Last week we looked at some incredible photography styles. This week our experts are dishing the dirt on the best ways to find your dream wedding photographer! Some of the same advice cropped up a few times; meet photographers in person, look at a photographer’s full wedding album, and don’t choose someone solely based on price. These experts are wedding photographers so they know what they are talking about! Take a peek at their super helpful advice and you’ll thank them later…
Featured image credit: Sophia Travers Photography
Keith Touhey Fine Art Wedding Photography | View Profile
It’s a very personal decision. Price should not reflect your decision too much once you find your budget. Go for the style and look you love and not because they’re the cheapest in your budget. Research the work of photographers and find the one whose work leaves you in awe. The one you keep coming back to check. Book him.
Simon Peare Photography | View Profile
- Start as soon as you have the venue and date organised and ask for recommendations from WOL.ie and HIGM from other couples.
- Shortlist 5 photographers you like. Check their website and testimonials from independent sources such as WOL, Facebook, Google. And check if they are available!
- From what is left get in touch with them and talk through your day. Ask how they interact with the couple on the day. Some photographers don’t interact at all except for family photos. Some interact a lot staging shots. See if you click with the photographer. Consider the fact that this person will be at your wedding all day. How will that have an impact on you and your guests.
- View 2 full galleries of the package you are considering. Highlight galleries can be misleading.
Alex Zarodov Photography | View Profile
a. Check photographer’s style & reviews and work samples – ideally a few real wedding galleries.
b. Check if his business is fully insured.
c. Contact him to find out if his personality and attitude will suit yours.
Gary Barrett Photography | View Profile
First talk to friends that have recently got married. Ask them about their experiences when booking their wedding suppliers. Check out websites and Instagram, and talk to your venue about their recommended suppliers. Then when talking to potential photographers, ask important questions, eg: are they insured, is this their full-time job, how long have they been photographing weddings. Are they college trained or Youtube watchers! There is a lot of photographers to choose from, but in my opinion only 30% of the photographers working in Ireland take epic photographs and have the experience that will add to the day, rather than make it a chore.
The best advice I can give is, pic a photographer for the work he does, if you like the photos he makes, that is the one, not for the price as you only gonna pay one and photos gonna be forever.
Sean Sharpe Photography | View Profile
My best advice to any couple is to simplify their search for a photographer and narrow down the style you want, rather than searching on price alone. It’s also great to meet up with a potential photographer and chat as it’s great to know if you’ll get on or not! Express any concerns or worries with your photographer…it’s your big day! Any good photographer should be able to accommodate your special requests or wishes if they can.
Mark Donovan Wedding Photography | View Profile
Picking the right photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make regarding your wedding. The photographer will be with you most of the day. The right photographer will add to the day, while helping out if needed. Recommendations from family and friends are the very best way to start your research. Also have a good look around in the suppliers list in weddings online. Short list four or five photographers based on the images then browse their websites. Ask yourself if the images you see stirrup an emotion within you, look at recent wedding blogs too, these will show you the “style” of the photographer. When you see what really appeals to you you’ll know! Try meet your photographer before you book, if that’s not possible skype is a great second best. If you want a great photographer book him or her early, top photographers book out fairly quickly. It’s not unusual for me to get a booking one-two years out.
Andrea Peon Photography | View Profile
I would advise the couples to talk about how they would like to remember their day, what photography styles they like and what kind of person they have in mind for it. Once you know this, I’d say it’s very important feeling comfortable with your photographer and trusting him. This will have a direct impact on how you will experience your big day, the photographer’s approach with people is key for good results!
Begin looking at styles of photography you like. As you must be able to know what you want before you start the hard task of choosing your wedding photographers.
Start by looking at some reputable photographers that are listed on Weddingsonline.
There is probably a reason why a photographer charges more than another. Perhaps they provide a more tailored service, they bring more creativeness to their work, second shooters, more experience, etc. Obviously, you must choose a photographer that is within your realistic financial budget. But once you have narrowed it down by pricing -this is when your choice of photographer becomes more personal.
It is such an important occasion it is vital you make the right choice of photographer, after all, your memories are all you will have left after the event. To this end you should make sure you choose a full time Professional Photographer and preferably a member of the Irish Professional Photographers & Videographers Association(IPPVA) which is the body that most professional wedding photographers belong to. Members need to be full time, fully insured and to submit a panel of work before acceptance. Boring but very important to insure you get a photographer you can trust.
Finding the right wedding photographer needs time, I don’t think you can find your photographer in one day, then take your time and choose wisely and carefully, follow your gut, nowadays internet has become an essential tool for searching, you can also examine through social networks and know more about your photographer’s everyday life, his followers, his timeline, his attitudes and last but not least his reviews made by other couples.
The right photographer won’t be only your memory preserver, but he will also be with you in every step of the wedding day to advise you and give suggestions, he wants make sure that you can enjoy a laid back day, and focus on enjoying every minute of your wedding!
Make sure that you “Click!” 😉 As in you will be spending a lot of time together so you want to make sure you get on well. I usually end up dressing most of our brides as bridesmaids often end up dealing with other stress related issues in the morning and to avoid the bride being late I always offer to help.
Make sure you love their style of photography, what is it that appeals to you? Do you love the way the couples look in the photographs? Are they having fun? Are they posed or more natural looking? I would recommend either chatting in person or if not have a video call online. I always know if we are the right fit for a couple after a few minutes into our chat.
