How to choose your Wedding Photographer

Woooo, congratulations you have found someone that wants to spend the rest of their life with you!! Happy happy joy joy!

Now comes the fun bit…planning your wedding! Well, at least it should be fun, but as you may have already noticed the choice of venues and suppliers is overwhelming! How do you choose?!

To avoid choice anxiety…yes that is an official condition, well it is here at SHP, I get it just standing in the supermarket! To avoid this overwhelm you need to make a list of what you want your day to FEEL like. Do you want classic and traditional church wedding with English country house afterwards which will feel quintessentially English. Or do you want a rustic barn wedding with hand-made bits and bobs filling the hall, which will immediately feel laid back and very personal?

Who are you and your fiance? What do you want to feel on your wedding day and what do you want your guests to feel?

Once you’ve thought about that and narrowed down a venue then the rest comes more easily…you’ll start naturally creating a theme for your day.

Now once you’ve set a date, and booked your venue the next big thing on the list is….nope, not the dress! It’s your photographer! A lot of wedding photographers get booked up 12-18 months in advance for key dates so get in there quick!

But again…when you google ‘wedding photographers near me’…OMG a whole host of websites appear and how do you choose? Every website and photographer is different and may all have different clients in mind to sell to.

So in that first 3 second judgment window we all have, did you go…oooh pretty..yass! Or did you go, eww no thanks! Go with your gut when creating a short list.  Then I guess you have to ask that question…how much? You probably have a budget in mind…and although I am a photographer and you may think I am being biased here, I promise you I am not! Your photographer’s budget should reflect how much value you place on your photography. It should be a substantial slice of your overall budget.

Imagine this…your wedding day is 24 hours long…that means you wear your dress for say 12 hours, your flowers are up on display for 6 hours, your guests eat the food and drink the drink in 4 hours and the band play for 2 hours…but your photographs? Now they will last a lifetime (if you print them, but that’s a whole other blog!), your photos will be there forever for you to remember your day, for your family to remember your day and they will be there when you have children and when they want to see your wedding day…Be prepared they will be shocked at how youthful you looked…been there! Eek! Then, when they get married they will look back and want to remember their parents wedding and get all nostalgic! Your wedding photos are the sole thing that will be around forever to remember your day. You should invest in them and your photographer. Book someone who gets this, not just someone who is in it for the money, who is on a conveyor belt of weddings each year. Someone who wants to create memories for you, someone who invests in you as much as you have in them.  It’s a partnership, not just another supplier.

So not only would I check out their website, but also any social media platforms too. Instagram is where a lot of photographers hang out, so follow them.  Look at their grid and their stories, get to know them. Then I would meet with them or at least chat over the phone or FaceTime them. You need to work out if you actually get on! This is a massive thing that a lot of people don’t always consider. This person is going to be with you from the beginning of your wedding day til the end, they will witness some of the most intimate moments of your day. They should feel like another guest not just a photographer and if you don’t have that sort of relationship with them then it will feel weird…for both sides! So invest in getting to know them. I always meet at least once with my couples, whether it’s a pre-wedding meet up or an engagement shoot and chat a lot over email or phone. Building trust and a friendship is key.

Hopefully by then you will have worked out if you ‘click’ or not. If you do…get in there and book fast! Then enjoy the journey your photographer will take you on. You might have an engagement shoot first which is a really good idea, especially if you are shy in front of the camera. Let them take charge, they will be experienced and will know all the things you’ll need to consider for great photos.

So, I hope that this has made you consider some things that you possibly didn’t think of beforehand, and helps you through the myriad of choices you face! Good luck on your wedding planning journey…remember it’s your day, so do it YOUR way!

Love Sarah,