The biggest day of your life is going to be very special. You can see the perfect day unfolding in your mind when suddenly the reality or organising the event lands. We can't all afford the luxury of a wedding planner so we are left to arrange the day ourselves, sometimes with the assistance of a difficult mother-in-law.
Finding the perfect photographer is high up on most people's list so here are 5 things you should know before choosing your photographer.
1. Decide how important your wedding photography is to you.
This may seem obvious but it is something many people do not consider. Some people are not interested in having good photographs of their day and will be happy with a few snaps from their guests iPhones. Take notice of other wedding photos, especially of friends and family, and you quickly start to get an idea of what you want for your own special day. In the end most people want great photos.
2. You get what you pay for with wedding photographers.
Sorry. You may not want to hear this but it is true. Hiring a student or friend with a 'good camera' will rarely result in a happy couple on the day the images are delivered. When people present me with their crappy wedding photos and ask me what I think, it is very difficult to find any words when you can already see the desperation and disappointment on their faces.
3. What should I expect to pay then?
With a wedding photographer you get what you pay for. A professional wedding photographer will not be charging under £500. Photographers will often have different packages to suit your needs. All photographers should provide a set of digital images as standard. Prints, frames and albums can often be an additional, but worthwhile, cost. Good photography is not completed until it is printed. Expect the cost of a package to vary with which portion of the day you want them to shoot.
This may initially seem like a lot but a photographers job is not over when your day finishes. The post-processing, editing and arranging of your photos takes a significant amount of time. Usually another two days labour. When you break this down and bear in mind the seasonal nature of weddings, the life of a wedding photographer is not a lavish one.
4. Find the style that you love.
Photography is an art. This means photographers have different styles. Do your research and find the one that is right for you.
5. Let your expectations be known.
This is hugely important. Let your photographer know what your expectations are so you can both discuss how to best capture the day. Your photographer is not a mind reader so let them know what you want. A good photographer will use their experience and ask you questions to find all this out. If there is something specific or unique you want them to capture be sure to let them know. Ensure they have a contract that both you and the photographer sign. This will protect the agreement that you put in place.
Your wedding day is very special and many remember it as the best day of their life. The investment in your day is well worthwhile. Consider this when finding your photographer. You eat the food, drink the drink, the flowers wilt and the music fades. But the memories captured in your beautiful photographs will last forever.
Written by Adam Karnacz. A professional wedding photographer based in Leeds, working throughout Yorkshire and in London. Visit his website for wedding enquiries and bookings.