Choosing your wedding photographer is hard.
There are so many great London wedding photographers out there to choose from, all of them with their own style and unique approach. It can be pretty overwhelming! So how can you narrow things down and make sure you get what you want from your wedding photographer?
Wait, what? The photos might be the main physical thing that you end up with after the wedding, but it's easy to forget that you're going to be a crucial part of the process of making them.
Your photographer will basically end up being another guest at your wedding, interacting with you and your guests throughout the day. And, that amazing shot at the top of a mountain will look great on your wall, but it's easy to forget that you'll have to take time out of your day to get there.
It's also worth checking how long they will stay - are they going to leave in the middle of the speeches if their time runs out?
The right photographer for you will produce great photos, but they should also be the kind of person that you want to spend your wedding day with.
Different photographers take different approaches to photographing your wedding. There's no right answer, and it all depends on what you want from your photos. There are loads of buzzwords and plenty of jargon floating around, so what does it all mean?
Traditional wedding photographer is the kind of thing your parents might have had when they got married. Expect lots of posed group shots, photos of shoes and pictures of your guests smiling at the camera.
These types of photographer are always on the lookout for something cool and striking, giving you photos that you might expect to see in a magazine. You'll get some super cool shots, but they might be more about the photographer than about you.
Fine Art is usually notable for its very light, sometimes pastel colours. Your photographer will probably direct you during the day to get those extra perfect shots. You'll likely spend a lot of time on your portraits, but you'll look like a couple straight out of a brochure.
Documentary, reportage, candid, photojournalistic, relaxed, etc etc all mean roughly the same thing. Your photographer will record the day as it happened and to tell a story, whether everything was perfect or not. It can be colour or black & white, and will probably include lots of wide angle shots. You'll probably be left alone to enjoy yourself for the whole day, so it's worth checking if you do want a few more traditional shots.
OK, you've picked a style, found someone you like, then checked their price... ouch. How much should you spend?
The more expensive photographers will be more experienced, have more spare equipment, and spend a lot of money on backing up the photos after the wedding. I shoot onto two cards at once, and spend far too much money each year on hard drives! And they'll probably put more effort into looking after you, before, during and after the wedding.
There are roughly three bands of pricing for wedding photographers:
Up to £1000 - Budget
£1000 to £2000 - Mid range
Over £2000 - Luxury
I'd be very wary of booking a photographer under £1000, as they're unlikely to put their full effort into taking care of you. Beyond that, it comes down to how much you like an individual photographer. I know some incredible photographers who charge £1200, and I've come across some charging over £3000 who were rude and made the day all about them!
All photographers are guilty of putting their best shots on their website. It's worth asking to see a full wedding album before you book. You can check whether the photographer is producing consistently excellent work, and whether the full set of images that you can expect to receive has the right balance of images that you want.
This one is super important! If your photographer is going to be at your wedding, it's worth checking that you get on well with them. It's also a great chance to ask them any questions you might have.
So there you have it! It can be difficult to narrow down your selection from all the great London wedding photographers, but I really believe it's worth looking around and finding someone you're really happy with.
Don't go and book the first person you find, or the one offering the biggest discount at a wedding fair. If you invest the time to find a photographer who's a great fit, it will pay off big time when they help you with planning, keep you calm on the day, and make you well up when you unwrap your album.
Good luck with the rest of your planning!
I enjoy good coffee, have been known to do a bit of running, and derive most of my life philosophy from the Armando Iannucci Shows. I married my wife Alice in 2015, and can highly recommend this whole marriage lark!
I'm an alternative to the clichéd, posed, wedding photography that you get bombarded with at wedding fairs. Unlimited coverage, informal photography, celebrating what's unique about you. I'm all about the informal candid shots of people having the best day of their lives: lots of genuine laughs, maybe some tears, and definitely some partying!