I’m going to base this as if it’s for a wedding but It can be adapted to most situations.
Recommendations / Reviews
First of all ask around for any recommendations. If you have social media this is easy as you can just put a post out asking. If not then just ask each time you see someone who’s recently been involved in a wedding or you could text them? Reviews/Testimonials is a big one too! Make sure you look at things people have said about that particular photographer as that’ll give you a great indication. On Facebook you can’t delete reviews left on a business page so they can be quite honest if the customer wasn’t happy. Click this link if you want to see what I’m on about.
This is an obvious one but you need to really look at this.
Look at their style, is there anything you’re not keen on? I’m very documentary, which means I photograph moments as they happen and don’t pose so many, but other photographers are the opposite. So you need to be careful on what you like. Also check with photographers how many group shots they are happy to do. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of them I understand why you’d want them and will do as many as you desire but some photographers have limitations.
Is the photographer consistent? As in do they do similar photography for every wedding? If not how on earth do you know what your images will turn out like?! Choose a photographer who knows who they are and what they’re up to.
Editing can be so crucial to your wedding photos. I’d want a photographer who does it very professionally, not making them ‘Instagrammy’ – (You can do that!) and not just giving them to you completely natural. A nice balance of natural but enhanced is perfect in my opinion.
Decide your favourite before knowing the price.
This, if possible, is something I highly suggest to do. Money is a big thing with weddings so it’s easy to think you like someone either because they fit your budget or the complete opposite; in the fact you think ‘Oh they must be good, they’re expensive!’ So go through a few different photographers and narrow down to your favourites before you know the prices.
Have a meeting – do you get along?
I would always do this if it was me. Your photographer is someone you’ll spend most of the day with; they’re there in the morning whilst getting ready and until the evening dancing. Check they’re the type of person you want to spend your day with and someone who ideally will add to the fun!
I really don’t want to say that experience is necessary because I didn’t start knowing everything, nobody does! But if you are paying professional prices then you need to make sure your photographer knows what they are doing. I charged £150 for my first weddings and now charge £1500 if Amy is with me too! Yes when I started I might have been good at photography but I didn’t have a clue about weddings. Now I see myself as a part time wedding planner at the ones I photograph. I’d say if you’re going for someone young/ inexperienced then understand that you’ll need to do a lot of the arranging too.
Check what’s included
One photographer charges £600 and another charges £1600? This can be confusing as you can’t just compare those prices, you need to look at what’s actually included for the money. I always just throw everything into one price, The Pre Wedding shoot, Meeting, Full Day Coverage(TWO Photographers) & Memory Stick of all 700+ images (Full Resolution). However not many do, some only include a few hours coverage on the day and a strict 100 photos in an album. Look really carefully and make sure you get your photos included, sounds silly I know, but not always the case!
Is the price right?
Once you’ve gone through whether you like the photos, the photographer and what’s included then you need to think whether the price is right for all they are offering. Is it a case of someone thinking ‘Oh it’s a wedding we’ll chuck a nought on the end!’ or are you getting a good service and product for your money?
Time getting back?
So the wedding is over and the photos are all you have to remember your day by. Now think realistically how long you’re going to want to wait? I always get photos back within two weeks of the day and even then Brides and Grooms are eager to be seeing them even quicker. (Actually I don’t think it’s ever been longer than 8 days!) So are you really prepared to wait 8 weeks? Which is the time a lot of photographers take.
Message me across any questions you may have!