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A question I always ask people when they approach me regarding their wedding photography is: "Do you like your photo being taken?" this is a great starting point in deciding the style of photography that you may like.
If you do like your photo being taken then some staged shots of the bride and groom will be on the agenda for instance, however, a lot of brides are not comfortable with their photo being take, for these brides, then I would offer reportage styled photography (this means that the photographer will follow the bride and groom capturing those special moments without being in immediate presence).
Most photographers specialise in certain fields of photography, however, there are fantastic photographers out there who will be great at most photographic aspects: for example, Portraiture, Weddings, Still Life, Landscape etc. When visiting a photographer's website, this should ideally be apparent on the first page, if not then just have a little browse - but the last thing you really want to do is waste time trying to find this information out!!
Whilst on the photographers website find their gallery, this should showcase some of their favoured work, try not to go to the pricing page first, you need to be sure that you are happy with the style of photographs offered - worry about the pricing after! If you are happy with what you see then browse the rest of the site, a lot of photographer's will hide their pricing, whilst others will put 'from', it's incredibly hard to offer set pricing on a website for a few reasons: one being that you may have to continually change these prices (therefore costing more for the photographer in fees from their website manager - thus probably passing the cost on in their pricing) and another reason is that most photographers will offer a package to suit your budget.
Making contact with the photographer - the first thing to do is to send an e-mail with exact information and not just "what are your prices please".
Below, you will find a draft e-mail which maybe you could use to send to a photographer:
We are getting married on 14th September 2013 at The Old Barns in Bedford and are in need of a photographer.
I have looked at your website and really love the reportage styled photography that you capture. I see your prices on the site state from £650 for your largest package, please could you advise the total cost for the following:
- All Day Photography from myself getting ready up to the first dance
- A4 photo book
- DVD with our images on
Hope to hear from you soon,
You could leave a phone number here if you are happy to
Once you hear back from the photographer, they should ideally be offering you a FREE consultation. This will enable you and your partner to have a meeting to discuss your big day, and also a chance for you to meet and make sure you feel comfortable with the photographer. This is a FREE service and there should be no obligation to go with this photographer if you aren't fully happy.
What is your budget? This is important to discuss this with the photographer from the outset. Do you have to have a photo book when selecting your photographer or can this be added after the event? Does your photographer run their business as their full time occupation? (This is not actually a big issue if not, but make sure that they have public liability insurance and find out their time scales for editing images and getting them to you!). These are the sort of questions you may need to ask.
Where to find your photographer - I would personally ask your friends if they know a good photographer, maybe they or another friend they know used someone for their wedding, if not, then wedding fayres are a good place to see examples and actually meet some photographers - do not feel pressured into making any decisions at these events, just make sure that you give your e-mail address to them, as they should contact you after the show which will give you a reminder of who they are and their work via their website etc.
Another place to look is wedding directories such as www.watfordweddings.co.uk or other wedding directory sites.
Where are you getting married? If you know this then maybe just ask your venue if they know any photographers, they will be able to recommend those who have already shot at their venue, therefore they know the best places to get great photographs!
Would you like the opportunity to have your guests view the photos online? Would you like to add friend's photographs to your final photo book, a lot of photographers wouldn't allow this, but there are certainly some who will - so why not ask, if this is an option you may like.
Remember, this is your big day and you need to capture it - I would recommend that you choose a professional photographer to ensure that you get images that look fantastic and that you can have enlarged to remember your day forever.
We are Pho2u! – The Award Winning Photographers – who aim to offer everyone a professional yet affordable photography service.