Getting the best from your wedding photographs
Choosing your wedding photographer is an important task. Once the wedding is over and the dress has been packed away, the photographs are what you have to keep the memories alive. So how do you choose the right person and then ensure you get the best out of your wedding photos? This is a short guide that gives you 4 top tips...
1) Do you get on? It's essential that you get on with your chosen photographer, after all you'll be spending a lot of time with them on your wedding day and they will be capturing some intimate moments and precious memories for future generations to see.
So, the first step is to ensure that you meet with your perspective photographer before booking them. Spend time asking them about their experience, style and even whether they have back-up equipment to cover eventualities such as equipment failure. All professional wedding photographers should have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurances which protect not only them, but also you in the event of an accident or failure on their part to produce the goods. A pre-wedding photo-shoot is also a great way to ensure that you feel comfortable in front of their camera. You can check that the resulting photographs provide you and your husband-to-be with images that fit with your preferred style.
Use the initial meeting to ask about payment, how much deposit do they want up front and when is the balance due. Most photographers will ask for a booking fee which is non-refundable if you cancel the wedding but they should allow you to change dates if you give them enough notice. It is also normal to pay the balance of the fee before the wedding rather than when you have the album delivered. Find out how long it will take for them to provide proofs of your photographs, some photographers can take up to 6 weeks during the busy Summer wedding season and this can be disappointing if you are expecting them sooner.
2) Know what you want. Articulating what you want from your photographer is the key to getting images that you'll love. There are many ways to describe the different styles of wedding photography but do you know the difference? And with so many styles how do you actually decide what you want?
Look through the websites of a few photographers in your area and first decide whether you like or dislike their photography style. View their gallery or portfolio section and decide why you do or don't like the images that are shown. Remember that communicating what you don't like is as important as what you do. Also look at how they describe their style on their Info or About pages these will all give you clues.
- Do you want your photographer to simply document your marriage and provide a record of the occasion providing some formal couple and group shots? If so you'll probably like a traditional style.
- Do you like photographs where the photographers seems to be a fly on the wall at the wedding, capturing moments as they happens without any apparent direction or intervention? If so, you'll probably like reportage or photo-journalistic style.
- Do you want the photographs to tell the story of your day from start to finish and include some posed and some natural couple shots (either looking at or away from the camera), some shots of guests enjoying themselves and all the little details including flowers, shoes and table decorations? If so, then styles described as contemporary, candid or storybook may suit you best. Expect the photographer to provide some gentle direction but he or she should make the majority of shots look natural as if there was no intervention.
3) Album or digital files or both. Think about what you want to do with your photographs after your wedding day.
- Do you want a plush, stylish, matted album that you get out once a year, that will last a lifetime and be passed onto your children?
- Or would you prefer a lighter, coffee-table photobook that will be looked at fairly frequently.
- Will both sets of parents want an album and do you want prints to display in your home?
- You may find that being able to email photographs, display them on Facebook or on your computer desktop is preferable.
- Do you want a mixture of some of the above....?
Deciding what you want is important at the outset because some photographers will offer a very limited range of albums and will want a small fortune to supply the digital files as well as prints. If you have an idea of how you'll use the photographs, you can find a photographer who can supply a product to match your needs (and your budget). It's better to figure this out early on so that you can rule out the ones that cannot provide what you want. But do remember that just because the package you want isn't listed on their website, it doesn't mean they won't be flexible. A good photographer will tailor a package to suit your needs so it's worth emailing or calling them before ruling them out.
4) Really understand what you're paying for. Many people believe that wedding photography is over-priced but consider this: When you buy the services of a photographer, it's not just the photographs you are buying. You are buying a mixture of tangible and intangible elements so you need to judge the value of the overall package when considering price.
- The tangible elements include prints, an album or a CD of photos.
- The intangible elements include the photographers' time at your consultation, pre-wedding shoot and on your wedding day, editing the photographs and designing your album. Not to mention their skill and professionalism developed over years of experience and training.
Be really clear about exactly what you are getting for the price quoted by each photographer because every package offered will be different. And each photographer will take a different number of images at an average wedding, the more they take the more choice you'll have but also the more time it will take them to edit. Only when you know what is included can you compare package elements and judge what is good value.
Overall, take your time. A good photographer won't rush you into making a booking, they'll be happy to meet you first and be able to answer all your questions.
This article was written by Amanda from Amanda Caroline Photography
Amanda Caroline Photography provides wedding photography across Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and much of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
For more information on the packages offered visit
www.amandacarolinephotography.co.uk or call 07796 336384.