10 tips when choosing a wedding photographer.
1. Make sure your photographer is insured
All professional photographers will hold public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Imagine your photographer has his/her camera stolen from his/her car during your wedding, losing the camera and the pictures. Most insurance will pay for you to return to the venue later – have your hair re-done, the suits re-hired etc.
2. Make sure they are part of a professional body
Professional bodies ensure their members are of a certain standard. It’s vital your photographer is a member of one of these bodies. Professional bodies give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you have an organisation to complain to. Many also provide a ‘photographer guaranteed’ service – so if your photographer is ill they will send a replacement.
3. If its too good to be true…
If your photographer is advertising prices that are much less than their competition – they are most likely inexperienced or unqualified. If its too good to be true – it probably is. By in large, you really do get what you pay for.
4. Check the reprint prices…
Most photographers don’t provide you with the photographs on DVD – so check the re-print prices before you sign-up. This could save you in the long-run!
5. Make sure get a contract
Make sure you get a written contract or terms and conditions. Read these carefully – and raise any issues immediately. All professionals will provide you with terms on request.
6. Ask how many weddings a year they cover
A quick way to gauge the difference between a part-time and a full-time photographer is to ask how many weddings they cover each year. If its less than 10, they are likely to be inexperienced or focussing on another type of photography. Many professionals cover 30+ weddings a year – some even cover 60-100!
7. Ask to see real wedding albums
There is quite a difference between a display album and real-life wedding album. Ask to see a real customers album. This allows you to see their consistency throughout the day. You could also ask to see a sample wet weather album – inexperienced photographers tend to struggle indoors.
8. Make sure you like the photographs!
It sounds obvious – but make sure you like the photographers style of work. If you are after a formal style – get a formal photographer. If you want reportage photography – get a reportage photographer!
9. Make sure you get on with the photographer.
You will spend 6 – 10 hrs with this person on your big day – so make sure the photographer is friendly and easy to get on with. There is nothing worse than a stressful or pushy photographer! If there is even a glimmer of a personality clash – avoid!
10. And finally…think about the album
The album is effectively a family heirloom – it will be passed from generation to generation. Check the quality of the album – the print quality of the pictures and the quality of the finish. Photographs slipping out, poor alignment or poor colour in pictures are all warning signs. With storybook albums, ensure the corners have not peeled in the sample albums. Ask the question: – would you be proud to show this album to your friends – and possibly your children in 50years time?