Today Trulovers we are dealing with wedding photography. If you read any wedding blog, you will absorb wedding photography everyday, but when it comes to looking at this for your own wedding, it can be a minefield. So I am thrilled to be able to introduce the new FWS Wedding Photography Expert Cat Hepple!
Cat is a renowned international wedding photographer, who as well as being an FWS Sponsor, will be joining us on a regular basis to share her insider knowledge, hints and tips when it comes to wedding photography. To start of the series, Cat is sharing her top 8 Tips for choosing your wedding photographer.
Cat: “If you’ve just entered the “wedding bubble” that strange world inhabited by newly engaged couples surrounded by endless lists, things to think about, and family views on all matters wedding, then you’ll probably feel overwhelmed at times. There is SO much to do when planning a wedding that it can becoming all consuming and dare I say it, not always a whole heap of fun.
My advice to all my couples is always the same- bite size pieces. No, not of wedding cake, of the wedding To-Do list. The only way to wade through the vast sea of wedding admin is to slowly work your way through methodically and dealing with one issue at a time.
After you’ve set a date and got yourselves a venue, you are off on that journey and your next stop should always be to start the search for a photographer. Just like venues, we get booked up early, and if you spend weeks falling in love with a photographers work, only to discover they are booked on your date, it’ is a huge disappointment.
So prioritise choosing a photographer as soon as you have a fixed date. Some couples even liaise with popular photographers before securing a date with a venue, so keen are they to have the person of their choice. This happens quite often with me, and it means the couples get a date they know I am free, which means no disappointment.
But how to start in finding the right wedding photographer for you?
Firstly let me stress how important photography is. Do not allow it to become simply another thing to check off your long list of things to book. Your photographs will live with you for the rest of your lives, and beyond. Your images will be what you share with family, friends, children, grandchildren. They will be treasured by future generations and become more priceless as time rumbles by. So give photography your serious attention and place a high priority on it, because I guarantee that is one decision you will not regret if you give it the attention and consideration it deserves.
So, how to go about choosing? Firstly I suggest starting a little mood board of images. If you see a photograph you love, pop it on the mood board. Gather images which touch you in some way, which connect and resonate with you, and after a few days you’ll have a little collection of styles, of things you like, of how you want your photography to look.
Find photographers who fit that look, that style as all professional photographers have their own style. You are effectively hiring an artist. You are paying to buy into that persons vision of the world and weddings, because it sits beautifully alongside your own vision. If you love soft pastel tones in images, look for someone who has lots of that style on their website, if you love bright saturated images do the same. The key is to find someone whose work touches and moves you in some way.
Talk to your chosen photographers. Seriously. Talk to them. There is no substitute for finding out how a photographer creates the images they do, how much time they need from you, how they divide that time, how much they direct or get involved. Ask. Because each of us has our own unique style, we each have our own ways of working.
Try to establish if this way of working suits you and your day and how you want it to run. You may love someones work, but they need you for an hour on your wedding day and you may not want to give up that time. If you don’t ask you’ll never know that and could end up with someone who is not a good fit.
Do your research. Find someone you get on with. We are with you typically for 12-15 hours on your big day, you need to like the person you’ve chosen. Ask for testimonials from past clients. Any good photographer can happily put you in touch with other happy couples they’ve worked with and nothing beats a direct recommendation.
To help you move forward on your photography quest, here are a few essential questions to ask anyone you are considering using for your wedding photography. This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some key issues which you should know the answer to before you book.
8 Tips for choosing your wedding photographer
- Are they a full time professional – i.e. do they have another job and just do weddings at weekends for extra money. This may not bother you at all, but it can mean they are unable to work as quickly or give you the attention you may need if they are also holding down another job. Check their status and make sure you are happy with it.
- How long have they been a photographer and how much experience do they have. Again this may not be an issue for you at all, but know what you are dealing with and booking. If its a novice and you’re happy with that then great, but be certain about what you are getting for your money. Don’t make the mistake of booking someone with very little experience and then regretting it because they didn’t deliver what you dreamed of. Be sure you book someone with the level of expertise you require to meet your expectations.
- Ask to see full weddings they have photographed. Make sure you see complete weddings they have covered to ensure you like their style throughout the day and to make sure they do have the level of experience you are after.
- Are they fully insured. They should have liability and indemnity insurance. many venues insist on it, so check they do have current up to date insurance.
- Do they have spare cameras, lenses and extra equipment. Professionals have full sets of spares of everything and have plenty of emergency kit in case of emergencies or technical failures.
- Do they edit your images. Sometimes you will find a cheap deal and it doesn’t include editing the images. Do you want beautiful skin and colour tines and nicely edited images or are you happy with whatever comes out of the camera? If you care about the overall quality of the resulting images, make sure you book someone who lovingly edits the images before you receive them.
- How do they store your images? How do they protect your photographs to ensure they are not lost or that there is just one copy of them.
- Ask to see their contract and ask questions about it. What do they do if they are ill, what happens if they cancel your wedding. Ask if you are unsure of anything, and be clear that you understand the contract before you sign.
Finally my best advice is to fall in love with the photographs. If you feel connected to them, touched by them, moved by them, you have found your perfect photographer. Just remember to use your head before you follow your heart…….good luck.”
To find out more about Cat Hepple, her services and portfolio visit her website www.cathepplephotography.com