How to choose the right wedding photographer
… or at least avoid choosing the wrong wedding photographer
Did you know that, according to Which, nearly 1 in 10 people are not happy with their wedding photographs? With the average UK wedding costing nearly £20000, surely spending some time to find the right person to capture your wedding must be worth the effort. After all in 50 years time when your memory of the day may be blurry you don’t want your wedding photos to be!
If you’ve spent time on wedding blogs and forums or chatted to recently married couples, you may have noticed an increasing trend in couples asking a family member or friend to take the photos because they “have a posh camera” or “love their holiday photos on Facebook”. The truth is that photography both is an artform and skill that takes practice, talent and experience and a wedding photographer needs to be discrete yet confident enough to calmly conduct a group of excited and distracted people, to be a careful planner yet be able to think on their feet and react to situations both with people and lighting. If you need any more convincing read this article by a lady who is now a professional wedding photographer herself. As for your friends Facebook photos – blow them up and print them next to some professional photos and you might see the difference.
Bad photographers – In recent years there have been a few stories that have made the national press where photographers skills were apparently non-existant as this couple from the midlands and this couple from South Yorkshire found out the hard way. NB both wedding photography companies involved have since shut their doors.
Fauxtographers – This shocking cautionary tale involves a completely innocent couple in the USA who were more than happy to pay everything up front for a stunning photographer based on his website’s portfolio – but it turns out he’d just swiped the photos from another local photography firm. But be warned, it does happen in the UK too – click for a closer-to-home story.
OK, that’s the scary stories done! The truth is that photographers take pride in their work and are a protective bunch, after all their creative work and copyright is their bread and butter! This means that they are very good at exposing anyone tarnishing the reputation of the industry especially those who pass off other’s work as their own, like the ones mentioned above.
The best defence against poor wedding photography is YOU!
We may be in the business of insuring your wedding for when things go wrong, but there are certain aspects that are not covered and we want to help you make sure you get hitched without a hitch, so here’s our run-down of tips for wedding photography:
1. Don’t leave finding your wedding photographer until last
Two reasons – firstly you should make sure you budget for it – and budget as much as you can in relation to your overall spend. Secondly, wedding photographers also know lots about how wedding days run, after all they’ve been in the thick of it so many times and having to work around the days events and mistimings! You may pick up some valuable info that will help with planning – like how long to allow after the service, what time of day to plan your wedding shoot etc.
2. Find a photographer who you like as much as their photos
Having a good rapport with a photographer that you really trust helps to create natural shots. Also, don’t forget that, for group shots, they need to be up front directing a herd or happy wedding guests!
3. Research your photographer!
Of course recommendations from people or sources that you trust are valuable but you can also do some checking of your own. Don’t be caught out like the poor couples mentioned above. There are easy ways to do some checks, for example search on Stop Stealing Photos or check in any of their social communities. Altneratively, if you thing someone sounds to good to be true, try Search By Image from Google or TinEye – they search by image data and matching pixels so you can see where else a photo appears online, then do some detective work if necessary!
4a. Using a friend or family member? Put in some extra leg-work!
If you choose to use a friend or family member, you should view some of your cost saving as time you might need to put in with them – for example visit the venue, plan the photos, take test shots their at the time of day that you are getting married.
4b. Using a professional wedding photographer? Make sure you have a contract!
If you use a professional photographer, be clear in your contractual agreement with them. Heaven forbid that something should not go to plan, however sometimes things don’t turn out as expected, so it’s good to be prepared. If you are not happy Which do give some helpful tips and very useful letter templates on what you are entitled to; for example you can expect a full refund if your photos are lost or if you have agreed a minumum number of shots in your contract which they fail to meet, you can expect a refund to the percentage that they fall short.
5. Play it safe – look for accreditation
You are trusting someone to capture memories for a lifetime – a great place to start your search is with organisations that offer accreditation – here’s the list of the top ones in the UK:
- The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA)
- The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers
- The British Institute of Professional Photographers
- The Master Photographers Association
- The Guild of Wedding Photographers
Hopefully, providing you take heed of the stories and advice here your wedding day should be picture perfect. Happy wedding planning!Tags: guide, hints and tips, photographer, Photography, Planning, uk wedding insurance, Wedding, wedding photographer, Wedding planning