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The essential guide to picking a wedding photographer - and what questions you should ask them

Is there a more important day to take photos of than your wedding day?

We think not.

Which is why it’s so important that you have the right person behind the lens on your big day. With so much effort, money and coordination gone into the whole affair, it would be a shame not to document it as well as you can, capturing the magic, laughs and love that is unique to you and your day.

Selective Focus Photography of Woman Holding Dslr Camera

Knowing which photographer you want to forever capture that day is an essential yet often overlooked part of wedding planning. We focus so much on the venue, music and attire that the photographer can sometimes fall a little to the wayside. But it’s important to know your photographer well to be sure you’ll get all you asked for on the day. Things like style, budget and experience should all factor into who you choose. If you’re just starting to look into this, don’t panic – we have a handy little guide to get you started on the questions you should be asking before booking anyone to ensure you’re on the right path to getting your dream wedding photos.

Do they have experience?

Man Holding Black Dslr Camera

This is probably the most important question to ask any potential photographer. If they’ve shot weddings for family members only, that should probably be a pretty big red flag. Everyone starts out somewhere of course, but if you’re looking for professional levels, it might make more sense to go with someone with more experience.

Ask the photographer to see their portfolios so you can get a good sense of their style and if they are at the level you would like them to be. Client testimonials are also a great way to get a first hand account of what the photographer and photography were like for another couple’s big day.

What is their signature style?

A Beautiful Woman in Her Bridal Dress

Every photographer has theirs and it’s up to you to figure out what you like. Here is where research is really important. From contemporary, to traditional, to black and white, there are many many wedding photography styles out there. Figure out which aesthetic you like and find out if your photographer aligns with that style.

For example, if they usually shoot in black and white and you’re hosting a colourful, whimsical, romantic wedding, it may not be a great fit if you’re looking to capture the day accurately.

What packages do they have and what do they include?

Shallow Focus Photo of Couple Smiling While Holding Wine Glass

Your photographer may have a package that covers engagement photos and the wedding ceremony and reception, or maybe you can choose between a boudoir shoot and a first look session – every photographer will be different, so it’s important to know what you want. Some packages will be customizable, but be sure that you get confirmation about which shots you want.

Will they accept a shot list?

Photo Of Woman Wearing White Gown

Most photographers will – but be carful not to go overboard with them – this photographer is a professional for a reason. They know how to capture a good moment. But run some of your ideas by them that are especially important to you like the cake cutting, the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle or the first dance – it gives both you and the photographer some idea of what to expect from one another so you can see if you’d be a good fit.

Do they have a backup plan?

Repairing a car

Nobody likes to imagine a disaster happening on their wedding day, but life happens. So if your photographer has an ill family member, there’s a flat tyre or there’s just something that comes up for them on your big day, what’s their backup plan? That is their responsibility to sort out – not yours. Their solution to that question will tell you a lot about them and their preparedness for your day.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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