I recently learnt of a bride who booked a wedding photographer who's work she had not seen, and still went ahead and paid the deposit. Not having heard from the photographer for a few weeks, she reached out to him only for him to apologise for the delayed response stating that he's 'been busy', and further went on to say that he may be late on the day. For those of you who have this or similiar experiences, I apologise on behalf of our profession. Brides beware!
So, you've got your special day planned and you are now looking for a photographer to capture the magic of the day as it unfolds, and you are uncertain as to where you begin. Well let me help you in your quest.
Where do I start?
Think about the style of photographs you want. Whether you're after traditional posed pictures or reportage style, you want to ensure the person you choose is professional, proficient and perfect for you. You can find photographers through personal recommendations, wedding fairs, etc. Don't forget to check out their online reviews.
How will I know what style I want?
This will depend on the type of pictures you want. Reportage photography has become more popular recently as it captures the moments of the day organically. Make sure you find a photographer with creative flair and plenty of experience in this style. If you come from a big family and it's important to have lots of traditional portraits of you all to keep your parents happy then you may want to choose someone whose portfolio is full of lots of traditional posed photography and formal line-ups.
How can I tell if they're good?
Look at albums of different photographers as you narrow down your search. If they're skilled at high-quality portraits and traditional wedding photography you should be looking at good lighting, impressive background settings and perhaps some soft focus effects for close-up shots. With reportage photographers it's really important to look at complete albums from other people's weddings. Anyone can get a couple of natural shots, but it takes real skill to capture the magic of the entire day this way.
What else should I look for?
Check your photographer is covered by professional indemnity insurance in case something goes wrong with the camera or the card gets lost or damaged. This insurance does not cover the style of the photographs so it's imperative you discuss this with your photographer before the wedding day. Make sure you talk to the photographer in person, as you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them and feel sure that they have a good attitude. It's important that they are experienced with weddings and can deal with highly charged emotions (and members of your families) with ease and charm. The best wedding photographers will treat your day as a special event rather than just another job and will endeavour to capture perfectly the magic of your wedding day.