How do you choose a wedding photographer.


Is choosing a wedding photographer as simple as ‘Ooooh I love those pictures let’s book that one’? Well yes and no. I mean, that’s obviously going to be pretty important, after all it’s your big day and your wedding photos are a memory that a newly wed couple will take away with them for the rest of their lives. Many of today’s young couples are choosing different ways and places to tie the knot, preferring to get married in a registry office or even at home or at the bach instead of a traditional wedding ceremony. Let’s not forget that every couple has to work to a budget, big or small.

Whether you choose a simple ceremony with a handful of guests at the beach, church, reserve or Pah or a full day with family and friends what you need to look for when you choose your photographer will be essentially the same.

Contact a few photographers.

Firstly, don’t be afraid to contact a few photographers and ask a few questions.  We all love email these days but try the phone you get a much clearer idea of the personality at the other end of the line, after all you will want to feel that you can get on well with your photographer and that they are ‘your sort of person’. Don’t worry about smooth sales patter and being roped in before you can get off the phone. That is very unlikely to happen. You are much more likely to find a jolly and friendly helpful person who is only too happy to chat over your plans and ideas in brief and offer you a few simple ideas in return. After all the chances are the photographer you are speaking to has been to many more weddings than you have and has lots of experience that can help a great deal as you plan your big day. If you are unlucky and come up with a strong seller well, your a grown up, let them finish, say no thank you and put the phone down.

If budget is key

 If budget is key look to see if the photographer offers packages at different price points. Are there packages that are available without a premium wedding album. Many couples like to just have their photographs delivered on a DVD and do their own thing. A word of caution here, if you are planning to get your wedding photos this way give some though as to what you will do with them once you have them. Don’t consign them to a dusty draw with promises to yourself of how you might to this or that with them. It might be worth seeing if the photographer you are considering offers other high quality ways to display your wedding photos ways like coffee table style feature books that can be a terrific value alternative to the premium wedding album brands.
Another important consideration will be whether or not the photographer will be part of your planning process or not. Planning your  wedding photography is very important and of course, it dose take time to visit venues, scope out the very best locations and backgrounds and prepare a plan to get the very best photography of your day. Naturally part of the overall cost will reflect this but it is money well spent as it takes out the unknowns and allows the photographer know your wedding day inside out so they can concentrate on being creative.

Want a full service and premium album?

On the other hand if you would like a full service and a package that includes a premium album and dvd slideshows set to music and family & friends copy albums try to see a cross section of finished albums. Each album should be an actual wedding rather than a ‘greatest hits’ photo album comprising of a set of the photographer best images. This will give you a clear idea of what your wedding photographs might look like when finished into an album. Again, look for packages that that give you full service from planning through to delivery so that once booked you can relax knowing that as far as the photography of your wedding day is concerned, it’s all taken care of.

Wedding photographer’s travel costs.

Photographers generally charge travel fees if long distances need to be travelled. They may even  need a hotel or airfares. Some will charge for travel time do be sure to ask for clarification at the outset as it really dose tend to vary. I charge any travel at cost which seams fair after all my clients book me to photograph their weddings not drive around in my car. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your photographer. See what can be done.

Let’s save a bundle. Who needs a professional wedding photographer anyway?

Some couples even consider not using a professional photographer at all. After all many of us have friends or family with a high quality camera and some even have a few extra lenses.” Wow, we could save heaps of money for the honeymoon”.  Don’t even think it. You are cleverer than that. Compare uncle Dave or your mate Trevor with a highly skilled professional who with 10 years plus experience can anticipate the action, raise a camera, set the correct shutter speed and aperture(influencing the depth field), artistically compose and capture a moment or your newly married life that will a treasured memory for you to take away for the whole of your lives together and all in under 2 seconds.
Then there is the bit you don’t see. Your wedding photographs will be hand processed to bring out the best of the light and shade, colour and contrast to a polished perfection. It’s a hugely labour intensive highly skilled process that contributes significantly to the overall cost of wedding photography. In the old days this was undertaken in the dark room with film development and printing today’s high tech methods can achieve  even better results. This image work is a must if you want the very best finish on your photographs.
There are some brilliant ways that you can make that budget go further because there really are parts of your wedding dy that you really can do for your self. THis might selll save you hundreds of dollars. You might organise our own venue decorations and table flowers or invitations. Just look for a place that offers DIY wedding ideas. You can get all sorts of really cool stuff at a fraction of the price your venue or a wedding designer might charge. I found this one in Auckland, The DIY Wedding Company they have a massive selection of fabulous decorations and some pretty cool offers, well worth a look!

Here’s a check list. on how to book a wedding photographer:- 

– Trawl the internet and the Bridal magazines  to get a short list of your favourite wedding photographers.
– Get an idea of their packages and costs. These will either be on their website or available by email.
– Make a new short list and then phone them.
– Get a feel for one or two that you might like to meet.
– Meet up and chat over your plans and ideas. Talk over the services they offer and get a firm complete price.
– Go away and have a bit of a think to work out your favourite, then when you are ready, make a booking. Don’t leave this last bit too late.     Photographers often take bookings a whole year ahead..

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