Things to consider when booking a wedding photographer
I've been photographing weddings for over 10 years, and during that time I have picked up a few top tips that I hope may be helpful to those of you planning a wedding. These are of course my own opinion, but I hope that they could be useful!
- Ask to see a photographer's portfolio
All good photographers will be more than willing to share with you their portfolios. Ideally look to see a range of images from different weddings so that you are able to see their abilities in various conditions. The weather, lighting, time of year, type of venue and general vibe and style of each photographer and their couple can vary the outcome of the images, so it's important to choose someone whose work you have confidence in and whose style and values align with you. It is quite usual for photographers to be happy to share with you full real or sample galleries, and if they've shot at your venue before, this may be even more helpful for you!
- Speak with them in person
A video or even phone call can help you to create a real connection with your potential wedding photographer! This also helps to reassure you that a) they are a real person, and b) you're going to get along with them - after all, you will be spending a fair amount of time with them in the run up to and during your wedding day itself! Furthermore, I just think it's a nice touch (as a photographer) to get to know your potential clients. Even if you don't book us, you can be safe in the knowledge that you've made an informed decision in booking with them or finding an alternative! Your time is really valued by us and I always love getting to meet new people!
- Get wedding insurance
After the events of Covid, and even the sad reality that many suppliers have had to close their businesses since, getting wedding insurance can be a huge weight lifted off of your shoulders. Doing so will give you peace of mind in an emergency or unexpected situation! Please ensure that you understand what your wedding insurance will or will not cover you for.
- Ensure you sign a contract
Any professional photographer will ask you to sign a contract upon booking them, outlining their terms and conditions. This is not only to protect them but is also for your safety and peace of mind. Ensure you understand everything within the contract and please ask if you have any questions! Please don't book a photographer without having signed a contract!
- Do not pay in full upfront
I've personally never heard of a professional photographer asking you to pay in full upfront - unless your wedding is particularly short notice (their payment terms will be explained in their contract.) Most photographers take a non refundable retainer (deposit) with final balances due closer to your wedding date. Also ensure that you receive a receipt for any payments made. If anyone asks you to pay up front or pressures you to do so, please consider if this is a red flag!
- Ensure they are contactable
There would be nothing worse than signing a contract and paying money, only for your supplier to then disappear! All of my clients are welcome to email, whatsapp, message or text me. I always ensure I am contactable and have clear working hours within which I get back to people. Any good photographer should be equally as open and upfront, and should not be impossible to communicate with. Ensure you understand how contactable your photographer is before booking with them, this will help manage your expectations both pre and post wedding.
- Read their reviews
Words from others can speak a thousand words. A lack of reviews could be suspicious (unless the photographer is new to their business), so ensure you read a multitude of reviews, both good and bad, so you are able to make an informed decision.
- Check they have a good online presence
Most established photographers will have various social media platforms and a website, and these should be being updated regularly. Life as a wedding photographer can be very busy, so often we do end up neglecting our social media accounts, however they should be fairly regularly updated. Anyone without any kind of web presence should be considered vary carefully.
I hope these are helpful!