Choosing Your Photographer
As a couple, the key starting point for choosing your photographer is your aspiration for the photography. Some couples see photography in much more traditional sense: they would like a professional, reliable record of the day; but they do not want to interrupt the flow of the day too greatly.
Other couples love photography in its own right, and having a creative and evocative set of photographs – particularly of themselves – is an important and integral part of the day. They might be aiming at high end photography.
Once you are clear on aspirations, examining photographers’ galleries for quality and style is much more important than descriptive labels as we have seen. But galleries merely represent the photographer’s best work, so it is important to also ask to see whole weddings to check for consistency and to see how the style translates itself into the different requirements of the day. Wedding couples and guests are not on a photo shoot, but there to celebrate the day and party, so it would be unrealistic to expect a whole set of images from a single wedding to look the same as the photographer’s portfolio!
Equally importantly, as you will spend a fair amount of time on your wedding day with the photographer, you should ensure that you have a good rapport - and that you share the same photography goals. As well as photographic flair, you and your guests are likely to value a high level of experience, organization and professionalism on the day. Finally you will need to consider the album ranges offered.
Budgeting For Photography
It is, of course, impossible to advise generally on the appropriate level of budget. But what should be given careful consideration is the allocation of your total wedding budget between the competing elements of your day.
Professional wedding photography will shape your memories of the day. You are entrusting a particular photographer to use their skill to represent your day through their eyes. Wedding planners often tell me about couples who regretted not allocating more of their budget on wedding photography. In fact, the wedding planners who I work with often advise clients to budget for a few high-end suppliers and, if necessary, cut back on guest numbers.
The price of wedding photography sometimes surprises prospective wedding clients. But is stands to reason that the scarcer the skill the higher the price that can be commanded by the best photographers. It should also be borne in mind that photographers need to plan the day, shoot the day itself, and then spend at least two further days on processing the images and designing the album. Ultimately you have to make a decision on the importance of high quality wedding photography and consider whether it is a price worth paying.