Planning your wedding can be such a minefield, with so many different aspects to think about. Choosing your wedding photographer is no exception. I love to help my clients get the very best of capturing their special day, so thought I’d share some of my top tips, of what to consider when choosing your wedding photographer.

1. Why hire a professional and not a friend?

Couples can look to friends as a preferred option to covering their wedding day. It is often a much cheaper alternative and they feel comfortable with someone they know. A word of caution here. I have witnessed friends/guests feeling under a lot of pressure, having said yes to covering the day. It is a lot to ask an individual, who may not be used to photographing in low light, or bad weather, as well as, expecting them to know about church/civil service etiquette.

With every wedding there is a schedule set out for the day, and I’ve witnessed so many missed opportunities to capture wonderful memories, because of lack of planning. I also carry two cameras, back up memory cards, lenses etc. It’s project managing and making sure everything runs smoothly.

2. Ask how many weddings do they do a year?

Photographers will vary dramatically. But I only do a selected number. Why? My couples are not numbers, and it’s all about providing that special quality service. I’m on call whenever they need me. It also means I can turn around their images within a week, something not all photographers can do. To me it’s important to keep capturing the memory and emotion of the wedding day and editing the images soon after.

3. Would you book in a wedding the day before ours?

I don’t back to back my weddings. I want to be fresh, the morning I arrive at a venue and ready to give 100% to my couple. Similarly, I don’t book any shoots the following day, as I want to start the editing process as soon as possible. All photographers are different. Some may book three in a row. Ask your preferred photographer and see how they work, and whether you think it will affect their performance on the day.

4. Why is an engagement shoot a good idea?

An engagement shoot is a brilliant idea to get to know your photographer and have a chat over coffee and cake, about how the wedding planning is progressing. It’s a great time for the photographer to hear more about what you’d like. For more information please click here.

5. Why does it cost the price you say?

My cost covers a pre visit to your chosen venue, to scope out the location and to introduce myself to your wedding coordinator. This enables me to be prepared and to work as a team with your venue staff. The price also includes a location engagement shoot, so we can get to know each other better. A full day’s photography on your wedding day, but also an additional two days editing. My expertise helps you get the very best out of your day, so all your photography requests become very smooth and seamless on the day. I also carry public liability insurance and both of us will sign a contract on booking, protecting both you and me. Each photographer is different. Find out what’s included.

6 Will you make contact with our vicar/priest beforehand?

I do, but some photographers don’t. I like to introduce myself beforehand and find out any do’s and don’ts of what I can do in the church. For instance, some clergy do not like flash, understandably, due to being distracting in a place of worship. Nor wanting the photographer to move around, once the service is being conducted. I feel it’s only polite to find out, what they prefer.

7. What if it rains?

I photograph in the Lake District, so rain can often happen at weddings. Again for me its preparation. Where can the group shoots happen? How dark is the barn, when it’s raining outside, do I need additional lighting? With the help of the wedding coordinator, and building up a relationship with them, helps with situations like this. Find out what your chosen photographer would do.

8. Do you do group shots?

Yes, but some photographers don’t. Some like to just cover documentary style, natural shots, which is great, but I also feel a few group shots are important too. With documentary style you will not be able to photograph everyone. So group shots are a great way of capturing people. I always let my clients know that it can take at least 5 minutes for each group shot, so plan this into your day.

9. When is it best to have our wow shots?

I call the wow shots, the images of just the two of you. I like to take my couples away soon after the ceremony, because it’s a great opportunity for the both of you to just relax and have a quiet word, celebrating what you’ve both just done! My planning of the venue beforehand means, I’ll know where to take you, so I never try and take you away from your party of guest, for more than 15 minutes. It’s then back to the celebrations and enjoying the rest of your day.

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