It’s a fact that when it comes to one of the most important days of your life, you’ll need to turn to a professional wedding photographer to capture the moment.
But with so many to choose from, how do you finally pick ‘the one’ to capture the most important day of your life?
One of our favourite professional wedding photographers, Matt Gutteridge, shares his tips on navigating the wedding photography minefield…
- Pick a style
There are so many styles to choose from it can be hard to decide. Chances are you have an idea of what you like and don’t like, but if you don’t, start by typing #weddingphotography into Instagram and look through some images.
The ones you like will usually have a common hashtag, something like #documentaryphotographer, #reportage #realmoments or #fineartwedding for example. You’ll soon find the style you prefer and can move forward from there.
- Find a photographer
Wedding photography is one of the most saturated photography markets out there, so there are plenty to choose from. Be warned – it doesn’t mean they are all good, or friendly (more about that below) but there’s plenty around.
Create a list, don’t think about price at this stage, just start putting your list together based on the work you’ve seen.
- Meet the photographer
You can do this via Skype or meet them face-to-face. Personally, I like to meet couples wherever possible. If distance is an issue, which quite often is the case, Skype works just fine.
Your photographer should lead you through a list of questions to help you address timings for the big day. With around 300 weddings photographed in the last 10 years, I have a fair bit of experience of what does and doesn’t work.
Meeting your photographer face-to-face will give them the opportunity to run through some key parts of the day with you. Your photographer should be a helpful person… which leads us on to the next point:
- Follow your gut…
…You really need to like your photographer! If you’re not sure if he or she is a good fit for you, then do not book them. They may have the best portfolio ever, the greatest reviews and perfect teeth…BUT…if you’re not sure about them then don’t book them…follow your gut!
Your photographer is such an important part of the day, they are so close to you, your friends and family that it really must be a good fit.
We have all heard the scare stories of photographers being pushy and demanding on the day. Photographers that have been around for a while can sometimes be this way – “just another day at the office” kind of thing.
When I coach photographers, I remind them that it may be their 200th wedding, but for the majority of couples it’s their first, so photographers should treat them accordingly.
- Decide on your budget
Let’s deal with the elephant in the room; price! You will be spending quite a lot on your photography, there’s no way around it.
A good photographer should be someone that you can trust completely with capturing your day. They should have plenty of experience, be able to deal with all kinds of people, stay on his/her feet for 12 hours and work really hard.
Be friendly even when he/she is super hungry and taken 20000 steps (my Fitbit average step reading on a wedding day!) and deliver the best right until the very last image is taken.
They should be able to anticipate what is going to happen and stay completely focussed all day on capturing your day just as it happens. They will also need to edit your images and deliver them in a matter of weeks (not months). On top of all that they must, to quote Rihanna: “make you feel like you are the only girl (couple) in the world”. This is not a conveyor belt, and it’s not a regular office job. It’s a mixture of passion, art, personality, skill, fun and some sweat (in the heat of the summer anyway).
This is why you need to allow enough budget to get what you want. Don’t skimp by asking a friend to step in – you may think you have saved money, but in reality, you may have lost the opportunity to see your wedding captured in the way it should have been.
Find out more about Matt Gutteridge Photography visit www.mattgutteridge.co.uk– he is more than happy to help!
*All the photography included in this Blog have been taken by Matt.
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