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Beautifully Authentic Wedding & Family Photography (Northamptonshire based)

How to Select the right Wedding Photographer

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The world is seemingly full of wedding photographers and all your guests will have a smartphone or camera, so should you choose a professional and more importantly how do you pick from the hundreds out there?

The modern documentary style of wedding photography which captures the day as it unfolds has led to many amateur and weekend photographers entering the photography market. How can you be sure that the photographer will produce the images you want to treasure? Follow my short guide below to make sure you choose wisely.

a) Meet the wedding photographer before making a booking. You will be seeing a lot of each other on the big day and it is important that you know a little about each other before hand. The photographer should want to know about the sequence of the day, the wedding venues and and particularly important shots. You should satisfy yourself that you like the photographers approach. Be clear on the parts of the day you would like captured.

b) Ideally have an engagement shoot; especially if you do not like having your photograph taken! See my article below for more details on this. Ideally have the engagement shoot before you commit to the wedding so that you can assess whether the wedding photographer has made you look your best in the images. You will also get to know how he/she works. I believe in that my work speaks for itself so I offer engagement shoots free and with no obligation to book for the wedding.

c) Ask if the photographer has had any training in wedding photography. Ask them if they pose groups or just take things as they happen (both are usually needed for good wedding photographs). Ask them how they cope with strong sunlight (one of the biggest lighting challenges on a wedding day if you have not been trained in how to deal with it).

d) Ask to see some of their previous wedding photographs. Look at them carefully, are they more than a snap shot that Uncle Bob could take? Are the colours good? Does your eye go directly to the subject of the photo without distractions? Has the photographer thought about flattering lighting and the backdrop? Are their any annoying distractions in the frame? Do you see emotions or stories in the images? A good camera does not deliver good images; a good photographer does.

e) Ask if the photographer is a member of any associations (Guild of photographers, Royal photographic society etc) and whether they are insured as a photographer.

f) Ask if they are a full time wedding photographer or if they have any other form of employment.

g) Ask to see their website. If the photographer does not have one and relies on social media then they are not a serious wedding photographer. I would like to say that you get what you pay for, but unfortunately with photographers that is not always the case. The most expensive photographer in my area charges just under £3,000 for a full day and her photos are brilliant! Another charges the same and their quality could easily be purchased for half the price.

h) Check what you actually receive for your money.  Some photographers will only edit images which go into an album which you must buy from them meaning that you never receive the edited finished photos on a disk.    The rest are provided on a disk and unedited.  

i) Ask if they edit their photos; some cheaper photographers just give you images directly out of the camera.  No professional should ever do this and most spend, on average, 3 times the time taken to take the photographs in the editing stage.  So a full day wedding should take around 30 hours to edit.

Clive Hawes

Profound Image Photography

Published July 2017

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