Ebony & Pearl Photography | View Profile
You found us – chill! We’ve over a decade of experience shooting weddings & we’ve got you covered!
A great place to find your wedding photographer is wedding fairs, as you not only get to see a selection of wedding photographers but get to meet them and see examples of their work. After that I’d advise the couple to do a good Google search check for any red flags about them and then make up their mind. Just don’t pick a photographer because they seem popular as does not mean they are technically a good photographer.
Advice I would give new couples setting out on the search for a photographer is simply do some research on the type of images that speak to you, or feel like you could see yourself as a couple in that style of imagery and years down the line would you still love them? Then shortlist some that shoot this way, not too many tho or you’ll struggle to narrow them down, talk to them about your requirements etc, whichever one ticks all the boxes and makes you feel like ye would get on great throughout the day.
Paul Duane Photography | View Profile
The best piece of advice is not to be led by price when looking for the right photographer for you, yes we all love a bargain but at the end of the day this is such a special day and you want to be able to relive it over and over again with the best possible images to tell your story. Really look at photographer’s style, reviews, have a chat with them – you honestly really need to click with your photographer as you spend so much of the day with them.
Alan Roche Photography | View Profile
Most definitely ask to see a full gallery or album. Do not book a photographer on one or two good shots you have seen. See the full picture from start to finish. Can he or she provide good quality photos from the start of the day to the end? Can he/she shoot in poor lighting conditions? Ask how many photos do you expect to get. Are the photos edited and ready for print? Have they watermark on them. Check out the photographer’s reviews, this is very important and if you are still in doubt ask to speak to previous clients by email etc if the previous clients agrees of course. See if the photographer style is something you are looking for, are you comfortable with. What’s the lead time in receiving your photos and album. And lastly, I know this may seem odd but see if you get on with each other, after all you will be spending most of the day with each other so it’s important.
Myy advice to you is: Forget about price for now. That will lead you down the wrong path. Check the images the photographer has on their website, Facebook and Instagram.
Call and meet your photographer, it is impossible to get to know someone through an email (Especially when the email is “Hey, how much are your Packages?”). See the albums and products in person, not every product is the quality your expecting. We are expecting these albums, frames and images to last past our lifetimes remember? Let’s make sure they’re up to the challenge.
Remember this is an investment for the future, you’re not just paying for pretty pictures thrown into a book. You’re investing in your legacy, in your memories which in 10- or 20-years’ time will have only grown in value. This is one of the only assets we purchase that increases in value with each passing year.
It is extremely important to find the right photographer for the day as the photographer will be around all day long and you wish to have photos to cherish all the lifetime.
Our first advice would be to understand what style of photography you like – simply search the world’s best wedding photographers and see what wedding photography can be and what type of photography makes your heart beat faster. Get inspired, make a board for visuals with images you love! Then see from local suppliers who are doing a similar style of work. Always look through real weddings as they will give you the best insight about the photographer – their approach, style even personality. Look for the photographer who is willing to meet you before your wedding – it is a great chance to go through all the details and strategic planning. My advice is – don’t look only for pretty pictures, see what feels true to you, which photography resonates within you!
David McAuley Photography | View Profile
It can be like comparing apples & oranges and quickly get overwhelming. It’s not just about images but experience, personality, willingness to engage, adapt etc. Keep in mind you are the customer, not somebody doing them a favour by letting them shoot your wedding. Also, somebody’s suggestion/recommendation is based on their experience and the same one may not be compatible with you.
A good approach would be determine first what you want in terms of coverage of your day e.g. Morning preparations through to First dance, then do you want an album(s) or digital images only (maybe deferring an album).
When a couple is choosing their photographer the advice I would give is besides the dress and rings the photos are the heirloom that is next most important, so I would recommend to go for an album, if someone wants photos for just social media that’s fine just consider will Instagram or Facebook still be in business in 20 years.
Also your wedding photographer spends the most time working as a service provider on your day, so make sure you get along with them pretty well and have talked to them before you book them and like their manner.
Quality over quantity: it doesnt matter how many photos you get weather it’s 3000 or 500. I see bidding wars occur between photographers promising x amount of images, that’s not important. A carefully currated selection is better than everything including blinks. The photos should be well edited by an experienced eye.
I would advise couples looking for a wedding photographer to first decide on what style of images they like, and then choose a photographer that works in that particular style. Also, your photographer will play a crucial role in the smooth running of your day, so choose someone who really listens to what you want and can give advice on how to structure the day- there’s no point in being away from your guests doing lots of staged photos if you are looking for natural images of you enjoying yourselves with them at the greatest party you’ve ever thrown! And lastly, any investment you make on good photography will be worth it- your images will always be a reminder of your day long after it is all over and done, and you will want to remember how you looked and felt and who was with you, so you want to know you will love these images. Research carefully and get the right photographer for you even if it means setting aside a little bit extra to put towards it.
Wojciech Koza Photography | View Profile
Ask your photographers to show you 2 or 3 full galleries from Real Weddings they have shot. It will cost you nothing but you will get an idea of what your final collection of photos might look like after the wedding. Stay especially cautious if the photographer doesn’t have any Real Wedding content on his website and all he has is a mix of photos (all from different weddings) in the portfolio. Some photographers produce 15 stunning images from every wedding, but the remaining 900 photos are very poor. For good reason, they show future clients only the best of the best. If you pick your photographer by looking only at photos he has in the portfolio – you won’t get a full sample of his work.
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.