HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?
Since becoming a wedding photographer back in 2013, there’s been a dramatic increase in how early couples enquire. This is especially true for some of the more popular dates like the May and August bank holidays. On average, I’d say people choose a wedding photographer about a year in advance but it’s not unheard of to get enquiries two or even three years before the big day. The fact that I get booked up so far ahead also led to me having a two and a half year engagement as I was already booked up over the summer!
One of the things that has a big impact on how early people decide to book is the time of year. I quite often get short notice bookings over the winter months and for weekday weddings. Generally, there won’t be as much competition over these dates but they are becoming more popular so it’s good to start looking for photographers as soon as you can. January is usually the most popular time for enquiries and I often end up having to turn people away for Saturdays in July and August in particular.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND ON A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Your wedding photos stay with you long after the big day so I believe it’s extremely important to ensure you trust the photographer to do a great job. According to Your Perfect Wedding Photographer the average couple spends around £1,590 on their wedding photos.
There are of course photographers who charge a lot more and some that will document your day for just a few hundred pounds. It’s important to remember this can be a reflection on not only the level of experience but the amount of time that’s dedicated to all the things that need to be done after the wedding like editing the images. This is an aspect of our jobs that often gets forgotten and usually takes around five to ten times longer than photographing the wedding itself! All of these things should be considered when working out which wedding photographer to choose.
HOW DO I DECIDE ON A PHOTOGRAPHER?
There are a lot of photographers out there so it can feel overwhelming when searching for the right one. Start by establishing what’s important to you. For example, if one of your priorities is having some nice couple and group portraits it’s probably not a good idea to book someone who has a strictly documentary approach. Have a good look through potential photographers’ websites and ask to see a full gallery if possible. This will give you a much clearer idea of how they work on a wedding day than a few standalone images will. If they can show you a gallery of a wedding at a similar venue or at the same time of year then even better!
Most importantly, you need to find someone you feel comfortable with. You end up spending a lot of time with your wedding photographer throughout the day so make sure you can be yourself around them. Arrange a call, Skype or meetup to chat about your plans for the day and get to know each other before making a decision on who to book.
WHERE CAN I FIND INSPIRATION?
There is so much inspiration on social media it can be more effective to narrow your search. The venue will have examples of previous weddings on their website and Instagram pages so that will give you a good idea of where photographers have taken pictures in the past. However, a great photographer has the power to transform a venue and create something for you that is totally unique so be open to suggestions.
Some brides like to create Pinterest boards of their favourite images. This can give your photographer an idea of your style but it’s important to give them the opportunity to make their own images according to the venue, light on the day and their style – this is what you’re paying them for!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR CHOOSING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Here are some tips and tricks to help you choose a photographer for your wedding.
- Engagement Session – If you’re nervous about having your photo taken or just want to get used to the way your photographer works, engagement sessions are a great way to warm up to the camera. The images you get can also work really well as part of your wedding stationary or décor.
- Second Shooter – Booking a second photographer allows us to document important parts of the day from multiple angles and it means you’ll both have someone there in the morning to document you getting ready
- Bridal Prep – Find a place that’s spacious with lots of natural light to get ready in that’s preferably not too far from your ceremony venue. This will keep stress to a minimum and means your photographer will have lots of beautiful natural light to work with!
If you’d like to find out more about how I work on a wedding day see My Approach.