what style of wedding Photography is right for me?
A strange question for a wedding photographer to be putting out there you might imagine. Surely as a photographer I should be selling myself and saying to everyone that I am the only man for the job...... stop your search now, look no further!
Well every photographer has their own style and way of working, and you need to find the right person to photograph your wedding day. This wedding of yours will only happen once. Without the right photographs, you might not have images that best represent your memories of your special day. Plenty of photographers can do a perfectly good job but you need to decide what is right for you. For some people I might not be the right person and I'm not afraid to say that because I would rather see a couple getting the images they want from their day than not provide the right style that they are after. Yes photographers can adapt, but any photographer will develop a style, and that should be a major factor for a couple choosing a photographer. I could list a number of different styles - traditional, journalistic, fashion, artistic etc. but the truth is that wedding photographers will generally combine a number of these styles in their photography and it can be a minefield to find the right person. The best advice I can give is to look through photographers portfolios and decide if you like their images, and if their style suits what you are looking for then get in contact with them and take it from there.
I would describe my style as largely very natural, as I aim to capture a true representation of the day as it happens. I aim to be as unobtrusive as possible during the day and often couples will remark that their favourite images are those when they did not realise they were even being photographed. It is of course critical to also provide couples with portraiture, for which I aim to provide a style that is modern and meets a clients desired feel. Crucial as it is to capture some beautiful portraiture that will provide treasured memories of your wedding, this section of the day does not have to take forever, and certainly should not distract from the couple's enjoyment of their wedding day. You will have to decide how to plan your day, and photography will become a factor that will need to be worked in to your plans. All of this can be discussed when meeting with your photographer.
what will be covered in my wedding photography meeting?
Once you have found a photographer that you like and it has been established whether a photographer is free on the date of your wedding, they will ideally suggest a meeting. In my opinion this is crucial as there is so much more to learn than just the details of the day. I always want my couple's to get to know me and feel comfortable that I am the right person to photograph one of the most important days of their life. At this stage I will get to know the couple better, asking them questions to establish what photography would best suit and reflect them as a couple.
what wedding photography package is best for me?
Many wedding photographers will offer all sorts of packages. Some may offer different lengths of coverage, others different numbers of images, some with or without a pre-wedding shoot. None of this is worth anything though if they are not the right person. If you are talking to the photographer that you truly want for your wedding day, then you have made the ideal first step to finding a package that is right for you. A wedding photographer will have a price structure that will include specifics of what they can offer for you, but if this is not quite what you are looking for but the photographer is what you are looking for, then do not be afraid to ask for an adjustment to be made. It is your wedding day, and your photographer should be offering a package that is right for your day. This leads on to my next big question?
how much should i spend on wedding photography?
Now there is no correct answer here. Crucial factors are to find a wedding photographer who not only can provide you with the right sort of images that you desire from your wedding day, but is also the sort of person you want to be a part of your day. You need to decide how much that is worth to you. I'm not going to say that by spending more on your wedding photography you will get better images, but to find someone that ticks all the right boxes, it will be a factor in your wedding day budget. Should it be such a big factor? Well photographs, and video for that matter, are the only things that will provide you with those special memories for years to come. The reason that there is a price to pay is because you are relying on a professional to provide a service to capture those precious memories. Not only is it a highly skilled role requiring thousands of pounds worth of equipment to complete the job, but is also very hard work that involves hours meticulously editing details from your wedding day. Wedding photographers are not swimming around in piles of cash, they are working very long hours and constantly looking at how they can reinvest their earnings into new lenses and equipment to further enhance their work. Of course we love it, otherwise we wouldn't do it! I always try to provide a package for my clients that is good value, and am very conscious of not over charging. But I take the role very seriously and to provide a professional service there has to be a price that reflects this level of professionalism and hard work.
HOW SOON SHOULD I BOOK A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
So you have seen a wedding photographer's portfolio online, you have had a meeting and feel that they are someone you can not only rely on but get along with on your wedding day, and you have come to a price and package that is perfect for your requirements. How soon should you book them? My advice would be book them immediately. Just like wedding venues, wedding photographers can get booked up way in advance and the worst situation would be to miss out on the perfect person for your wedding day.
But everything has to be perfect for you. Your wedding day only happens once. Do all you can to make it special and keep those memories safe.