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Selecting the right Wedding Photographer

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Alex, Staff Writer

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

As the happiest day of your life, weddings are an event you naturally want to document by having them photographed. From the ceremony itself to the celebration afterwards, the memories will last a lifetime when they are beautifully captured. 

But when it comes to hiring a wedding photographer, there are some key factors you need to consider to select the right professional. After all, with so much time and effort put into planning your wedding, the photos should be an accurate representation of the day.

To guide your decision, here’s an overview of what to look out for when hiring a wedding photographer.

Photography style

The style of the photographer is the most important factor to consider. As a couple, you need to decide whether you’d prefer a more spontaneous style of photography or something a little more formal such as posed shots. Some photographers may offer a mix of both, especially for capturing group shots. 

While your wedding photographer will endeavour to incorporate your requests, keep in mind most have a particular style they stick to. So, if they do more romantic photojournalistic type shots, but you want more understated family photos they might not be the best match for you. 

It’s at this point you need to start reviewing the photographer’s portfolio. These days, portfolios tend to be online, though some will still offer physical portfolios to compare. Don’t just go on reviews alone - take a good look at their work to consider if they tick all the boxes. 

Engagement shoot

A great way to build excitement about your wedding day is to arrange an engagement shoot. Allowing you to get comfortable with your wedding photographer, the photos can be used on the invites, social media or just as a keepsake. Not all wedding photographers will offer an engagement shoot, though it can be extremely helpful in seeing if they can provide what you had in mind before the big day. 

Venue familiarity

Ask the photographer if they have worked at your wedding venue before. It’s not a deal-breaker if they haven’t, though they should be willing to do a site visit to get a feel for the location. Otherwise, they might miss some of the best shots. 

How many hours do you want them to work? 

No two wedding photographers will work the same hours. Usually, they’ll capture everything from the ceremony and then leave after the first dance. You need to consider if you want them to capture additional aspects, such as the bridal party getting ready or the latter part of the reception. If so, you may have to negotiate on price if it’s outside of their regular package hours. 

Technology backup

Ask your photographer if they have any contingency plans should they have an equipment failure. As it will be your wedding day, technical hitches are the last thing you need to be stressing about. Plus, you don’t want them to miss any of the key shots or be unable to provide copies. 

Points to note

  • You may wish to compile a shot list so that everyone is on the same page. Your photographer may also be able to provide a shot list they normally work with too, which will give you a better idea of what’s included. 

  • Ask how you will receive your photographs and a general timeframe of how long it takes, keeping in mind they need time to edit or print your photos. Some photographers will offer to retouch, though this is not common practice within wedding photography. 

  • If the wedding is particularly large, you should ask if the photographer can provide a second shooter. This will ensure no angles are missed, especially with spacious venues or large numbers of people.

  • Finally, make sure you only work with a photographer who will give you the rights to the photos. This will ensure you’re free to print as many copies of your wedding photos as you want and be able to share them on social media.

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