Wedding Photography – All You Need to Know and to Ask

Having recently got married and being wedding photographers, my husband and I understand the business pretty well, but still found it quite confusing to work out the best package for us. As a result, we have put together a few points to try and help brides (and grooms!) to-be to best choose the photographer for them.

Photography and Videography are two of the most important things to get right for a wedding as once the cake has been eaten, the venue has been cleared and the dress dry cleaned and hung up, they are the only ways you will have to remember your day. Get it right, and you will adorn your walls with the pictures and cherish them forever. Get it wrong, and it will be one of your biggest regrets as you cannot replay the day at a later date.

1) Decide on the style of photography you want.

Wedding photography comes in many different styles, if you think of other weddings you have been to – was the photographer quietly working in the background to get more of a photojournalistic approach, or in the forefront trying to pose people and directing the bride and groom throughout the day for photographs? Be sure to check out many photographers websites and get an eye on different styles then decide on the right one for you. Wedding forums are great for inspiration and also finding out straight from other couples what they thought of their photography style.

2) Why hire a professional wedding photographer?

Weddings are very fast paced and like everybody tells you (and probably like us you’ll think it won’t possibly happen to your day) it does fly by so incredibly quickly that if choosing a specialist wedding photographer you can be sure they understand how the day works and will capture all the key moments. It may be cheaper to hire a photography student looking to get into weddings, or let your friend do it, but there is always the risk that you may not get the key shots such as the cake cutting, or bouquet throw as they don’t have the experience of anticipating these events. Only you can decide how important your wedding photography is.

3) Where to find a photographer?

Wedding photographers can be found very easily, online, in the phonebook, in the local paper etc, but the best way to find a wedding photographer is to ask any recently married friends what theirs was like. Not only will you be able to see from your friends pictures if you like the style of photography offered, but they will be able to advise you firsthand what the photographer was like on the day. Another great resource is your wedding venue as they will be able to offer you details of photographers who know the venue and whose work they can recommend.

4) Make sure the photographer you use is reputable

Nowadays, in the age of the digital photography revolution, everyone has a DSLR camera and can take pictures so it’s not surprising that the number of wedding photographers around is going up, which is great as it gives clients a bigger choice. Unfortunately, this can also be a problem in that a lot of these photographers do not understand the importance of using back up units, securing the images against cards and cameras failing and getting the relevant insurance. This is why checking out your intended photographer is so important, if they only use a single camera and single lens, what would happen if that camera or lens failed? Do they back up images throughout the day? These are all things that you need to check. If the photographer has a website, look at the examples of past work on there. Be sure they’re experienced with low light or you may find your church shots and first dance are blurry as these conditions are more difficult to shoot.

5) Why so expensive?!

Wedding photographers come under a lot of flack regarding the prices we charge, you will see on many bridal forums there are the posts asking why when some photographers charge £400 for a days coverage, some are charging upwards of £3000? There are many factors for this. As mentioned above, the lower end price bracket are likely to be new wedding photographers looking to get a portfolio together, or those who do it as a part time job – nothing wrong with either of these, however you are unlikely to receive the same quality of image from a £400 photographer as you would a higher end one, due to many factors, one being equipment. Most professional level SLR camera bodies start around £1500+, and the professional level lenses are (dependent on the type of lens) around each around the same bracket. Then there is the cost of memory cards, backup storage units, flashguns etc, not to mention the fact that most professional wedding photographers will carry multiple camera bodies and lenses, and it all very quickly starts to add up. There is then the cost of insurance (which is another thing worth checking out about a potential photographer – professional indemnity insurance covers if anything should happen to the images and public liability ensures your guests are insured if they trip up over a tripod or walk in to the camera). Wedding photographers not only work tirelessly on your wedding day, but will also spend a lot of time after the wedding putting the images through a ‘digital darkroom’ process where they can process them to black and white, and develop the images. When you consider that the average 10 hour wedding will yield the photographer 500 -1000 images or more, this is a lot of time spent developing each and every one.