How to choose your wedding photographer ?
by Terence Baelen, photographer
The bride and groom will probably have noticed that there are a very large number of wedding photographers on the Internet. There is something for all tastes and budgets. Because of that, choosing your wedding photographer can quickly become a headache. In this article, I will give you some tips to help you choose your wedding photographer.
Choosing Your Wedding Photographer: The Basic Reflection
To begin your process of choosing your wedding photographer, you need to base your thinking on the following. Ask yourself this question: how important is photography to you? Indeed, this is what will guide the rest of your research.Some brides and grooms have limited photo requirements, or do not attach a major importance to it. Others, on the contrary, see photos as the only physical memory they will keep. Do you? What place do your wedding photos have and will have?
Should you hire a professional photographer or someone among your friends ?
Depending on what you have answered above, you will be able to determine the answer to this question. Indeed, I have often heard of brides and grooms choosing to call upon their loved ones to immortalize their day. Some will delegate this task to a friend with a passion for photography. Others will try to retrieve the images of all the guests. However, these two ways of thinking will not even be imaginable for others, whose photos have great emotional and sentimental value. They won’t want to take any risks, and will call in a professional photographer.
In any case, you have to think carefully about the repercussions over time. I have the example in mind of a couple of friends who bet on the photos their guests would have taken with their smartphone. Today, they regret their choice. Why ? Because they don’t keep good pictures of their wedding. So think about the future!
Define the budget of your wedding photographer
Have you decided to hire a professional photographer? Then now you will have to determine another key factor in choosing your wedding photographer: your budget. For this, it is essential to be aware of the market prices. What is the price of a wedding photographer? There is one for every budget. However, the average price of a wedding photographer in France is around 1500 euros for a full day shoot. This is the price around which you will find the most quality photographers. Of course, these prices can vary from simple to double depending on the providers. As in all the services you will find very low-cost, and very high-end. However, keep in mind that the price is not necessarily indicative of the quality of your photographer. I’ve seen photographers charging excessively high prices for their services, but providing mediocre work.
Keep this in mind: the wedding photographer market has it all! So, taking into account the average price and your means, reasonably establish your budget, and go to the next step: start your research !
Where to find your wedding photographer?
You may not know where to start to find your wedding photographer. There are several options available to you. First, there’s Google, your new best friend. Second, there are specialized directories, such as Zankyou, for example, which displays the special feature of selecting providers from their address book. You can also use wedding blogs. They publish photographers’ reports on a very regular basis. Finally, there is the Instagram option, where you can follow accounts specialising in weddings, and browse wedding hashtags regarding your country. Now that you know where to find your wedding photographer, it’s time to move on to the next tip.
Let your tastes speak for themselves
This is THE important point of this article: choose your wedding photographer because you love his photos! There are a lot of fashionable and trendy styles nowadays, from fine art (very bright) to moody (rather dark). Search the web and wedding blogs to define what you like. Go for the favorite. It’s essential. Of course, budget plays a major role in your choice, but don’t choose a photographer just because he or she is cheaper than another. Choose a photographer because you like his or her pictures! This will prevent you from being disappointed when you receive your pictures. I insist heavily on this point, which I think is the most important part of this article.
Check the status of the professional photographer
Once you’ve set your sights on a photographer, it’s time to contact him. First you can check if the photographer has a professional registration. In France you can search for his SIRET number. Don’t hesitate to ask him if you can’t find it on the Internet. A photographer who is not registered as a professional is a risk and does not ensure you any security. You will have no recourse if you have paid this person and he does not keep his commitments.
Choosing your wedding photographer by listening to your sixth sense
Choosing your wedding photographer also means talking to them. Indeed, having a good feeling with your photographer is crucial. Therefore, whenever possible, opt for a physical meeting before hiring your photographer. Some photographers will even discuss prices with you only during a physical meeting, because a good feeling is also essential for them. If you don’t feel like it during your meeting for this or that reason: run away! It is better to hire a photographer you feel comfortable with. Sometimes it is good to listen to your sixth sense.
Sign a contract with your photographer
Check that the wedding photographer offers a contract to sign. Believe me, it’s as much security for him as it is for you. And above all, read the contract carefully. I see far too many clients who read contracts diagonally. The contract protects your date and ensures that the photographer will be present on your wedding day. However, all contracts are different and depend on the photographers who write them. So clauses can sometimes put you at a disadvantage. So, for heaven’s sake, read the contract! If you don’t understand any part of it, don’t be afraid to ask your questions.
Don’t be too late
Anyway, that’s the last piece of advice I’ll ever give you. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your research and choose your wedding photographer. If you think you’ve found the right shoe, don’t wait until it’s too late to book your photographer. This is true for many other wedding photographers as well. Many are booked months in advance. So you don’t have to rush to the first person you meet, but don’t let time go by.
Now it’s up to you. By the way, you can start your research by visiting my wedding photographs. I work all over France (and even abroad). So don’t hesitate to contact me if you need me. Good research !