Wedding photography has come along way since the cringe-y guy in the waistcoat making you pose awkwardly, as you grit your teeth doing your best Chandler impression
There are incredible wedding photographers all over the world who not only love documenting people and capturing weddings, but who have a genuine passion for photography and making beautiful and intriguing photos
The only problem is... how do you decide which one of these talented individuals you should choose to photograph your big day?!
I am here to offer you some guidance, ask you some questions and hopefully give you a clearer idea of the kind photographer you should go for...
When the confetti has been swept away, what photographs will be there to remind you of that magical day?
So, question numero uno...
What Style of Wedding Photography Do You Love?
Here's a list of some of the options out there with a little description
Documentary : A photographer who captures the day as it happens. You and your guests enjoy your day and whatever happens, that is what gets photographed.
It is likely a documentary photographer will give some direction for group photos and couple photos, but spend the rest of the day in the background snapping away
Fine Art : You will receive a collection of very beautiful and refined images that carefully tell the story of your day
Emphasis and focus will be on your couple photos, likely with beautiful lighting, perhaps more staged shots and meticulously edited images
Editorial : Like something you might see in a magazine
Loads off detail shots of accessories and decor shot beautifully, as well as gorgeous couple photos
Relaxed : For laid back couples with informal gatherings
who want someone chilled and friendly who will chat to guests, make everyone feel comfortable and create a collection of images of smiley faces
Fun : Your photographer will fit in perfectly to your vibrant and colourful wedding.
They will create funny bridal party photos and not be afraid to be a bit silly or tell inappropriate jokes in order to get a laugh
Creative : This photographer wants to create something unique, a stand out image that is really outside the box.
They may have a few tricks up their sleeve... think flashes, prisms or unusual compositions that you (and they) will be excited to show off on Instagram
Timeless : Now timeless doesn't mean old fashioned. It's simple edits, beautifully simple compositions.
No gimmicks or crazy poses. Just a collection of photographs that will stand the test of time and focus on the feeling of the day
Quirky : Unique and happy photographs that represent your personality.
You have your own ideas about what a wedding can or should look like and you want a photographer who is on the same wave length. Match your wedding aesthetic to your photographer and magic will happen
Formal : Whether your wedding is going to be super elegant or you are having a very formal gathering - you might not want someone rocking up in a hawaiian shirt and flip flops?
If the formality of your wedding is important to you, there are photographers out there who will fit in perfectly
Edgy : Is your wedding going to be in a warehouse in the city? Is emotion and romance not on your spectrum?
Go for an edgy wedding photographer. Urban environments over picturesque countryside is on the cards for you
Outdoorsy : If you want to spend as much of your wedding day outdoors asa you can, opt for an outdoorsy wedding photographer.
They love natural light and finding beautiful areas in and around your venue for photos. Sunsets, trees, outdoor drinks receptions. The more of your day that can happen outside the better
Traditional : Is the choice of photographers out there just all too much?
Are the key photos you want from your wedding day, the 'signing the register' shot and the 'cutting the cake' shot? Book a traditional wedding photographer
Cool : Some wedding photographers are just infinitely cooler than others. If you want a cool wedding, with instagram worthy photos
Choose a photographer whose instagram feed is filled with cool couples on motorbikes, glammed up bridal parties living their best life and the latest wedding trends adorning their feed
Adventurous : Do you love going on adventures? And want to include some epic scenery in your wedding album?
Adventurous wedding photography is all about the experience. Not only will you get the most stunning photos to adorn your walls (mountains, lakes, beach)... your photos will be a documentation of an awesome adventure, wherever that may be
Purist (Documentary) : No direction whatsoever from a purist. They have ninja photo taking skills
They won't give any direction and they definitely won't ask anyone to pose. This is not for everyone, but a great purist will get you some awesome photography from your day (just don't expect it to be pretty, this is real life baby)
Where Are You Getting Married?
