When Candice asked us to write something to help couples choose a wedding photographer, we were both honoured and a little overwhelmed – after all, no photographer ever books everyone that makes an enquiry, so how can anyone be expected to give informed advice on what makes us appealing?! Well we’ve had a bit of a brainstorming session, and think we have a good idea of the primary aspects that inform a couple’s decision, and what they should look out for. So, here we go - introducing ‘The Four Ps’:
Portfolio – the photographer’s shop window, this has been honed and tuned to its very best, to really show off what they are capable of! The problem with judging a photographer on their combined portfolio lies in its selectivity – a group of random photos from a number of weddings won’t give you the full picture of what you might receive from just one wedding – your wedding! Taking a few great photos on the day is a reachable goal for many – taking several hundred is not. Having the experience of shooting a number of weddings gives a photographer an intuition for being consistently in the right places to great photos.
There are a few things to look out for that might help. Ask recently married friends and family if they were happy with their photographer and if so, take a look at the photos. Some photographers put a sample wedding on their website as well as a selective portfolio to show the consistency of quality they provide, or might even have a blog that shows several unique weddings. Look at wedding blogs (like Cerendipity!) too – they tend to show a large selection from any wedding, so will be a great indicator of a photographer’s ability (plus they’re great for wedding inspiration!). Take any chance you have to see sample albums.
Prices – every couple has a budget for their wedding photography, and with the dawn of digital photography we have seen a surge in ultra-cheap ‘shoot-and-burn’ wedding photographers who will be with you for the whole day and give you a disc with every photo on it. Family and friends with a nice camera are also increasingly asked to do wedding photography as a free or very cheap option. This sounds great, and might suit some, but you really do get what you pay for in this business – cutting corners can lead to heartache.
A good photographer invests a great deal of money in backup equipment in case of failure, as well as insurance. Not only are they there for your wedding day, but there are pre-wedding consultations, as well as the days of digital processing afterwards to account for (which the cheap photographers don’t do). They charge for providing a large number of extremely high quality photos, rather than a few ‘nice’ ones and hundreds and hundreds of snapshots. Some photographers offer a half day option, so you get the high quality at a lower price.
Products – Albums; some photographers offer them, some don’t. Likewise for discs of the images, or single prints. What you are offered can make or break your final decision. Do you want them all day, or for just a half-day? One photographer or two? An engagement shoot? A photo booth during the reception? Let’s face it, the proliferation of photographers means that someone out there must offer you all or most of the options that you want. We spent ages finding a wedding album that suited our photographic style (and perfectionism), and while lots of people love them, there are those that are looking for something a little different – that’s fine, there are other photographers out there so you are bound to meet your perfect match!
Personality – this brings us on to our final point. We’ve been doing this for long enough now that we’re comfortable with what we offer. There’s no need to force the square peg into the round hole: if we’re not the photographer for you, then someone else is – that’s the beauty of having so many options! Meeting your photographer should inspire confidence, not ignite doubt. This is the part of making a decision that’s hard to quantify – there are really so many factors involved, all we can advise is that you feel comfortable with your wedding photographer. You’re looking for professional, friendly and courteous – if you also get on like a house on fire then all the better! Good luck!
For more information you can contact them on the information below. They are a great couple and prefect team to work. I cannot recommend them highly enough!
Penny 07852 131435
Martin 07948 992221
Thanks to Penny and Martin for the fab post! Hope you find this useful.
Until next time ...