what we as photographers provide for you.”

We’ve therefore combined a range of hints and tips of what to look for when picking a photographer for your big day, with reasons why this should be an important part of your budget.

Photography tip one: Hunt around and be comfortable with who you choose
Like with any other aspect of your wedding it’s important to shop around when you’re looking for a photographer, after all you have to like their style and have some sort of connection with them. Photographer Damian Comans said: “Meet up with at least 2 photographers. That way you can see a wedding album in person to judge the quality, and you’ll also get to know the photographer which is really important. They’ll be spending a majority of one of the most important days of your lives with you, so would be great to feel comfortable with them and know that they’ll be nice to your grandma on the day.”

John Rourke also stresses the importance of feeling comfortable with your photographer.
“The bride needs to see the work the photographer shoots, its as simple as that. If you like their work, meet the photographer, get to know them, do you like them? do you gel? if you don’t get on, you’re awkward with them, or they with you, then the images will be bad.”


Photography tip two: Have an idea of the style you want.

Many people don’t know this, but there are a range of different styles you can pick for your day. These go from Traditional, which will pretty much reflect your parents’ album and include lots of posed photographs, all the way to reportage, which is random shots of you, and your groom as well your guests to really capture the mood of the big day. Of course there are many photographers that do certain types of shots, but according to John you need to find one that also has the same creative dream as you.

“You need to find [a photographer] who loves what they do, who will fire off you, inspire each other, go armed with lots of images from magazines you love.You are creating the dream together…your album and images will be your memory.”

And it’s also worth remembering that you can be greedy an opt for more than one style. Scott Lewis said: “It is very fashionable at the moment to go for a more informal, candid approach. This involves capturing the action as it happens. In reality, however, many couples who talk about wanting a more informal style actually still want the formal portrait shots of the bride and groom and group shots of family and friends as well. My advice would be to be clear about what YOU want. Be guided by your photographer but don’t let them set the agenda – it’s your big day after all.”

Photography tip three. What’s an acceptable price to pay
Although it may seem like a lot all three photographers say the average price you should expect to pay is around £1500- £4000. Damian says: “For someone who knows what they’re doing expect to pay around £1400+ for a local wedding with approx 8 hours coverage.” John also adds. “Never use a dump and run service.”

This is where someone turns up, takes your money and shoots some images leaving you with an unedited cd/dvd of pics.

“Be careful of anyone who will do it for under 600…these are just cowboys.”

Whatever you agree to pay you should always ask to look at a recent album from another wedding to ensure the photographer is still up to scratch.

Photography tip four: What should be included in the price?
According to John the photographs should be split into three parts for the day. This includes preshoot – as friends, the the day and post shoot – the couple, the bride, the intimate and personal.

Damian also advises to find out if an album is included in the price and if not how much extra this will be. Production costs on good quality albums are very high, but the difference is literally 2 different worlds. For a well designed story book album that’s been photographically printed and leather bound, expect to pay around £1000 for the initial book.

That may sound high but literally with all of the costs involved, there is actually very little margin on it. Subsequent copies of the book will be cheaper as the design is already done, which can then be scaled down for smaller parent size albums etc.




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