This is going to be a key factor in deciding on your wedding photographer
If you are having a chilled out back garden wedding with fire pits and you're going to have your wedding trainers on by 6pm, you'll probably want to be steering towards a more relaxed, fun, documentary, quirky or outdoorsy wedding photographer
If you have got your heart set on walking down the aisle in a flawless stately home wearing a Vera Wang gown you'd be looking for a wedding photographer who specialises in formal weddings, or perhaps an editorial or fine art aesthetic
City weddings definitely have a coolness to them which would be complemented with either the cool, editorial, edgy or quirky wedding photographer
Your wedding venue will have a feeling and aesthetic to it that you have fallen in love with, so think about how different photographers might capture that for you
Question Number 3
What Kind Of Editing Style Is Your Fave?
Not only are there a fair few different styles of photography, but how your wedding photographer edits your images will play a huge part in the final product
A few wedding photography editing styles...
Light and Airy : Feminine. Favours pastel tones as well as neutrals. Will also work well for a minimal aesthetic. Look for very bright and light coloured images
Dark and Moody : Like it says on the tin. Atmospheric. A dark and moody photographer will use light and shadow to make emotive images. Look for images that don't give everything away on first glance
Filmic : One of my faves. The colours are beautiful and reminiscent of film photography or even cinema. There is a quality to the images that really lends itself to story telling without being really obviously 'edited'
Clean : You hardly even notice an editing style. It's very subtle and just has a lovely minimal aesthetic
Earthy tones : Think lots of orange and brown, earthy and nature inspired. If you love these kinds of tones in your wardrobe and home, chances are you are going to love this editing style too
Real life : Some photographers are all about portraying exactly what is in front of them, no slight tone adjustments to make the image more beautiful, if you want to get what you see and see what you get, this is the way to go
Bold and Bright: Saturation and contrast turned up. If your wedding is a colour explosion, make the most of it by having a photographer who loves to edit this way. Punchy pinks, sunshine yellows, cobalt blues.
Warm or Cool : A warm edit will enhance the sunlight and make you feel happy. A cool edit might suit a more edgy style and will appear more blue than orange
Editorial : I love this editing style. For me this has a subtle film aesthetic with more muted tones. Nothing is in your face, it's more of a pared back look with beautiful colours, using light in an interesting way
Retro : Fan of the sixties or seventies? this look is super cool, retro colours and tones, a bit of grain. Imagine Wes Anderson as a wedding photographer ; )
Black and White : Check out how a wedding photographer edits their black and white photos too. I love a timeless edit for black and white images, like something you might see from the fifties. Other photographers may opt for a softer looking black and white which can be really beautiful, or a really high contrast edit which looks a lot edgier
Most photographer will deliver a mixture of colour and black and white images in your gallery, but always ask if this is important to you : )
What Kind Of Person Do You Want With You on Your Wedding Day?
It's not just about the photos.
A big part of finding the right wedding photographer for you, is finding someone you are compatible with, someone you feel comfortable with and someone you trust.
Have a chat and decide what type of photographer you want to be attending your wedding. Here are some personality traits and approaches to consider...
Fun, friendly, laid back, approachable, quiet, loud, funny, assertive, passionate, professional, understanding, chatty, hard working, entertaining, calming, slow paced, energetic
Stays in the background, takes the lead, has a clear vision, willing to go with the flow, interacts with guests, makes you feel relaxed, wants you to pose, wants you to be yourself, gets the shot even if it means blocking the view of your guests, is considerate of guests and works around them to get the shots, uses natural light where possible, is a flash wiz and has loads of gear
Those are just a few opposing characteristics of wedding photographers, so have a think about what you do want and what you definitely don't want, and see what you come up wit
What Photos are Most Important To You?
When you look back on your wedding day in 2, 10 or 20 years time, what photos do you imagine are going to be most important to you?
For me, it's photos of my family, me and my husband having the best day ever, and the feeling and atmosphere of the day.
Whatever you think your most treasured images will be...
choose a photographer that is passionate about documenting those moments
What do you want to see when you open your wedding album to show your children or grandchildren? Because wedding photography is not just for instagram, it's an heirloom
Well guys, I really hope this has given you a whole host of things to consider when choosing the right wedding photographer for you.
It's a big decision and I hope you find an awesome photographer who is the perfect fit for you and your wedding : )