Over the last few years the number of wedding photographers getting about has increased dramatically. Back when we got married six years ago there weren’t as many photographers in the market, so the task though daunting, wasn’t anywhere near as mammoth as it is these days. I don’t envy brides and grooms today trying to find a photographer to capture their special day. Not only are there thousands of photographers, but there are also so many different styles, packages, coverage durations, and pricing options.
For the record, it’s hard for me to give advice on how to choose the best wedding photographer for you without it sounding self-serving, but please consider that almost booked up, so this advice is for everyone, not just those who choose to work with me if I’m still available. I’ve created a very short list of things to consider when making the choice. If your photographer ticks all these boxes then by all means send them an enquiry.
1. Accredited with the AIPP
I know so many unaccredited photographers would scoff at this – claiming that accreditation has no bearing on talent or standard of work, but I’d have to disagree. The AIPP offers insight, education, motivation, inspiration, perspective, support, accountability and impetus. Back in the old days when I was a lone-operator and ignorant enough to think I could acquire all those things without AIPP membership, business was tough and my photography wasn’t anything like it is now. Being a part of the AIPP has resulted in my work improving and my business growing and succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. The AIPP also offers clients peace of mind in that it ensures photographers operate ethically and produce the best work they possibly can. It also ensures we are fully insured and have public liability.
Obviously a photographer’s work has to speak to you. After all, you’ll be looking at your photos for life! In fact, as the years pass you’ll get to know those images better than anyone else ever will, so make sure you LOVE the work a wedding photographer produces. Can you imagine yourself loving their style in 50 years? It’s a difficult question to answer, but it’s still an important one to ask. If the answer is yes, then this box gets a big tick!
Your photographer will be there all day (at least if they’re an all-day guy like me), and they will share so many pivotal moments with you, your family and your guests. Some of those moments may be quite emotional, joyous, funny and even passionate. You MUST like your photographer! If you don’t get a good impression and don’t think you’d be able to enjoy their company for between 8 and 12 hours, then don’t book them! While all elements are as important as each other when choosing the right photographer, I can’t stress enough that booking someone who is warm, caring, sociable, patient and loves what they do is so important. Don’t make the mistake of ticking the two top boxes while ignoring this.
4. Everything else
It’s also a good idea to consider things like reputation via testimonials as well as word of mouth.
Price shouldn’t be a deciding factor. You might think that’s a statement an expensive photographer would make, but I’m not as pricey as others. I sit in the middle of the market. However, something I wouldn’t recommend is that couples book budget photographers to simply allow themselves to put even more money on the bar or pay for wedding extras that aren’t as important as securing such important memories beautifully – for life. This is a subject I’ve gone into a lot of detail with, so I won’t go into it here, but if you’d like to read a blog I wrote on the subject, click here.
Something else to keep in mind while searching for that perfect photographer is to listen to both your head and your heart. It’s such a special day that creates one of the most special stories in your life. Choose a photographer you believe will tell it well, all while being a pleasure to be around. You need to be confident in your decision cause you can’t go back and make it again after your wedding has passed. All the best!