Find The Perfect Wedding Photographer in 6 Simple Steps

6 Steps to find that perfect and trustworthy wedding photographer.

  1. Look at their unique ‘style’.
  2. Check their experience and qualification.
  3. Study the lighting in their portfolio.
  4. Look at their interpretation of colour by looking at the Bridesmaids dresses.
  5. Do their images show a unique point of view?
  6. Look at their gallery for storytelling technique.

Choosing a wedding photographer must be tremendously overwhelming. Put a post on social media asking for a wedding photographer recommendation and you will be bombarded by a very long list! So where do you start? A wedding photographers portfolio is a showcase of their finest work and this will be your ‘go to’ in terms of looking for the STYLE of photography you want. But what warning signs do you look for to suggest that the photographer may not be as experienced as you want? This blog will give you a few tips on how to find not just a photographer, but a trustworthy photographer.

Step 1 is looking at their style.

Image Style: This will be the first thing that will compel you to like or dislike a photographer.   Experienced photographers as with any creative professional will develop a personal style over their years of working. Some photographers lean towards more formal photography, others ‘relaxed storytelling’, some may love drama, some may sway towards the natural, romantic look.   The page style you choose will depend on how you would like your final wedding to be remembered and it is to do with your personal taste.   Get a feel of wedding photographers’ image style to be able to create a lis of photographers you think your will like.

“I will always talk to brides to find out what their preferred style might be. If you are not sure of the style you would like, then do ask me to show you some examples.” Kyra.

Step 2 is to check their experience and credibility.

Go to their website and see if there is an ‘About’ or Home Page with details of experience and qualification. Look for information on their background and training and be wary of photographers that do not have this information.   Photography is a very technical skill and to accurately balance lighting and compose wedding portraiture requires training, even self-taught photographers would need a lot of experience before being ready to photograph a wedding.   Look for evidence of being a qualified member of a professional trade association such as The Guild of Photographers (The Guild), The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP), or The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) A qualified member means you have been judged on your ability and skills to produce work to a particular standard.   Even if you have a tight budget you might still be able to imply a highly experienced wedding photographer.

“I do endeavour to help the wedding couple get their dream wedding photography within their budget.” Kyra.

Step 3 is to look at how low light is handled by the remaining list of wedding photographers.

Light is so important in photography, especially the use of low light. A perfect wedding photographer would understand how to shape and handle it well.   Although on a well lit day it can be straight forward to take great looking photographs of a bride and groom, family and friends, the challenge is always with low light. Indoor photography, such as the church with little or no light or portraiture captured during evening celebrations, takes a great deal of skill.

  • Check to see if there are photographs of the first dance?
  • Are there any images of church photography and how well are these lit?
  • check shadows in photographs and see if they have been used deliberately and artistically or if there are shadows on walls behind heads, this is an indication that the wedding photographer does not know how to manage flash photography.

A winter wedding can be challenging to any photographer due to fast fading and low light in wintry months so check if the photography shows great, sparkly, crisp scenes with low light and evening winter portraiture.   A perfect wedding photographer will know how to use natural light and balance ambient room lighting with camera flash (mood lighting) in low light situations.

“Winter weddings are a wonderful opportunity for me to play with light, capturing the ambience and mood, the christmas fairy lighting and low lit evenings can create stunning wedding portraiture” Kyra

finding a good wedding photographer

First Dance Lighting.

Step 4 is to look at the wedding photographers interpretation of colour.

Photographing in a variety of different locations with different lighting conditions can play havoc with something called ‘white balance’. White balance is a camera’s interpretation of true ‘black’ and true ‘white’. Skin tone varies between people and obviously nationalities but skin should not be bright orange (unless too much fake tan has been applied!) Room lighting and wall coverings like brightly coloured wallpapers can create colour casts to skin tone and the overall image.

  • look for skin tones, are they even, pleasing and natural?
  • Are you happy with the way colour is handled?

Watch for the ‘Filter’ Photographer. Be wary of photographers that add a filtered look, or overuse photoshop to give their images a certain ‘feel’. The look may be trendy now, but will it be cool in twenty years time? Your bridesmaids dresses have been chosen carefully and their colour should be translated accurately in the images your receive. This is personal choice, but make sure you are happy with the ‘look’ before you book.

“My father was a photographer in the 80’s and I am aware that clothing trends go in and out of fashion. In year’s to come the dress styles may look a little dated, but you want the photography to accurately reflect your day and true colour is so essential”  Kyra. 

Step number 5 is to look at the photographers creativity and artistry.

An image of a bride and groom holding hands at a magnificent stately home is bound to look stunning. However delivering a collection of beautiful images taken at un-glamourous locations like the local pub or on busy street at the back of the registry office need a skilled and quick thinking photographer.

  • Look for a photographer that goes the extra mile in terms of composition and creativity.
  • Look for unusual shots or a different point of view.

A professional photographer should know how to bring beauty and a creative flare to the most dull of locations!

“The photograph below was taken at the back of a cinema, as the bride and groom walked from the registry office to their taxi waiting in the carpark. Sometimes the most uninspiring of locations can create the most interesting images.” Kyra.

Step 6 is to look at the photographers storytelling technique.

A good wedding photographer will deliver a complete set of images and will be able to tell a story through imagery. Every unfolding moment of the wedding photographed as well as the next.

  • Does the portfolio have a balance of images?
  • Have a look for image variety.
  • Can you see examples of bride preparation through to first dance?
  • Are there examples of visual storytelling?

If all their images are of couple portraiture, how well is the candid photography photographed? If they are all of candid photography how good is the photographer at composing groups? Wedding photographers should deliver a balance of candids and formal, bride preparation and ceremony, speeches and first dance.   The photography is a document of the whole day so make sure your photographer will capture all of it equally well.

And Finally….do you get on?

The final thing to do is to MEET UP with your photographer. Do you get on? You are going to be spending a very large part of your day with your photographer you don’t want them to irritate you all day. A photographer with a loud hailer may not be your cup of tea so after you have whittled your list down, go and meet with them, have a chat and talk about your plans. Most photographers offer free consultations to go through your wedding  plans so make the appointment and see if you get on. I hope that has helped all couples feel a little less overwhelmed by the prospect of finding a professional wedding photographer.

This list of course is not definitive, there are many more things to consider, will the photographer be any fun? do they have quality albums or products? are they insured! But hopefully this is a start and the rest will fall into place.

Of course if you would like more information about my wedding photography service you can contact me HERE..

Kyra.

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